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A copper countertop can lend an atmosphere of traditional warmth to a
home. When handcrafted, copper surfaces are a true art form and
resemble crafts made by artisans of yore. And copper countertops,
custom made with a hammered finish, are truly unique. Copper looks
wonderful against dark, polished wood cabinets, perhaps only used for a
single accent top. Copper, as a material, fits with antique styles
beautifully, but copper countertops can also complement a modern kitchen
which is all metal, glass, and polish. Side-by-side with
stainless steel, these attractive surfaces provide warm color to a room.
When left unsealed, copper is a germ-free, anti-microbial material, and is self-renewing as well. It is sometimes used as an alternative to stone. Copper countertops are often made from 32 ounce, 48 ounce, or even 60 ounce copper, in either smooth or hammered finishes. The Copper Development Association's website discusses the use of copper in architectural applications. Their copper dimensions page discusses the lengths, widths, and thicknesses of commercially-available copper sheets and strips. Because copper is a relatively soft metal, a wood substrate is used as a backing for the copper when forming the countertop. The backsplash and nosing can be formed along with the countertop, and sometimes a copper sink is integrated into the countertop for a seamless appearance.
While copper countertops have a beautiful luster, they can dent, scratch, and discolor. They are made from a "living" material, which means that the copper will react to, and show marks from, air, acid, water, oil, and various food substances. Unsealed copper countertops will age over time to take on a mottled color and tarnished look. They truly develop a character of their own, which is what gives them their charm.
No chlorine-based or harsh cleaners are needed to keep copper countertops clean; use only water and mild soap. Sometimes a little olive oil is used to keep them somewhat stain free. If you aren't concerned about maintaining their anti-microbial characteristics and want to seal the countertops, a wax product can be used to polish their surfaces. However, once a countertop has been sealed, the sealing product may need to be reapplied periodically.
Sample Copper Finishes
The representative web sites listed below can help you select copper countertops. Browse through the galleries of photos on some of these sites, and you will quickly come to appreciate these visually striking countertop surfaces.
Copper Countertop Fabricators
Related Countertop Page
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