Zinc Countertops - The More Unusual Choice for Metal Lovers
When it comes to counter tops there are an awful lot of choices available to the average homeowner and choosing just one can seem like quite a chore. One type of counter top material that has been gaining popularity recently is the metal counter top but even then you still have even more choices to make! One of the latest trends in metal counter tops though, the zinc counter top, is one that you may not know so much about.
Zinc for Counter Tops?
Most people will have used zinc for one purpose or another at some point in their lives. Zinc is a popular ingredient in baby diaper rash creams and it can also be used as a very effective and very strong sunblock. Zinc is also often added to cold medicines and it has very powerful cold fighting powers. But at the end of the day zinc is actually a metal and it can also be used to create rather impressive looking counter tops.
What Do Zinc Countertops Look Like?
You may think that you have never seen a zinc countertop but if you have ever been in certain upscale drinking establishments or in an oyster bar the chances are that you actually have as zinc is a very popular choice for these kinds of businesses.
Although zinc counter tops used to mainly be reserved for commercial use more people are discovering their charm when installed in the home as well.
Most zinc counter tops have a color that resembles pewter, at least when they are first installed. they are installed, like other metal counter top options, over a wooden base for extra stability.
The color your zinc counter tops are the day they are installed is not going to be the color they remain though. Over time that color will change and it may change quite often as zinc will react with everything from plain tap water to lemon juice and these things can often cause a subtle color change.
Usually as a patina develops over time the initially white-ish gray color of the average zinc counter top will become a subtle blue green with many other subtle colors mixed in. For many people that is a huge part of the appeal of a zinc countertop - whatever else they can be assured that no one will ever have one quite like it.
Zinc Counter Top Pros and Cons
Like any other counter top material you might consider for your home zinc counter tops have their own unique set of pros and cons that have to be kept in mind as you make a decision about just what counter top material is really the right choice for you.
Zinc Countertop Pros
Here are just a few of the reasons some people love zinc countertops:
- The Appearance - there is a very good reason that many commercial restaurants and bars that want to impart a sophisticated vibe choose zinc countertops. While they have look that could be described as similar to stainless steel they possess a warmth that that material does not. Their initial color will match almost any others use in an overall decor scheme and although those colors will change over time they never become garish or unattractive. You can actually prevent much of the natural patina from affecting zinc countertops by regularly applying a layer of beeswax to them. For many people though that is not something that they would want to do anyway because the color changes are something they had planned on and are looking forward to!
- Easy to Clean - Another big reason for zinc’s popularity in dining and bar establishments is that it is very easy to keep clean. As it is naturally non porous it resists stains very well, although as previously mentioned some things will speed the color change. Usually though all it takes to keep a zinc counter top clean is a mild detergent and water.
- Natural Anti Bacterial Properties - Like copper zinc possesses some quite impressive natural anti bacterial properties, a plus in most kitchen owner’s eyes.
Zinc Countertop Cons
There are a few things about zinc counter tops though that many might consider less desirable attributes:
- Zinc is a Soft Metal - Zinc is a softer metal than stainless steel and as such is far more likely to collect nicks and scratches meaning that if you want to maintain a relatively scratch free surface you will have to make sure that everyone uses a cutting board at all times.
- Zinc can Have Problems with Heat - Zinc’s softer nature can also mean that a very hot pot placed right onto it can cause lasting damage. A few minutes from a kettle probably would not do nay harm though.
- Zinc is Expensive - Remember the part about zinc counter tops being found in higher end establishments? The higher end part comes from the fact that there is no way that zinc countertops could ever be considered a budget choice. Although pricing will vary according to where you happen to live and the demand for metal counter tops in your area it is reasonable to say that you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of $2,000 for a single 24” by 48” zinc counter top.