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Q: faux "stainless" appliances? ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: faux "stainless" appliances?
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: stevemadere-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 15 Jun 2002 16:39 PDT
Expires: 22 Jun 2002 16:39 PDT
Question ID: 27275
I have seen at least one Jenn Aire "stainless steel"
refrigerator with big stains on it that look like rust.
On stainless!

I am currently in the market for a refrigerator with a
stainless steel exterior and I want to be sure I get one
that will not get any rust-like stains.

Which major appliance manufacturers make "stainless look" appliances
that are either not real stainless steel exteriors or
the stainless steel is a very thin layer that allows rust
underneath to "bleed through"?  (So I know who to avoid)

And which ones have quality finishes that will not get orange
self-generating stains? (regardless of whether it is technically
"rust" or not)

In particular, I'd like to know about consumer appliances from
GE, KitchenAide, Frigidaire, and Whirlpool.

Subject: Re: faux "stainless" appliances?
Answered By: huntsman-ga on 17 Jun 2002 14:59 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Have you seen the new Whirlpool "Satina" line? It may be just what
you're looking for:

Whirlpool Satina Appliances

"Satina" refrigerators (listed in the drop-down menu at the bottom of
the main page) look like stainless steel, but have a smooth, glossy
finish that resists fingerprints and smudging. You can clean it with
ordinary window cleaner, and the surface even accepts the usual
gallery of kitchen magnets.

You may also want to consider the various options at GE Appliances
( They have several refrigerators with
traditional stainless steel finishes. Go to the "GE Refrigerators"
page (
and click on any refrigerator pictured. This displays a "Product
Selector" that lets you search for models by type and finish.

In particular, GE has an upscale appliance line called the "GE
Monogram Collection" ( All of the GE
Monogram stainless refrigerators can be seen with their "Appliance
Selection Guide" (
-- note that the image window scrolls horizontally).

If you don't want "real" stainless steel, GE Monogram offers "Custom
Appearance Options" ( for
their built-in models. These are trim kits that allow you to face a GE
Monogram appliance with custom panels and custom handles of your
choice. These could match your existing kitchen cabinets, or let you
choose a completely contrasting look.

"Trim kits allow our built-in refrigerators, dishwashers, warming
drawers, compactors and icemakers to accept custom panels and custom
handles. Black, white or stainless steel door panels are available
from Monogram. Custom panels can be ordered from your cabinetmaker.
Custom handles are available for purchase from your local design
center or hardware stores."

Go to the GE Monogram home page (, and click
on the "Get panel dimensions" link. This opens a pop up window
containing links to downloadable PDF files with the trim panel

As long as you use the correct dimensions, a decorative panel can be
made out of almost anything. For example, you could use a Masonite
(hardboard) panel faced with a high-pressure plastic laminate from
Formica or WilsonArt.

This is the same tough material used on kitchen counter tops. It is
available in hundreds of styles and colors including "faux" metallics:

Formica Home Page

Formica DecoMetal

Order Formica samples here:

WilsonArt Home Page

WilsonArt MetaLaminates
(see the "MetaLaminates" link)

Order WilsonArt samples here:

Download the GE Monogram trim panel dimensions, print them out, and
take them to two or three cabinet shops in your area. I'm sure the
shops will be happy to give you an estimate for making panels in the
laminate of your choice.

I hope this helps,


Additional References - 


Frigidaire Appliances

Frigidaire Refrigerators

They have two stainless steel models:

FRS26H5AS, 26 Cu Ft., Side By Side

FRS23H5AS, 22 Cu Ft., Side By Side


KitchenAid Appliances

KitchenAid Refrigerators

Many (if not all) KitchenAid models are available in stainless steel.


Whirlpool Appliances

Whirlpool Refrigerators

Note the "Shop by Features" link near the top of the Refrigerators


Search Terms & Google Results -

Thanks to Google's ranking system, the pages I wanted appeared at the
top of each result.

GE appliances

Frigidaire appliances

KitchenAid appliances

Whirlpool appliances
stevemadere-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
My question was really about how to *avoid* faux stainless steel
rather than an appeal for sources of fake stuff.

I was actually asking for a warning list of companies that sell
"stainless looking" appliances that are not really staineless steel
so I would know what to *avoid*.

Subject: Re: faux "stainless" appliances?
From: librarygopher-ga on 15 Jun 2002 17:00 PDT
Don't have the time to research this question right now so I'm just
posting as a comment as you might be interested in these items.  They
don't discuss the stainless look alike you're requesting, but instead
how to care for stainless appliances and get rid of the rust!

Spic and span:  Cleaning stainless steel appliances (The Holland
Sentinel, October 17, 2000)

Stainless Steel Information Center (free site put together by the
North American producers of stainless steel)

From a personal standpoint, while I LOVE the look of stainless, one
huge problem that I've encountered is lots of fingerprints.  Whether
or not there are little people in the house, appliances see a lot of
hand action and the stainless ones definitely show prints!  Really
easy to see this if you go to any home appliance dealer and check out
the stainless items.

Good luck and I hope someone is able to find the answer for you. 
You've sparked my interest in these faux stainless appliances.

Subject: Re: faux "stainless" appliances?
From: meowbot-ga on 15 Jun 2002 19:37 PDT
It helps to understand that there are many different alloys called
"stainless steel" and that their properties vary widely.  It also
helps to understand that the  really good grades of stainless are very
expensive, and not likely to be found in appliances aimed at the home

Best bet might be to skip the appliance dealers and try the places
that sell to the foodservice/restaurant market.  Look for units that
meet NSF standards; these can cost several times what you would pay
for a domestic appliance, but in return you'll get something designed
to be easily cleaned, hardware that will last seemingly forever, and
generally thicker panels that will better resist scratches and dents. 
What you probably won't find are some of the typical home extras like
in-door ice dispensers, since in a commercial environment that's going
to tend to be a machine in itself.

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