Sunday, April 13, 2014

Unique countertops: Copper

            Besides quartz, granite, marble and wood, there are many other materials being used for countertops today. One of the more unique materials being used is copper. Copper countertops can be used to create a traditional old-world feel or a more modern design.


Color: It is reddish brown in color that changes and develops over time. Copper tops are a living surface and will react to its surroundings and develop a patina depending on use and care. You can polish it on a weekly basis to keep a rich brown color or allow it to develop a patina of burnished brown-black with green flecks.


Care: Copper has natural antimicrobial properties. A recent British study discovered that E coli survived on stainless steel for 34 days while it only lasted for 4 hours on copper. A light application of olive oil keeps copper tops relatively stain-free. Nothing can prevent acids from etching and discoloring copper. You must be ok with the changing color as part of its natural charm. It may sound surprising, but copper is relatively simple to clean. A mixture of lemon juice and salt will scour it well (be sure to rinse afterward), but you can also get by with warm water and a squirt of ordinary dish soap. Dry the surface thoroughly and wax or oil it periodically to keep it in the best possible shape.


Cons: Because it's soft, copper is easily marred by knives and heavy pots and is susceptible to everyday wear and tear. Although these often can be buffed out, some people enjoy the sense of age that results. If you're really concerned about dents, opt for a hammered or otherwise distressed finish, which won't show them nearly as prominently.


Cost: Copper countertops don’t come cheap. The average cost ranges from $100 to $175 per square foot installed. It takes skill to affix copper sheeting properly to a substrate. It’s probably best to leave this project to the professional.


Cool: You may have seen some floor or countertop pictures floating around where pennies have been used. This is a unique application, as well, though time consuming. Hammered or left smooth, the variety of looks you can achieve with copper countertops is endless.

So, what do you think about copper countertops? Would you consider using them in your kitchen? Shoot me an email and share your thoughts at

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