Copper Farmhouse Sinks
You can’t get much more traditional than a copper farmhouse sink – man’s oldest metal, copper has been in use for more than 10,000 years. Today, copper sinks make for a bold, metallic design choice, while also lending a rustic, artisanal vibe to your kitchen space, and creating a welcoming hearth for guests to gather around.
When considering a copper sink, there are three main areas you’ll want to look at to determine a copper farmhouse sink’s quality. First, there’s the purity of the sink. Copper is a rare metal that is found in nature in its purest form. As a result, you’ll get more benefits from a sink that retains this natural state as much as possible, without adding in other materials. Generally speaking a small amount of zinc (1% or less) may be added to your copper sink to boost the sink’s durability and overall strength. Be sure to check that your copper sink is certified lead and mercury free as well.
What are the benefits of a pure copper sink? For one thing, copper is a natural antimicrobial material, which kills almost 100% of harmful bacteria, enhancing the overall sanitation of your kitchen with minimal effort. Copper is also naturally stain-resistant and rust-resistant in its purest state, for a sink that’s truly built to last.
The second consideration when selecting a copper farmhouse sink is the sink’s gauge. The lower the gauge, the thicker the copper. As a soft metal, a lower gauge copper sink will perform better in the long run, particularly with heavy or sustained use. The thinnest gauge of copper sink available is 20 gauge, but it’s typically used for copper bathroom sinks, not kitchen sinks. When shopping for a copper kitchen sink, you’ll want to look for a 14 to 18 gauge sink. Another benefit of a thicker gauge copper sink is less noise when water is spraying in the sink. Plus, lower gauge copper sinks will also withstand damage better if you accidentally drop a heavy pot or pan into the sink.
The final key aspect that determines a copper sink’s quality is how it’s made. Most traditional copper farmhouse sinks are hand hammered, which may result in some unique differences or ‘imperfections’ between each sink. That being said, your copper farmhouse sink should ultimately adhere to the manufacturer’s stated size with only nominal measurement differences for both the sink frame and drain opening. You’ll also want to ensure your sink’s seams are welded and not soldered to ensure they hold up over time and don’t tarnish. Keep in mind that many copper sinks, particularly those with a smooth finish, are actually crafted using machines.
Copper Farmhouse Sink - A Bold Statement
If you’re debating whether to purchase a copper farmhouse sink, there are three special considerations you’ll want to keep in mind. The first is price. Copper is one of the most expensive materials to choose for your farmhouse sink – but for good reason. These sinks can last a lifetime. In fact, some historical copper sinks are still in use that were crafted a century ago. When it comes to making a strong design statement, however, you simply can’t go with a stronger look than a copper apron front sink.
A second consideration is whether you, of course, like the look of copper. Unlike other sink materials, there’s really only one main finish for copper – usually a brownish metallic tone. Some copper sink manufacturers do add a unique patina that may give the sink a darker or brighter tone, but if you wanted a different metallic finish such as gold, your best bet would be to look at a brass sink instead.
Keep in mind that all copper sinks will develop their own patina over time, no matter how carefully you look after it. You may want to check with the manufacturer to see how your sink might age to ensure it still has a look that works with your kitchen design. Given pennies are also made of copper, think about the different tones you’ve seen pennies in to get an idea of how your sink might look different in the future.
Maintaining Your Copper Farm Sink
Finally, maintaining the beauty of your copper farmhouse sink takes a bit more effort than other materials. A mild soap and water, or a specialty copper cleaner are all that’s required to polish up your sink. Copper is not particularly heat-resistant, and may also be damaged by acidic food and drinks such as orange juice. In addition, smooth copper farmhouse sinks are more susceptible to showing scratches or dents over time.
While copper farmhouse sinks are somewhat limited in color or patina options, they do have plenty of other unique characteristics that can help customize the look of your sink. For example, you can choose from a single, double, or even triple bowl copper sink. Some copper sinks center the drain in the middle, while others have an offset design that allows you to put dirty dishes on one side while scrubbing up over the drain.
Because of the striking impact copper makes in a kitchen, copper farmhouse sinks have made a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Apron front copper sinks may be a simple flat front or have a more dramatic ornate flourish such as a sculptural or basket weave design. Copper sinks also come in two different finishes. For a more rustic, handcrafted look, you’ll want to go with a hammered finish. If you’re aiming for something more contemporary, a smooth surface will work perfectly. You can even find copper farmhouse sinks that can be installed as an undermount sink if that’s what works best for your kitchen design.
One final benefit of copper sinks? They’re actually recyclable. Copper is an always-in-demand material that is relatively easy to repurpose. If you’re redesigning your kitchen, you can take comfort knowing that your beautiful copper farmhouse sink will find new life in a sustainable manner. Because copper sinks require a unique manufacturing process and set of skills, they aren’t as widely available as some other materials. Polaris, Houzer, and Whitehaus are three of the best-known copper sink manufacturers around, all offering unparalleled design choices, attention to detail and craftsmanship, and a quality product that will stand the test of time.
Creating a bold design statement while offering up plenty of benefits for today’s modern homeowners, you truly can’t go wrong. We have the best copper farmhouse sink for you.