Different Stainless Steel Fabrication Finishes and When to Use Them

Stainless steel is a durable, versatile material for fabrication. And because it comes in a range of finishes, it’s a popular choice for a range of different commercial and residential applications. If you’re looking for stainless steel fabrication in Worcestershire and you’re wondering which finish best suits your project, this guide will give you all you need to know.

What is a Stainless Steel Finish?

When using stainless steel for fabrication, there are generally three different finishes to choose from:


Hot rolled stainless steel is grinded to give a course finish with low reflectiveness. Some common uses of this type include kitchen equipment, food processing equipment, scientific apparatus, and for indoor architecture.


Hot rolled steel is polished to give a more reflective, smooth surface that is corrosion-resistant. Some common uses include sinks, elevator interiors, indoor and outdoor architecture, ornamental applications.


The hot rolled steel is extensively polished using special compounds which gives an ultra-smooth, highly reflective surface that reflections can be seen in. This is used for mirrors, reflectors, signage, ornamental applications, and wall covers.

Whatever the finish, there are globally recognised standards that show the designation of the steel used. DIN and ASTM standards are most widely used and a good guide of quality standards.

What Stainless Steel Finish is Best?

Stainless steel is made with a hot rolled finish. This has a slight shine that isn’t brushed or mirrored (imagine a typical stainless steel kitchen sink).

Other metals used in fabrication are often cold rolled. This gives a dull, flat finish that is more grainy in appearance. Although this isn’t best for aesthetics, it’s a cheap, durable option for jobs that need a high-strength finish such as machinery parts.

However, it’s not just the aesthetics to take into account when choosing the right finish. Different finishes are best suited for different applications.

Each finish has a different level of porosity, which will affect the longevity of the fabrication in different settings.

For example, steel fabrication for exterior applications usually has a glossy finish and is coated or sealed to prevent corrosion or exposure. Indoor uses, such as in the catering industry, usually use stainless steel as is once hot rolled to give that slightly shiny, matte finish.

Which Stainless Steel Should You Use?

Whether you need steel fabrication for ductwork, venting, bespoke catering fit-outs, or machinery parts, stainless steel is a durable, strong, versatile option.

Choosing the right finish for your project will depend on the application and look you’re aiming for. If you’re unsure which finish would work best, our team at AIS Sheet Metal will be able to advise you and give you the best options to make sure you get the look you need as well as the highest quality results.

To talk to a stainless steel fabricator today, give our team in Worcestershire a call. We’ll give you our advice and a free quote for your project.