Stainless steel has become a preferred material for door furniture in the UK due to its durability, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal. However, not all stainless steels are created equal, and understanding the various grades is crucial when choosing door hardware like door handles. Let's delve into the different grades, guidelines, and considerations for optimal performance and longevity.

Grades of Stainless Steel

Austenitic Stainless Steel (e.g., 200, 304 and 316):

200 Grade

Mainly used for internal door furniture in the UK but is used in less aggressive external environments away from coastal areas. Chromium is reduced to 15-16% in this case or sometimes slightly lower like 13-14%.

304 Grade:

Commonly known as "18/8 stainless," it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Ideal for door handles and general door hardware due to its corrosion resistance and cost-effectiveness.

316 Grade:

Also known as "marine grade" stainless steel, it contains molybdenum, enhancing its resistance to corrosion, especially in coastal or harsh environments. Recommended for exterior door furniture exposed to saltwater or high humidity.

Martensitic Stainless Steel (e.g., 410):

Known for its high strength and wear resistance, martensitic stainless steel is suitable for door locks and hardware requiring added toughness. However, it is more prone to corrosion compared to austenitic grades.

Ferritic Stainless Steel (e.g., 430):

Economical and corrosion-resistant, ferritic stainless steel is commonly used for indoor door furniture like hinges. While not as corrosion-resistant as austenitic grades, it offers good performance in less aggressive environments.

Guidelines for Choosing Stainless Steel Door Furniture

Location and Environment:

Consider the door's location – indoor or outdoor – and the environmental conditions it will face. Coastal areas may require the superior corrosion resistance of 316 stainless steel.

Functionality and Usage:

Choose grades based on the intended use of the door furniture. High-traffic areas, such as commercial spaces, might benefit from the durability of martensitic stainless steel.


Regular maintenance is essential for stainless steel longevity. Periodic cleaning with mild soap and water helps prevent buildup and maintains the stainless steel's appearance.

Performance and Longevity

Corrosion Resistance:

Austenitic grades, especially 316 stainless steel, offer superior corrosion resistance. This is critical for exterior door furniture exposed to varying weather conditions.

Strength and Durability:

Martensitic stainless steel provides high strength, making it suitable for door locks and hardware requiring robustness. Regular maintenance ensures prolonged durability.

Aesthetic Appeal:

The smooth, shiny finish of stainless steel enhances the visual appeal of door furniture. Regular cleaning maintains its aesthetic qualities and contributes to the overall longevity of the hardware.

In conclusion, selecting the right grade of stainless steel for door furniture in the UK involves considering factors such as location, usage, and required resistance to corrosion. Understanding the guidelines and performance characteristics ensures that your door hardware not only looks stylish but also stands the test of time. Regular maintenance plays a key role in maximizing the longevity of stainless steel door furniture, ultimately offering a durable and visually pleasing solution for your doors.