Monday, June 25, 2012

Surprise Contender: Copper for Kitchen Countertops

By: Lisa Frederick (Courtesy of Houzz)

Unexpected and full of character, copper is getting buffed for its
growing appearance on the countertop scene.

If you're in the market for a kitchen makeover, you've probably spent hours debating countertop choices.  Granite or marble? Laminate or quartz? Soapstone or stainless steel? Just to add to your dilemma, here's one more player on the scene: copper. Although it's not as common as its countertop cousins, this timeless favorite is growing in popularity, and it's worth adding to your list of possibilities. Here's what you need to know.

The Pros of Copper

Ease of maintenance. 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.

Mellow patina. Considered a "living" surface, copper tarnishes as it oxidizes and reacts to the substances that cross it. For many, that's part of its appeal. Unsealed copper will gradually dull and transition to a blend of matte reds, browns and greens, which a lot of homeowners appreciate for the character it adds.

Germ resistance. Some — but not all — copper alloys have natural antimicrobial properties. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates this claim and requires manufacturers to register antimicrobial copper products, so check with the EPA if you want to ensure that your copper countertop (like these along the perimeter of this kitchen) will resist bacteria.

Green living.
Copper often can be salvaged from scrap yards or commercial applications, so it's popular with those committed to sustainable living.
Versatility. Copper is a chameleon — it can take on a variety of personalities to suit your space. It feels as appropriate in a modern townhouse or an industrial loft as it does in a traditional kitchen or a comfortable cottage.

The Cons of Copper

Discoloration. This is the flip side of the pretty patina that copper develops. If you're attached to the new-penny look of shiny copper, you'll have to be diligent about resealing. Check out examples of aged copper countertops to determine if or how much you'll still like them years down the road.

Dings and scratches. 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.

At Cabinet-S-Top, helping you choose the right countertop
is one of our specialities. 
Stop by our showroom to see our selection. 
We are located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256

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