Copper has several positive qualities that make it a good material for worktops, including its bright shine when new, the rich, history-filled patina that has developed over the years, its ease of cleaning, and its longevity.
Copper is more costly than other countertop materials and has many drawbacks, including its mutability, scarcity as a resource, inaccessibility to the do-it-yourself crowd, potential for environmental damage, and general unpredictability.
Copper is an exciting and potentially helpful material for kitchen counters. If you’re considering installing copper countertops in your house, this article will provide the information you need to make an informed decision.
There are several positive aspects of having copper countertops:
Copper is a stunning metal that has served humanity well for aeons. Copper has certain benefits as a countertop material, such as:
Copper stands out when used as a tabletop material. The worktops in your kitchen will be the focal point, and they will look great with additional copper accents, such as light fixtures, range hoods, backsplashes, and even sculptures.
Copper comes in various finishes, so choosing one that works with your aesthetic is easy.
To visualize the range of copper countertop hues, consider the colour of pennies, which also contain copper. Copper countertops may be any combination of red, pink, green, black, and brown and even acquire their unique patinas over time.
Copper, after polished, takes on a rosy hue similar to a freshly minted penny. It’s a copper finish, but it looks and feels like valuable metal or jewellery.
Polished copper will need regular care to prevent it from appearing dull due to its natural reaction with oxygen.
Unsealed copper countertops change colour and create unusual patterns over time. The patina that develops over time on your countertops is part of what gives them their unique charm. The ageing process often brings darker areas, occasionally accompanied by green spots.
The hue of aged or heavy gauge copper is a deep reddish-brown. The copper that has been aged takes on a delicate, almost leathery quality. Pre-patinated copper countertops are available and will age more subtly than untreated copper.
With its brighter and cleaner look, a polished copper countertop is more at home in a contemporary kitchen. Countertops made of aged and patinated copper may complement a country or classic kitchen perfectly.
Some of the fun of cooking might be lost while cleaning the kitchen. Copper counters facilitate sanitation and hygiene.
It has long been known that copper may be an effective antibacterial agent. Since bacteria and germs have difficulty surviving on copper, countertops seldom need sanitizing.
Copper countertops are easy to maintain; wipe them off with soapy water and a soft cloth. It will remove any stubborn stains or spills, and the copper’s antimicrobial characteristics will ensure that the countertop stays clean.
Other types of counters might need a different cleaning solution. Copper countertops reduce the things you need to keep the kitchen clean.
Copper may be discoloured by the use of some acidic cleaning chemicals. Copper countertops may react negatively to acids and bases, so it’s best to steer clear of vinegar, bleach, and ammonia. Your copper counters can last longer with a basic cleaning plan.
Durable and reusable
If adequately cared for, copper countertops may last far longer than your lifetime. Copper doesn’t deteriorate or get weaker from contact with water or air, so the patina they form isn’t like rust on steel.
Dents and scratches on a copper countertop won’t stop you from using it. Countertops showing evidence of age and usage are highly sought for this exact reason.
Your copper countertops may be reused and recycled if you ever decide to get rid of them. Someone willing to acquire the countertops in their entirety and re-install them would be easy to locate. If not, the copper may be recycled into something else.
The value of copper has risen steadily over time due to its scarcity. Copper might be sold for a profit if its price increases after you get it. Copper countertops are an investment that may increase in value if the price of copper rises.
Disadvantages of Copper Countertops
Copper is an attractive material but has drawbacks if you use it for your countertops. That stunning attractiveness is not without its downsides, including:
Exorbitant Price Tag
Copper is one of the costliest countertop materials, costing anywhere from $100 to $200 per square foot, installation included. A copper countertop for a standard 30-square-foot kitchen will cost you $3,500 to $6,000.
Another luxurious choice, marble countertops, may run you anywhere from $65 to $95 per square foot after installation. Laminate is one of the least expensive countertop materials, ranging from $40 to $80 per square foot.
Copper’s strong demand may be attributed to its widespread use in transmitting energy and data in modern technological devices. Copper is expensive because it is in great need, and you are competing with other businesses.
Sensitive to Harm
A soft metal, like copper. On the Mohs scale, which ranges from 1 to 10, 3 is in the middle. Steel, used to make kitchen knives, has a Mohs hardness rating 6.5.
Due to its suppleness, copper may be easily scratched or sliced with a kitchen knife. Copper countertops are easily dented, even from the impact of dropped plates and other equipment.
Scratches on a patinated copper countertop will seem bright pink and could be challenging to fix.
Copper is not the most challenging material used for kitchen counters. Quartz is 6-7 on the Mohs scale, whereas granite is 8-9. On the Mohs scale, the hardness of marble lies between that of copper (3-4) and that of granite (3-2).
Copper countertops are beautiful, but they need special maintenance. Copper countertops can last longer if you use cutting boards and pay attention while you’re near them. Careful handling of granite countertops is essential, but you should consider alternatives if you can’t be bothered.
Changes in Appearance That Can’t Be Predicted
Since copper has a living surface, its look evolves. Copper countertops may be protected from ageing with regular care, but this may be too much effort for some homeowners.
Copper countertops may become grimy and unappealing over time. Copper countertops that seem unclean may make you feel uneasy and like you need to clean the kitchen more often than you’d like if you want a spotless cooking space.
Copper countertops are beautiful but go through a patina process that some people find unsightly. People who are very particular about their kitchen looks could not get along with copper countertops.
DIY Copper Countertops Are Not Recommended
Copper counter installation is a sensitive process that may quickly go wrong. Hiring a professional with prior expertise in installing copper countertops is recommended.
Copper countertops are expensive, and the installation increases the cost even more. Copper countertops may not look their best if you try to install them independently due to the risk of shredding and bubbles in the copper sheet.
Copper counters are more user-friendly than stone ones since they weigh less and can be shaped using standard tools. Although copper countertops are beautiful, we wouldn’t recommend installing them yourself unless you have the expertise and are willing to risk destroying the pricey material.
DIY counters made of wood or laminate may be the ideal option due to their low cost and ease of installation. To save costs and make the process more enjoyable, you can consider alternatives to copper for your countertops.
Copper is not a sustainable material.
Copper is not an excellent option if you’re trying to make a sustainable and ecologically friendly product. Copper is integral to many valuable things, but a kitchen countertop is a luxury item you may decide to craft from environmentally friendly materials.
Copper may be recycled, and when it is, it can be utilized in various applications, including aircraft construction, medical gadgets, and other technological devices. Purchasing a copper countertop increases the demand for copper, increasing the price of other essentials.
You should consider the environmental effect of copper mining on which countertops to choose. Open-pit mining is the most common technique for extracting copper, but it may permanently alter significant parts of the landscape.
To put your mind at ease, selecting copper for your countertops will not harm the environment irreparably. The materials we use have consequences; we must consider those consequences and make an informed choice.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, writer/real estate agent/investor/renovation nut Luke Miller does it all.
While growing up in Iowa, he helped his family take care of most of their own needs, so he learned how to handle anything from fixing leaky faucets and walls to changing light bulbs. He finds great satisfaction in instructing and advising his fellow do-it-yourselfers.