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What color kitchen appliances cheaper?


When it comes to kitchen appliances, color can impact the cost. Some colors tend to be more affordable, while other colors come at a premium. The most common and typically cheapest appliance finishes are white and black. Stainless steel also tends to be a relatively economical option. On the other end of the spectrum, custom colors and finishes usually cost more.

White Appliances

White kitchen appliances are generally the most affordable color option. There are a few reasons for this:

  • White appliances have widespread popularity. As the most common color, economies of scale make production cheaper.
  • The white coating is typically basic enamel paint. More complex coatings and materials drive up costs.
  • Scratches and dings blend in more on white. This makes small blemishes less noticeable, reducing the need for premium materials and finishes.

Nearly all appliance manufacturers offer baseline models in a white finish. This includes major brands like Whirlpool, GE, Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, and more. Even high-end brands generally have entry-level options with a matte white or bright white finish.

In terms of prices, white finishes typically add little to no cost premium over the appliance’s base model price. Depending on the brand and model, choosing white over black or stainless may even save $50-100 or more.

Black Appliances

Black kitchen appliances almost rival white in affordability. Much like white finishes, black appliance finishes have widespread popularity. They are easy to match with existing kitchen decor and multiple styles.

Here are some of the factors that make black an economical finish choice:

  • Many appliances have a basic black enamel coating. This keeps costs down compared to more complex finishes.
  • Fingerprints and small scratches don’t stand out as much on black. High-end materials are not as necessary.
  • Black has been a standard color option for many years. Manufacturers have streamlined black appliance production, also reducing costs.

With some brands, going with a black finish will cost $50-100 more than a white finish. However, black is still reasonably affordable. In many cases, you can get a basic black finish for no upcharge over the base model price.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel is one of the most popular finishes for today’s kitchens. It is valued for its modern, sleek, and elegant look. Stainless steel provides a neutral palette that pairs well with many styles.

Compared to custom or specialty finishes, stainless steel is economical:

  • Brushed stainless steel only requires a thin layer of steel bonded to the appliance surface. This keeps material costs down.
  • Stainless steel is easy to keep clean and hold up well to surface scratches and scuffs. So it does not require high-cost protective clear coats.
  • Many manufacturers now have extensive experience working with stainless steel. This has helped improve manufacturing efficiency.

On average, selecting a stainless steel finish over white or black adds a $100-200 price premium. While pricier than basic white or black, stainless remains one of the more affordable finish upgrades.

Premium Finishes

Once you move beyond basic white, black, and stainless steel, costs tend to escalate quickly:

  • Custom colors – Special order colors can add $400-600 to the appliance price depending on the brand.
  • Two-tone finishes – These specialized finishes require multiple layers and more production steps. Expect to pay $300-500 over base models.
  • Wood veneers – Real wood finishes add a hefty upcharge of $800-1,500 given the material and labor costs.
  • Glass overlays – Adding glass to appliance surfaces may tack on $500-1,000 extra.
  • Chrome and metal accents – You’ll generally pay $200-400 more for touches of chrome, gold, copper, etc.

While beautiful, these upscale finishes come at a price. Special order colors andmaterials require more preparation, production time, and skill to apply. This pushes costs up.

If budget is a concern, steer clear of premium upgrades. Opt for an affordable white, black, or stainless model instead. Add your color with kitchen decor and accessories.

Cost Comparison Table

Appliance Finish Cost Premium*
White $0-50
Black $50-100
Stainless Steel $100-200
Custom Color $400-600
Two-tone $300-500
Wood Veneer $800-1,500
Glass Overlay $500-1,000
Chrome/Metal Accents $200-400

*Estimated price premium over base model price.

Best Colors for Affordability

If you want to keep your kitchen appliances affordable, stick with:

  • White – Hard to beat white for cost, especially for refrigerators, dishwashers, and ranges.
  • Black – Another budget-friendly standard color that works with any decor.
  • Stainless Steel – Provides a modern upgrade over white/black for a reasonable price bump.

These three classic finishes give you attractive options at the lowest cost.

When Higher Cost Finishes Make Sense

We’ve focused mainly on costs here. But there are times when it may be worth investing in premium finishes:

  • You’re remodeling a luxury, high-end kitchen – Upscale finishes fit the decor better.
  • Special order color matches other designer elements – For example, to match cabinetry.
  • You cook for a living – High-end appliances with commercial-grade finishes make sense.
  • You plan to stay years – More justification for splurging on higher long-term value.

If budget is no concern, don’t be afraid to consider upgrades that add personal style. But for most homeowners looking to save, white, black, and stainless are the smartest appliance color investments. Carefully weigh the design impact versus price premium before buying other luxury finishes.


Appliance finish color significantly affects the price. White, black, and stainless steel are the most affordable color options due to lower material costs and widespread popularity. Custom colors, wood veneers, glass overlays, and chrome/metal accents will add a hefty upcharge. While splurging on premium finishes may make sense for some, most buyers should stick with basic white, black, or stainless to get attractive kitchen appliances at the lowest cost. Focus your decorating dollars on paint, accessories, lighting, and hardware instead.