November 07, 2023 9 min read
Searching for the perfect range hood to elevate your kitchen? There are many types of range hoods, and one of the key differences has to do with materials.
This article takes an in-depth look at four of the most frequently used materials for range hoods: stainless steel, copper, brass and titanium. We will compare the strengths and weaknesses of these materials in the article below.
Let's dive in.
Stainless steel is a metal alloy consisting of iron, chromium, nickel, carbon and manganese. Its key feature is that it has anticorrosive and stain-resistance qualities. When it comes to stainless steel, there are different grades with unique properties.
Different types of stainless steel are used in range hoods. The three main types of stainless steel used in range hoods are:
200-series stainless steel
The 200-series stainless steel contains chromium, nickel and manganese. Lower nickel content means that it does not have the same corrosion-resistant qualities of higher grade stainless steel. However, it can be less expensive. In the world of range hoods, we find 200-grad stainless steel more often in budget projects.
300-series stainless steel
The 300-series stainless steel is the most preferred quality level for range hoods. With a higher proportion of nickel alloy, this type of steel stands out as highly resistant to high temperatures as well as corrosion. 304 stainless steel is long-lasting and highly durable. ModernCopper® uses only 304 stainless steel in its construction.
400-series stainless steel
The 400-series stainless steel contains chromium but no nickel, making it the most corrosion resistant of stainless steel options. 400-level stainless is almost never used in range hood construction, but it is found in cutlery.
Copper metal is often utilized in range hoods due to its resilience, corrosion resistance, and ability to withstand exposure to high temperatures. Copper's natural reddish-orange color develops over time into a rustic patina or greenish-blue patina that gives it its signature rustic appearance. Copper range hoods are typically handcrafted, making them unique and distinctive.
Copper is a versatile material used for making range hoods, and it is available in various types. Here are some common types of copper used when making a copper range hood:
Raw copper refers to an untreated form of the metal with no additional coatings or finishes applied. Range hoods made of raw copper can be constructed from sheets welded together and formed into desired shapes by molding. Left in its natural state, these range hoods may develop an individual patina over time or be polished regularly to maintain its shine and retain durability and corrosion resistance. Raw copper hoods have long been recognized for their long lifespan and strong resistance.
Patina copper is a type of copper that has developed a natural greenish or bluish coating over time due to exposure to the elements. This type of copper is popular in range hoods because it adds a unique and rustic look to the kitchen. Patina copper range hoods do not require a sealant, making them low maintenance. Additionally, the patina coating helps protect the copper from further oxidation and corrosion.
Powder-coated copper is a type of copper range hood coated with a layer of colored powder. The powder-coated finish helps protect the copper from tarnishing or aging, which can be an issue with raw copper range hoods. This variety provides homeowners with several color options for matching their range hood to their kitchen's color scheme, and it features scratch-resistant coating to reduce wear-and-tear over time.
Brass is an alloy composed primarily of copper and zinc that is commonly used as material for range hoods due to its durability, malleability, and beautiful aesthetic. It has a distinct golden-yellow hue which ranges from shiny finish to muted antiqued appearance–enabling brass hoods to fit seamlessly with different kitchen styles and designs.
Brass is a popular material for range hoods because of its durability and elegant appearance. There are three main types of brass used in range hoods:
Raw brass is a type of brass that features a natural matte surface without being treated or coated with chemicals or finishes, giving it its distinctive rustic appearance. Over time it will oxidize naturally to form its unique patina that gives raw brass range hoods such a rustic aesthetic. This patina can be desirable for some homeowners who prefer a more rustic or vintage look.
Polished brass is a type of brass used in range hoods with a shiny and reflective surface. Polished brass undergoes a unique polishing process that removes any impurities or oxidation on its surface, leaving behind a smooth and polished surface that adds elegance and sophistication to a kitchen while being an ideal option for homeowners who prefer classic looks. Polished brass range hoods add an air of sophistication while providing homeowners with an option that adds traditional appeal.
Antique brass is a type of brass material that has been intentionally given an aged or weathered appearance through various techniques such as acid treatment, sandblasting, or distressing. It has a darker, richer color compared to polished brass and raw brass and often has a rustic or vintage look that can add character to a kitchen design. However, because of its intentional aging process, antique brass may be more prone to tarnishing and require special care to maintain its appearance.
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Titanium is a lightweight metal that's both strong and corrosion-resistant, making it an excellent material choice for range hoods. With a unique surface color that stands up well against repeated moisture exposure, titanium also boasts superior dimensional strength compared to most metals and has a higher melting point than most alloys. All these features and a high impact strength make titanium an increasingly popular choice for range hoods in modern kitchens.
Titanium is a relatively new material for range hoods, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its durability and strength. Here are the three types of titanium, for reference.
Raw titanium, or uncoated titanium, is an attractive material for range hoods due to its strength, durability and corrosion-resistance properties. With its natural silver-gray hue that can be polished up into an appealing shine finish, raw titanium makes for an eye-catching option in modern kitchen designs. Range hoods made from raw titanium are also lightweight and easy to clean.
Anodized titanium is a type of titanium that has undergone an electrolytic process to form a rigid, protective oxide layer on its surface. This oxide layer provides durability and corrosion-resistance for range hood construction; additionally it is resistant to scratches that help preserve its appearance over time. Anodized titanium comes in various colors like bronze, blue, and purple making it suitable for many kitchen designs.
Colored titanium is a range hood material treated with a process called physical vapor deposition (PVD). This process uses a vacuum chamber to apply a thin layer of metal oxide to the titanium, which creates a colored finish. The PVD process produces an extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface suitable for range hood use. Furthermore, its wide array of colors--gold, bronze, black and blue--provides endless design opportunities.
Here is a comparison of the four materials based on the following:
Stainless steel range hoods are generally the most affordable option compared to copper, brass, and titanium. Titanium range hoods are usually the most expensive due to the high cost of titanium material. Brass range hoods can also be costly due to the price of the brass material. Coppers fall somewhere in between titanium and brass in terms of cost.
All four materials are long-term durable, with titanium being the strongest and most resistant to corrosion and wear. While stainless steel and copper may also last long-term, additional maintenance may be needed in order to keep their shine and avoid corrosion. Brass is the least durable and can tarnish quickly, requiring more upkeep to maintain its appearance.
Stainless steel and titanium require only basic cleaning to remain looking like new, while copper and brass require more frequent polishing in order to prevent tarnishing and corrosion.
Each material offers unique aesthetic qualities. Stainless steel is modern and sleek, while copper and brass have a warm, traditional look. Titanium has a unique and futuristic look, with various colors available for a customized appearance.
Stainless steel, copper, and brass are all recyclable materials, making them environmentally friendly options. Titanium is also recyclable, but the process is more complicated due to its high melting point.
Stainless steel is the most practical choice for modern vent hoods. Of course, for a rustic or farmhouse-style kitchen, copper with a patina finish is an excellent option. One of the key advantages of stainless steel is that it can be finished in creative ways. Our own collection allows you to customize your range hood in any number of colors. Check out our shop for a quick idea of what is possible.