Advantages of Copper Fixtures for your Kitchen and Bathroom

Copper kitchen sinks aren’t exactly common. In fact, of all the materials you can use to make a kitchen sink, copper is not only the least often used, but also one of the least commonly discussed. So you might not know that copper kitchen sinks offer a whole host of practical and aesthetic benefits that you simply won’t find in sinks made from any other material, and easily rival and exceed other common materials in terms of quality, usability, and durability.

Most copper sinks are made of pure, unrecycled copper. On the down side, that means they tend to be a bit expensive. But that pure copper comes with an unexpected up side: it’s naturally antiseptic, and will actually kill any bacteria that comes into contact with it, usually within just a few hours. While germs can linger even on the stainless steel sinks commonly found in hospitals, copper sinks will eliminate them outright, making copper an ideal choice for anyone concerned about keeping their kitchen bacteria-free.

The antiseptic properties of copper also means that sinks made of copper are, to a certain extent, self-cleaning. Since the sink itself prohibits bacterial growth, you don’t really have to worry about any nasties growing in the cracks or crevices, and intensive cleaning with harsh chemicals simply isn’t necessary. In fact, many chemicals (or even natural cleaners like lemon or vinegar that are acidic) can actually damage the finish of a copper sink. All you need to do to keep a copper sink looking its best is rinse it and wipe it down with a soft cloth, and maybe gently towel dry if you’re concerned about water spots.

Another unique feature of copper kitchen sinks is that their finish continues to develop over time, and becomes deeper and richer the more the sink is used. Virtually all copper kitchen sinks start with an antique patina – that is, a soft, natural aging that darkens the copper to a warm chocolatey brown. Harsh chemicals or acidic foods or liquids will essentially polish away this patina if left in contact with the sink for too long, much the same way a penny will regain some of its shine when soaked in vinegar. But while this type of “damage” might be highly visible at first, if left alone the polished copper will begin aging again and eventually any damage will bend right back in and become virtually invisible.

The same goes for minor surface scratches. Chips and mars can ruin most other kinds of sinks, but because copper kitchen sinks are made of solid copper all the way through, the worst that will happen – even with a fairly deep gouge – is that the polished, new copper beneath will be revealed. Most damage is so minor that as the copper ages, it will blend right back in, and more significant damage can also be repaired more easily and seamlessly than with a finicky, multi-layered material like porcelain.

Copper sinks are also pretty difficult to damage in the first place. Made of thick, solid metal, these are heavy duty sinks that resist dints and dings and are really designed to be heirloom quality pieces. As with stainless steel sinks, lower gauge copper sinks are thicker, sturdier, and more durable, but hand hammered copper sinks in general tend to be high quality and very resilient.

Of course, the ultimate deciding point when choosing a new sink is style, and copper kitchen sinks are nothing if not distinctive in that regard. Most copper sinks (though not all) are farmhouse style sinks with a dimpled, hand-hammered finish. That, combined with their deep brown patina, gives these sinks a look that toes the line between classic elegance and something a little more rustic – evidenced by the fact that these sinks are often paired with a French country style. For a slightly more elaborate, traditional look, many copper farmhouse sinks have decorative aprons that feature beautiful metalwork, but the vast majority stick with that simple hammered finish for a humble, artisanal texture.

Copper kitchen sinks of all shapes and sizes are a bold, distinctive choice, and one that isn’t right for every kitchen. But if the look fits, they also happen to be of the rare few luxury options out there that’s both easy to care for and unlikely to be damaged with routine use, making them a great compromise for a stylish kitchen in a busy household.

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