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Some benefits of Bell Stainless benches
All our benchtops are fully welded together, and made from either 304 (a.k.a. kitchen, or 18/10) or 316 (a.k.a. marine) grade stainless steel, depending on the intended location and purpose. This ensures long life for the asset, even in harsh coastal environments - for both indoor and outdoor use.
Sinks are generally welded into our benchtops, and splashbacks can often be folded from the benchtop material. Combine this with the fact that we never lap or rivet joins, so there's never unfinished edges to cause injury or allow water leaks to damage the cabinetwork underneath.
The timber for our benchtop substrates is carefully chosen because of it's quality and consistancy, not because it's cheap and we make more money from it. Similarly we're very particular about the glue we use to bond the stainless to the substrate, and the methods of application to ensure the best adhesion with the least risk of flaws.
We also specialise in benchwork for special purposes - for example we fabricate with brass to create specific aesthetics, or with copper (again for aesthetics) or for particular health reasons like anti-viral or anti-bacterial purposes - see our Bell Stainless | Brassworx or Bell Stainless | Copperworx websites for moreinfo on these.
Four common textures
There are 4 common stainless steel textures for our benchtops - all with their own characteristics and purposes, as follows:
1) Brushed stainless - this is the most common, also sometimes called Satin, technically referred to as a No. 4 polished surface. This is what people generally mean when they think of stainless steel, since it's what they're used to seeing in kitchen appliances, and most other stainless items.
• easily recognised as stainless steel
• easy to keep clean
• available in both 304 and 316 grade, with no visible difference between them. Equally suitable for kitchen and BBQ benchtops
• least expensive of all the textures
• once it's been in service for a period of time, can be hand polished back to looking newer (i.e.if apremises is being sold, etc)
• all scratches in the surface of the stainless are instantly visible
Brushed finish stainless - a.k.a. Satin, or more correctly No. 4 polished finish
2) Rimex 5WL - we often refer to this texture as the most hard-wearing and cost-effective of them all. This is because due to the nature of the little bumps in the material's surface, items dragged across the benchtop don't put scratches in it like they would with the other textures. The tops of the bumps do get dulled off slightly over time, but overall this texture will stay looking brand new for longer than any of the others.
• stays looking new for many years
• still easy to keep clean, since the bumps aren't high enough to trap food particles, etc
• once it's been in service for a period of time, can be hand polished back to looking brand new (i.e. if a premises is being sold, etc)
• benchtops work out around the same price as Brushed stainless
• BEST LONG-TERM VALUE FOR MONEY over the life of the entire property
Rimex 5WL textured finish stainless
3) Rimex Checks - this one looks like a tiny checker board, with alternating squares. It's only available in 304 grade stainless, so it's not recommended for outdoor use near the ocean or swimming pool areas (i.e. BBQ benchtops, etc). Also because it's rolled in the UK and imported as finished sheets, the cost is quite a bit higher than either Brushed or 5WL.
• aesthetically pleasing checkerboard appearance
• only available in 304 grade - not recommended for outdoor areas near the ocean or swimming pool, etc
• can't be re-polished once it's been in service and has become scratched, as the polishing process would damage the texture
• significantly more expensive than either Brushed or 5WL textures
Rimex Checks textured finish stainless
4) Rimex Linen - with the delicate impression of woven cloth, this texture has a subtle feel unlike the others. It's only available in 304 grade stainless, so it's not recommended foroutdoor use nearthe ocean or swimming pool areas (i.e. BBQ benchtops, etc). Also because it's rolled in the UK and imported as finished sheets, the cost is quite a bit higher than either Brushed or 5WL.
• aesthetically pleasing linen appearance
• can't be re-polished once it's been in service and has become scratched, as the polishing process would destroy the subtle texture
Rimex Linen textured finish stainless
Rimex 5WL benchtop, with welded Brushed stainless edge
The edges of a benchtop not against a wall can be folded from the parent metal (this is of course the least expensive option), or they can be a different texture altogether.
This example shows a Rimex 5WL benchtop with a Brushed stainless front edge that's been welded on. The effect is quite stunning, both visually and the way it feels.
Mirror polished stainless steel (a.k.a. No. 8 polished stainless)
We can now add a fifth possible texture for the purpose of benchtop edges - Mirror polished stainless steel (technically referred to as a No. 8 polished surface).
Not suitable for entire benchtops due to the fact that it's too reflective and scratches too easily when items are dragged over it, but it looks great for features and trims.
Incidentally this material also looks great for the front of kick panels underneath cabinetwork. It gives the impression the cabinets are floating, without having to get down and clean underneath them.
NOW ON TO THE VARIOUS EDGE PROFILES WE OFFER
Folded Rimex 5WL benchtop and edge at the top left, and Rimex 5WL benchtop with welded Brushed edges at the bottom right
Rimex 5WL benchtop with curved welded Mirror stainless bullnose edges at the top right, and Rimex 5WL benchtop with folded bullnose edges (and a truncated corner) at the bottom left
Rimex Checks benchtop with welded Mirror stainless, residential wet edges
Brushed stainless benchtop with folded commercial wet edges - this is typically what you'd see in commercial kitchen washup area