Want to add some “pizzazz” to your kitchen without being tacky? Sure, expensive countertops or a high-end backsplash could do the trick. However, if you want to enrich your kitchen space with a statement piece that’s also extremely practical – think about a copper sink.
There are plenty of advantages to copper sinks, which we’ll review below before sinking our teeth into everything you need to know to choose the best copper sink for your kitchen area!
Popular belief tells us that copper sinks are finicky and difficult for everyday use. However, the reality is starkly different. On top of being a fine decorative choice for a classy kitchen, copper is actually extremely eco-friendly and durable. All it takes is a little more care compared to the average kitchen sink, and a copper sink may very well last you a lifetime.
Wide Range of Styles
Copper sinks have plenty to offer to your kitchen’s overall design. They’re available in a vast array of rustic, matte, and polished finishes, and you can choose from a bunch of exciting textures either; such as smooth and hand-hammered.
And sure, copper sinks are usually associated with a cottagecore aesthetic. However, copper sinks can neatly fit into all kinds of different styles – including more modern and glamorous kitchen designs.
Yep, copper has extremely potent antibacterial properties. An alloy of antimicrobial copper can significantly reduce contamination on any surface, continuously reducing bacterial growth between each regular cleaning session.
Some studies even suggest that applications of copper to surfaces in schools can help reduce the presence of bacteria that cause staph infections. So naturally, this makes copper the perfect material for your kitchen sink.
Factors To Consider While Browsing Copper Sinks
If you’re buying an artisanal copper sink, you’re definitely getting a unique product – however, you need to understand the difference between an excellent copper sink and a poorly crafted one.
Luckily, there are a small number of important factors to keep in mind while choosing your copper sink. Your three primary points of reference should be:
- Type of finish
- Copper gauge
- Copper purity
Type of Finish
The patina of a copper sink will definitely change a bit as the years go on. That being said, you can choose from a few different copper finishes as you’re browsing for the perfect sink.
- Antique – a light to medium tone, this copper finish is designed to reflect the longevity of copper and give it a dated, old-timey look. As a result, it’s one of the most popular finishes when it comes to copper kitchen sinks as well.
- Aged – this is a more vibrant, warmer finish than the antique look described above. It’s also more uniform and consistent across the sink’s surface and is generally preferred among people who don’t want to mess around with much upkeep. Compared to a naked finish, it definitely requires far less maintenance.
- Naked – if you want to display copper at its most authentic and raw, a naked copper sink gives you just that. This completely natural copper sink without a finish lets you pick your own maintenance style. You can keep it polished and shiny with various finishes and copper care kits.
- Verde – these finishes are rare among copper sinks, but they’re also more unique. If you’ve ever seen copper items with an unusual green patina, that’s a Verde finish.
Copper is one of the softest metals, which is why its thickness can have an immense impact on a sink’s durability and the amount of wear and tear it suffers over time. And seeing as copper thickness varies between different manufacturers, knowing its gauge is important when you’re choosing your kitchen sink.
The gauge is simply the measure of the material’s thickness – often expressed as pounds per square. Generally, the lower this number is, the thicker your gauge will be. If you want to learn more, we suggest consulting a more detailed copper sink gauge guide.
For quick reference, 20 gauge copper is used to make the thinnest bath sinks. On the other hand, most farmhouse and kitchen sinks are made from 14 to 18-gauge material. So, when you’re browsing copper sinks, make sure you’ve checked the gauge before settling on a model.
Generally, thicker sinks require a bigger investment – but the quality you get makes up for the extra cost. Lower-gauge copper sinks often produce a specific tinny noise when you turn on the faucet, which is why many of them have foam block insulation.
However, thinner copper also means your sink will be more prone to easy denting – which is a more significant downside.
Interestingly enough, copper is in the extremely small group of elements whose nearly pure form is found in nature. Generally, copper sinks are made with almost pure copper, augmented by 1% zinc for integrity and strength.
Of course, the precise purity levels of the copper and the percentage and type of other elements will depend on the specific sink manufacturer. For instance, in China, India, and the Middle East, you’ll often find copper alloys that include lead. However, lead is largely banned in the Western world due to its harmfulness to people.
As for copper itself, don’t be surprised to see its raw color deepen over time – it’s particularly sensitive to oxidation, which is why it develops its familiar caramel-colored patina. And after exposure to various acids or salt, it’ll turn green.
However, its elemental properties also mean it’s incredibly simple to recycle and reuse – melting copper down and reworking the metal into brand new products is easier than with most metals. That’s why over 70% of all copper is still in circulation today – and yes, we’re talking about all the copper humans have ever mined.
It’s recyclable, eco-friendly, and a darn good centerpiece for your kitchen!