The time has come to search for a new kitchen sink. Maybe you’re building a new home, or your old kitchen sink is barely functioning properly. Either way, it’s time to select a new sink for your kitchen. As you search for the perfect sink, you come across copper sinks.
They’re beautiful and could add a stunning visual element to your kitchen, but are they worth the price? We’re here to break down the pros and cons of copper kitchen sinks, so stick around to learn more!
What Is A Copper Sink?
Copper sinks are simply kitchen sinks composed of copper. High-quality copper sinks usually feature incredibly high percentages of metal, with 99% pure copper and 1% zinc. The zinc adds strength and integrity, but there shouldn’t be a high percentage of it in a solid-quality copper sink.
Copper sinks come in various shapes, styles, and designs, so you can find something to match almost any aesthetic. The farmhouse copper sink is one of the most popular variations, as it places the beautiful coppery color on full display.
Pros Of Copper Sinks
If durability, longevity, and beautiful looks are critical factors you look for in a sink, copper is an excellent choice. Here are a few of the notable benefits of copper kitchen sinks:
If you’re looking for a beautiful sink that will capture the gaze of everyone who enters the space, copper is an excellent choice. It doesn’t matter if you preserve the shiny surface or let a patina take over – it remains the center of attention in nearly any kitchen.
Copper sinks come in a few different finishes, including hand-hammered and smooth, so you can choose the design that best matches your aesthetic. These sinks complement almost any space, whether you have a modern design or a cottagecore-themed design.
Copper sinks can last many decades with proper care and maintenance. In some cases, it can last a lifetime. Although the upfront price is steep, you might not need to buy a new sink ever again, so you could consider it an investment!
It sounds far-fetched, but copper is actually antibacterial. So, your copper sink won’t house any unwelcome guests because the surface naturally kills most bacteria. In the Letters in Applied Microbiology, we see this taking effect. The study was done in various facilities, including a hospital, kindergarten, office building, and retirement home,
In this study, researchers found that using copper on surfaces in these locations drastically reduced the presence of various types of bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus (the primary cause of staph infections).
So, when you construct a kitchen sink with copper, you get natural antimicrobial properties. This is an added benefit in the kitchen, as the sink is a breeding ground for bacteria (dirty dishes, moist environment, etc.).
Easy To Clean
Although copper is somewhat of a high-maintenance material, it’s easy to clean. You’ll have to clean more frequently than you would with other sink materials, like stainless steel, but it’s well worth the extra few minutes of rinsing.
You don’t need any special or fancy cleaners to clean a copper sink – mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft sponge will do the trick.
Copper kitchen sinks are exceptionally durable, as they’re made of much heavier materials than other materials, like stainless steel. They hold up well under heavy use, so they’re an excellent choice for busy households.
Cons Of Copper Sinks
Although copper sinks have abundant benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider before committing. Here are a few possible cons of copper kitchen sinks:
Copper sinks feature a “live” finish, as the surface will change over time. You can let the sink develop a patina, which is a rich greenish film, as it oxidizes. While some folks appreciate the aged look of the patina, not everyone appreciates the disappearance of the shiny finish.
So, if you want to preserve the classic, coppery appearance, you’ll need to follow specific maintenance to prevent the patina from developing. Or, if you appreciate the look of the patina, you’ll need to follow different instructions to ensure acidic foods and liquids don’t strip away the patina.
Tricky To Install
In some cases, copper sinks are relatively hefty. This is particularly true of farmhouse copper sinks, which feature extra material in the apron-front design. Due to the sheer weight of these sinks, installing them can be difficult. The added weight makes it hard to maneuver the sink into place, and extra supports are often necessary to prevent the sink from falling through the cabinet.
So, it’s usually best to leave the installation process to a professional unless you’re an avid DIYer or experienced in this trade.
Susceptible To Damage
Although copper sinks are relatively easy to maintain, they require quite a bit of maintenance to avoid damage. Using improper cleaning materials and techniques can damage the surface, leaving noticeable marks and discoloration on your sink.
For example, if you left a splash of ketchup or tomato sauce on a patinaed copper sink, it would leave a bright spot where the patina was stripped away. Or, if you use harsh chemicals on the sink, you could cause discoloration and damage to the surface.
As long as you make a conscious effort with maintenance, the sink should be just fine!
On average, installing a standard kitchen sink costs roughly $400 for materials and installation. If you choose a copper sink, you can expect that number to climb significantly. The cost of installing a copper kitchen sink ranges between $400 and $2,000, so they’re considerably pricier than other kitchen sink materials.
Of course, prices vary based on the sink you choose. For example, a copper farmhouse sink (aka apron front or apron sink) would be considerably pricier than a regular copper drop-in sink. There’s extra copper necessary for the apron-front design (not to mention the added weight, which requires additional support), so they tend to be more expensive.
Are They Worth It?
So, after all this discussion, are copper sinks actually worth the hype? In our opinion, copper sinks deserve the spotlight they receive – they’re durable, beautiful, antimicrobial, and long-lasting sinks. What is there to dislike?
Of course, they’re not without faults – they can be tricky to install, require more maintenance, and have a steep upfront cost. However, with the help of a professional, installation is a breeze. Wiping down the sink each day only takes a few minutes, and the price is justifiable since these sinks can last a lifetime.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you don’t like the coppery look (or the patina), a copper sink isn’t the best choice for you. But if you appreciate the look of copper sinks, we think the benefits outweigh the cons, so it’s hard to go wrong with a copper sink!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Copper Good For A Kitchen Sink?
Absolutely! Copper is an excellent material for kitchen sinks, as it offers exceptional durability, longevity, and natural antimicrobial properties (great for kitchens). Although you’ll pay a pretty penny (no pun intended) for these sinks, they can last a lifetime.
Are Copper Sinks Hard To Maintain?
There’s a common misconception that copper sinks are hard to maintain. In truth, these sinks are incredibly easy to maintain, but they require more maintenance than most sinks. You shouldn’t have any issues as long as you stay on top of cleaning.
How Do You Clean A Copper Kitchen Sink?
Cleaning a copper kitchen sink is simple – all you need is mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth or sponge. After each use, rinse the sink to remove any acidic or oily residue left behind from food or drinks.
Saturate a soft cloth or sponge with warm water, then add a few drops of dish soap to create suds. Gently wipe down the entire surface of the sink, ensuring you remove any gunk left behind. Rinse away the suds with warm water, then dry the sink with a clean, soft towel.