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Photo by: Charles Miller So, you can easily discern soapstone from granite, granite from marble, and marble from any other stone-countertop material. But can you identify stainless steel, zinc, or pewter? How about copper or bronze? The popularity of metal-countertop materials has grown considerably over the years. All of them offer homeowner-friendly benefits. They’re all easy to keep clean and are relatively resilient when treated with care. However, none are inexpensive, and metal prices fluctuate so often that speaking in generalities is more accurate than giving definitive numbers. Here’s what distinguishes each material. Stainless steel An alloy of carbon steel, nickel, and chromium, stainless steel doesn’t oxidize or develop a patina like other metals, so it has a consistent look throughout its service time. Although stainless doesn’t have the antimicrobial benefits of some other metals, it is less porous, which means it’s easy to keep clean. Stainless steel is classified into “series” based on the percentage of each component element, and it is further classified into “grades” based on its crystalline structure. Countertops most often are made of grade-304 stainless, the hardest of the materials discussed here and the most scratch resistant. Finishes:…
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