If you are looking for an original touch to add to your kitchen, then you might consider a copper sink. Copper sinks have many great qualities that make them a great addition to any kitchen. Not only do they add character, but they also add a touch of color. You can play off of that color when you are choosing kitchen nook sets or decorating your breakfast nook. In addition to the aesthetic qualities, copper also has qualities related to cleanliness and durability. Overall, a copper kitchen sink, will increase the value and character of your home. There are many different styles and finishes to choose from when you are deciding between copper kitchen sinks. You also have to make decisions about the thickness or gauge of the copper ad how the sink is made. While not a simple one, the decision to purchase a copper sink will definitely be a good one for your kitchen because when you weigh the copper sinks pros and cons there are many more pros.
Copper Sink Style
Of course, there is a wide variety of styles you can choose from when deciding on a copper sink for your kitchen. While not as common as in the bathroom, a copper vessel sink is a possibility. Vessel sinks usually sit on top of the counter. Copper is a good material for a vessel sink because you can see both the inside of the vessel bowl and the outside. The color and texture of copper make both sides beautiful. You could also install an under mounted copper sink. This is the type of sink that would drop into a hole cut in the countertop. You would only be able to see the inside of the basin with this kind of copper sink and you would not be able to appreciate the beauty of the material as well as with some other styles. Probably the most common type of copper sink seen in the kitchen is the copper farm sink or copper apron sink. This is a basin sink, like the under mounted one, but the front of the basin can be seen. The cabinets or counter top is cut away and the front of the sink shows through. This style of sink shows off the copper best and is why it is most common.
Whether the basin sink is under mounted or a farm sink, you can have one, two, or three basins. Traditional farm sinks are usually only one large basin because traditional country cooking requires large pots and pans and you need a large sink to clean them in. However, the modern kitchen usually works better if you have at least two basins. The extra basins allow you a separate space to clean and prepare food and wash dirty dishes. In fact, three basin sinks often call the third basin the prep sink.
The Beauty of Copper Sinks
One of the reasons that copper sinks are so popular is because of the aesthetic wonder they possess. Because of the nature of the metal, copper sinks can be a variety of colors and textures. Whatever your personal preference, you can achieve it with a copper sink. Copper has an antique look to it, perhaps because it is a material that has been used in the construction of containers and tools for many hundreds of years. Yet, the metal has a kind of modern flare to it. No matter what your decorating tastes, a copper sink can fit into them.
When you are choosing your copper sink, you need to consider what kind of a finish you want it to have. There are two main choices. First, the finish could be smooth. A smooth finish is quite beautiful, but copper is a fairly malleable metal and dents and scratches could occur over time. If you do not want to have to constantly worry about working out dents or polishing away scratches, then you might want to consider the other major copper finish. You can also get copper sinks in a hammered finish. This means that you can still see some of the grooves and marks left behind from hammering the copper into the shape of a sink. The hammered finish gives the copper a more natural feel and it hides and dents or scratches well.
The other major decision you have to make about how your copper sink will look is what color you want it to be. Copper resists corrosion, but when exposed to air over time, a reaction occurs which changes the color of the copper. The copper might start out bright and shiny but over time the color will darken to a rusted aged look. It will even get a slight patina that has a tint of green. The green can vary from pale, to sage, to turquoise. The darkening color also makes it harder to see dents and scratches. There are ways to avoid the color change if you want to keep your copper sink looking brand new. But most people like the fact that the sink is constantly reinventing itself and adding new tones and possibilities to the color scheme of the kitchen.
Copper Sink Maintenance
Another reason that many people like copper sinks is that they are easy to take care of. As long as you are OK with the changing patina then you never have to do anything special for copper sink care other than wash it with mild soap and water. Copper is not porous like some of the other sink materials on the market. Therefore, bacteria and dirt cannot work their way into those pores. The natural antibacterial nature of copper sinks means that you do not have to use any harsh chemicals when cleaning them. When I finish the dishes or using my sink, I simply wipe down the inside with a soapy sponge and rinse. The only other additional work that you might want to do is to wipe the sink dry to avoid water spots. One thing to keep in mind is that acidic foods and juices can remove the patina. If this happen to you, do nothing. Over time, the patina will come back.
Copper sinks can be expensive, but keep in mind that they are handmade and will last a lifetime. You will never have to buy any special cleaners or tools to maintain the beauty of your copper sink. The only exception is if you want to avoid the development of a patina and any color change. In that case, you will need to apply a special wax occasionally. In addition to the low cost of caring for a copper sink, there is another reason to accept the higher price tag. Copper sinks are a green choice because copper is 100% recyclable. Many copper sinks are even made with recycled copper. I once read a statistic that around 90% of the copper ever used in making things was still in use today. That makes this one of the most renewable materials around. I think that is worth a little extra cost.
How to Buy a Copper Sink
No matter how many copper sink reviews you read, there is no way to tell if you will like the sink unless you see it in person. Every sink is different because the color and finish change over time. So, if it is at all possible, try to buy your copper sink from a vendor that you can visit and actually pick out the sink you want to take home. Nevertheless, no matter where you buy your sink, there are several things to make sure of. First, make sure you are buying a 100% copper sink. If the sink is made from recycled copper then there is a possibility that it is only 90% pure. This might not bother you, but make sure that the impurities do not include lead or mercury. These metals can be very harmful to your health and are common impurities or byproducts of the recycling process. Make sure you are buying the sink from a reputable company to ensure the purity of your copper. If you have any doubts, ask the manufacturer to give you some kind of assurance in writing as to the composition of your sink.
There are two other things to consider when buying a copper sink for your kitchen and both have to do with the quality of the construction. You want to pay particular attention to gauge or thickness of the copper used when making your sink. The gauge can range anywhere from 14 to 20. 14 are best, but 16 are acceptable. The higher the number - the thinner the metal. As the metal gets thinner the risk of dents and damage goes up and the sound of the water hitting the sink becomes tinnier. That tinny sound can be very distracting and unwelcome. The other thing to look for is that the seams in your sink are copper welded and not welded with some other metal or soldered. Solder is not as strong as welding and other metals will not go through the same color changes and could stick out over time.