The thickness and weight of a stainless steel countertop vary according to where the countertop is going be used. The thickness of the stainless steel depends on its crystalline structures such as austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, and duplex stainless steels. The types of stainless steel are categorized according to their composite metals, elements, and features.|
Stainless steel is a popular material used for kitchen countertops because of its durability, luster, corrosion resistance, and rust resistance. Stainless steel can also withstand high temperatures unlike other kitchen countertop materials like concrete, laminate, and graphite. This means that placing a hot pan on stainless steel would not cause it to warp, crack, or stain easily.
Stainless steel is made in different thicknesses that are measured in gauges. Residential stainless steel countertops are generally thin and can be made of gauge 14 or 16 stainless steel. This is because residential stainless steel countertops are used for normal food preparation activities which do not need the extra heavy-duty properties of heavier gauges of stainless steel. The industrial stainless steel countertops used in restaurants are normally made of heavier gauges. They are thicker and more heavy-duty to support fast-paced food preparation activities.
The thicker the stainless steel sheet is, the more expensive it is. Stainless steel sheets are sold per square foot and they cost as low as $25 to as much as $100. The lower-priced stainless steel sheets are used for entry-level residential kitchen countertops. These countertops, though made of relatively inexpensive stainless steel sheets, have the basic features of an efficient and durable stainless steel countertop. The higher-end stainless steel sheets are used for industrial-type stainless steel kitchen countertops. They can withstand higher temperatures and fast food preparation activities that are the norm in bigger and busier restaurant kitchens.
Thickness of residential stainless steel kitchen countertops
The most common stainless steel gauges used in residential stainless steel countertops are gauge 14 or 16. The general rule is the lower the gauge, the thicker the stainless steel sheet is. Gauge 14 and 16 stainless steel sheets contain higher amounts of nickel which make them appropriate to use in food preparation areas. They are formed into two-inch thick kitchen countertops which are supported by plywood backings to prevent the sheets from getting waves or from getting uneven.
The weight of residential stainless steel countertops depend on how long the sheets are. Because of the relatively thin stainless steel sheets that are used, residential stainless steel countertops are not as heavy compared to solid surface countertops made of stone or graphite. They are also not prone to cracking or breaking caused by placing hot pans or by exerting a bit of pressure on the surface.
Thickness of industrial stainless steel kitchen countertops
Industrial stainless steel kitchen countertops are lower than gauge 14 or 16 because they need to be thicker and more durable than residential ones due to the complex food preparation activities they are subjected to. Once installed, these industrial kitchen countertops have a thickness of between three and six inches and are supported by wooden planks underneath.