What’s unique about flatware is that the materials and care that is used to craft it is to the same quality and attention used for decor items that you normally would have displayed around your house — except that with flatware is utensils and tools that you use to eat with. Finding a balance between functionality and beauty is key to finding the perfect flatware set for your home. The durability of flatware ensures that it will survive for a long time. Consider your options carefully and try to decide on a timeless style that you will enjoy for years to come.
When considering what flatware set to buy, consider the following criteria:
Design and Construction: Your design style and personal preferences will really be your guides when it comes to selecting the style of flatware for your home. However, it’s smart to know which construction of flatware you prefer beforehand in order to pick the right style for you. Take some time to hold and handle flatware constructed differently in order to compare and contrast the way they feel in your hands.
Hollow Handled pieces are the lightest and arguably the easiest to eat with if you don’t want to feel weighed down by your silverware. Stamped pieces are solid pieces stamped from a single piece of metal, resulting in a study and heavy construction. Forged flatware is also comprised of a single piece of forged metal and is also is a sturdy and heavy construction.
What’s the difference between all the different metal compositions: Flatware is also commonly referred to as silverware, but it’s typically available in a variety of metal compositions: stainless steel, sterling silver, or is silver plated. Sterling Silver is traditionally used for the most formal table settings. However rules like this don’t necessarily need to be followed. Sterling silver is also especially resilient and resistant to scratching, and with the proper care can last forever. In order to be constituted sterling silver flatware, the pieces need to be comprised of at least 90% silver. Silver Plated flatware is a more affordable alternative to sterling silver flatware. The piece itself is made of an alternative metal and is then plated in silver. The thickness of the plating will affect the price and overall quality of the set. Stainless Steel flatware is most commonly used for everyday and requires little care to maintain and preserve. Stainless steel flatware is a combination of different metal alloys designated by a ratio that indicates the percentage of chrome to nickel. 18/10 stainless steel is considered the highest quality of stainless steel flatware as it has the perfect combination of strength from chrome and lustrous nickel.
Flatware Pieces and Sets: In a standard five-piece place setting, a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, dinner spoon, and teaspoon are included. Although there are more exotic and formal pieces available, if you have at least these five essential pieces, you will be set. It may be easier to buy additional pieces as needed and purchase the 5-piece core setting in a set. Additionally, there are hostess sets and completer sets which will also include server and entertaining pieces.
Flatware Care and Storage: All three material types listed above are dishwasher-safe. It’s wise to verify that with the care instructions after you purchase the flatware set, especially if the flatware has decorative wood or plastic on the handle. With silverware, it’s recommended that you hand dry the pieces in order to prevent streaking, and they may occasionally need to be polished in order to maintain the original glow and luster of the silver. Genuine silverware is best stored in an anti-tarnish lined case for protection. Drawer organizers or tabletop caddies are convenient tools for storing and organizing your everyday flatware.