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Best Color Alternatives To Stainless Steel For Kitchen Appliances (Trends)

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Photo Courtesty of Houzz-custom-color-appliances

It's been almost 30 years since stainless became the norm for appliances. So much so that many people are looking for anything but stainless.

Maybe that includes you as well.

In this article, you will learn about the best brands and finishes to consider. Then I will show you a few pointers on how to apply colors in your kitchen.

You will also see a few of the promising finishes recently discontinued by various manufacturers, and why it's a huge problem for anyone renovating now.

Lastly, I will finish with the benefits of stainless just so you won't feel bad about the purchase if you do not like any other brands or colors.

Let's look at a few of the best colors now.

Best Color Alternatives to Stainless Steel 

Black Stainless Steel Finishes

Bosch Black Stainless Steel

Bosch Black Stainless Steel Appliance Kitchen

Black stainless steel is the most popular non-stainless finish ever. 30% of the packages sold in box stores in the US... That's a lot.

Every major manufacturer also produces it unlike other premium colors like Electrolux (and Frigidaire), Samsung, LG, Whirlpool (Maytag and KitchenAid), GE, and Bosch.

Black steel matches all cabinet styles like regular stainless but has a darker hue. That's the good part.

Unfortunately, the finish is an oxidized coating. It is easy to scratch, and then you will see the stainless underneath. That's bad. You cannot repair that scratch.

The best brands to consider are Samsung and Bosch because they are the most scratch resistant. Bosch bakes the black into the stainless process.


Click here to have a look at our full black stainless steel video test, Does Black Stainless Steel Scratch?

Whirlpool Sunset Bronze  Finish


Whirlpool Sunset Bronze Appliance Kitchen

It's a different hue of stainless, more of yellowish steel. The look is nice, and it won't peel like Black Steel.

But, Sunrise looks too much like stainless. You won't notice much of a difference. If you don't see a huge difference, then why bother.

GE Café White Finish


GE Café White and Copper Appliance Kitchen At Yale Appliance 

This finish and line have promise. White was the high-end finish before stainless. The Café line also allows you to customize the handles in brass, as shown in copper or stainless.

Samsung Tuscan Bronze and Matte Black Finishes


Samsung Tuscan Bronze Appliance Kitchen

You should be wary of bronze. Most of the "hot" bronze finishes of yesteryear are discontinued.


Samsung Chef Collection Matte Black Appliance Kitchen At Yale Appliance

Samsung is a bit different. It's more of a black than bronze finish and is much harder to scratch (I tried that key test on the side this time).

The product itself is highly functional as well, with useful features and Wi-Fi capability.

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Fisher & Paykel Finishes


Fisher & Paykel Red Gas Range At Yale Appliance

Fisher & Paykel is the best of the professional-looking ranges without the output. This segment includes Ilve, Bertazzoni, and Smeg. All have limited colors.

Fisher & Paykel offers red, white, and black.

BlueStar Finishes


BlueStar has 750 colors and eight trims to choose from. If you don't like their 750, then you can send a paint chip to create your custom color.

La Cornue Finishes


La Cornue Professional Range Display At Yale Appliance 

Without question, La Cornue executes color better than anyone. It looks like furniture. The whole range is customizable from the top to the different trim finish.

However, it starts at $24,000. They do manufacture a more standard, less expensive CornuFe series with eight more primary colors.

The Problems With Colorful Appliances

Many manufacturers want you to buy all your appliances in their funky colors. They win on replacing those appliances one at a time because other manufacturers won't have that "funk."

One of the issues is whether the manufacturer will maintain this portfolio of funky colors when they are not selling in mass quantities.

For larger manufacturers, they don't manufacture in small batches and will discontinue a finish without a decent amount of sales.

Then you will have a problem in 8-12 years when you do need to replace an appliance or two.

Of course, you do also run the risk of that color being dated as well over time.

Click here to read about the 10 kitchen appliance and lighting remodeling mistakes you should never make.

How to Place Color in Your Kitchen

An alternative strategy is to use a pop of color on one appliance like a refrigerator or stove and then place your cabinet panels on the dishwasher, wine fridge, and refrigerator.

Orange Pro Style 36-Inch Range 

You won't have as big a problem when replacing in the future.

Why You Shouldn't Dislike Yourself For Buying Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is easy.

It matches every cabinet type from modern to traditional and will never go out of style (in theory).

Stainless is also available inexpensively compared to other finishes. It also wears better and is simple to clean (yes I know you can't hang your kids report card or latest art on stainless with magnets).

So don't feel bad opting for stainless steel appliances because this next section will not happen to you.

Discontinued and Disappointing Designer Finishes

Back in my day, the "sunset" (pun-intended) of most finishes was occurring. Gone were Avocado, Harvest Wheat, Harvest Gold, Coppertone, Platinum, and Silver.

But these next finishes were launched as the next great thing and are no longer with us.

Jenn-Air Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

Jenn Air Oil Rubbed Bronze Appliances

I liked this finish. It was a rich brown and looked good with traditional cabinets. It lasted for about five years.

GE "Artistry" Finishes

GE Artistry Slate GE Artistry  White

GE Artistry Series

GE's Artistry series was a retro-looking white and steel line. It had a unique look. So unique, it was discontinued after a short period.

Frigidaire Silver Mist Finish


Frigidaire Silver Mist

This was a bad idea under any name Silver Mist, Silver Frost, Platinum, Titanium, etc. Gray appliances are just ugly even when marketed as cheaper stainless alternatives. Many companies fell into this trap.

Disappointing Designer Finishes

Miele Truffle Brown Finish


Miele Truffle Brown Appliance Finish

It's brown, suitable for many brown cabinets. We placed it on display and haven't sold one (except the display).

Whirlpool Black and White Ice Finishes


Whirlpool Kitchen Appliances in White Ice

High tech smooth white and black finishes are not popular with chrome handles.

Whirlpool has Black Ice as well.

Whirlpool Black Ice Kitchen

Whirlpool Appliances in Black Ice 

Our Final Advice

The good news is you have some great alternatives with several finishes and companies.

Don't go too exotic with all colors or else you could have a problem replacing these appliances in 8-12 years.

If you want a unique kitchen, then consider a pop of color and panel the rest of your appliances.

Then again, you may find stainless steel is not a bad option.

Additional Resources

Get the free Yale Appliance Buying Guide. It has features, specs, and inside tips to all the brands like Sub-Zero, Thermador, Bosch and Miele. It covers built-ins, counter depth, freestanding vs. slide-in and much more (plus a ton of good product shots as well). Well over 580,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

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A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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