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Stainless steel, Powder-Coated Zintec Mild Steel, or MDF? Which is best for your community centre kitchen?

When you’re choosing a new kitchen for your community centre, you might be faced with the choice of finishes. People are often presented with:

  1. MDF
  2. Stainless steel
  3. Mild Steel with powder coating

Here’s an assessment of each one, to help you decide which is best for your kitchen.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)

MDF is the most familiar surface for many — it’s the one you’ll find in a lot of domestic kitchens, especially older ones.

The most appealing feature of MDF is often its price. It’s the cheapest material to construct cabinets and other kitchen units from, and a budget-conscious community centre might consider that the deciding factor. Keep in mind, though, that being the least expensive means it’s the cheapest in every sense.

  • It doesn’t age well.

It’s not made to withstand the heavy use of a community kitchen, and it’ll disseminate quickly (to the point of falling apart) “in a relatively short period of time”.

  • It’s not particularly hygienic.

The MDF finish is more permeable than is ideal. Things can soak in, and it can be harder to clean effectively.

  • It’s a false economy.

Spending a bit less on your project at the start may mean you need to replace your kitchen in a few years, and before you know it, you end up spending more than if you’d invested in a more durable kitchen.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is the finish that a restaurant or café would use in its kitchen. It’s the most durable option for a kitchen, designed to withstand commercial use.

However, for a community centre, it’s a bit excessive. A steel finish is cold, bland and institutional looking – or in other words, unwelcoming. It doesn’t offer the community feel that you probably want, and it’s also likely to be an expensive choice, especially when it’s much more than you need.

Also, don’t let the name deceive you — just because it’s called ‘stainless’ doesn’t mean it’s especially resistant to mess, or that cleaning it is particularly easy. In fact, it’s difficult to keep clean in a kitchen where frequent contact with oils, water and grease turns into fingerprints and traces all over.

Powder-coated mild steel

For your community kitchen, this finish is likely to be in the ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to appearance, durability, and price. It will be the most affordable option that also offers a suitably durable and hygienic surface, while keeping a recognisable and accessible ‘kitchen’ character.

Bear in mind, you will still have fingerprints, grease and myriad other spills to clean, but you can use over-the-counter kitchen cleaners to do so. MDF absorbs mess and becomes unhygienic, and stainless steel is smeared by common cleaners – neither is ideal when your kitchen team just needs to wipe something down quickly.

Furthermore, whilst Mild steel is not quite as strong as stainless steel, it’s more economical as a result, and it’s more than strong enough to form the structure of a community kitchen.

A Zintec powder coating gives you a lot of choice when it comes to the character and tone of the kitchen. Pick a colour to suit your community, and give your kitchen the fresh and welcoming appearance that you and your team will love. Still need to weigh up the options? Our community team are on hand to discuss your community kitchen and the best options for you. If you want to run ideas past us, or you have questions about the project, give us a call on 0844 809 9186 or email [email protected].

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