Copper sinks offer several terrific benefits, not the least of which is their unique aesthetic appeal. It has what's called a "living finish" and when left bare to the elements, will take on a patina over time as it darkens from it's polished pink hues to a more caramel brown.
Beyond it's good look however, copper also has more practical and useful qualities too. It's softer than steel and other sink materials so it's easily formed and shaped.
Regardless of whether you're interested in copper when choosing new kitchen sinks or for a new bathrooom sink, there are designs to suit virtually any style and situation.
But while copper brings with it a unique look and 'personality', there are some things about these sinks you should be aware of before making any final decisions. Understanding these facts can help you decide whether copper is a good choice for your kitchen or bathroom.
Before marching out to buy that shiny new (or stunningly 'tan') copper sink there are a few things you should know about copper. Armed with information, you'll be able to make a better buying decision and hopefully be satisfied with your sink for a long time to come.
That's a potentially good thing. However you should be aware that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has weighed in on this issue, regulating the claims that can be made about the antimicrobial properties.
Product makers who wish to make this claim about their products must register with the EPA, validating that the products are antimicrobial. You can check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) facts on the matter here. Additional information about copper's antimicrobial properties can be found at Copper.org, the website for the copper industry.
When you need precision, you may want to consider sinks made by more modern processes and/or with stricter quality controls. Either that, or verify the sink's dimensions (side-to-side, front-to-back and corner radii) to ensure they're consistent before accepting it.
More importantly however is that sealed copper negates any antimicrobial benefits that the copper may have since the copper material is no longer bare.
Shinier new copper sinks will ultimately darken on their own unless you seal it with a wax (like the kind used in antique restoration such as Renaissance wax) or polish it periodically.
Some custom sink makers can incorporate an overflow drain for you but you'll need to ask for it.
The information above is really meant to give you an idea of what you should consider if you're thinking about buying a copper sink. A copper kitchen or bathroom sink can add a very nice touch to the right decorating scheme. Just arm yourself with a little bit of education in order to make a good decision.
There's no shortage of sources for copper sinks but what might surprise you is that they range from small artisan shops to major sink and fixture manufacturers like Elkay, Bates & Bates, Native Trails and Herbau. You can buy them from online internet retailers or from offline stores and showrooms that carry plumbing fixtures.
You can find many of these sources by simply putting "copper sinks" into a search engine; the results are most often sites that sell these products. More often than not, websites that specialize in copper sinks will provide more information about them than generic shopping sites.
If you buy a sink online, be mindful of the warranty and the seller's policies with regard to shipping and returns. Warranty terms aren't all the same and they typically don't cover the finish or appearance of the sink.
Regardless of which source you choose to buy from just know that there is a wide range of sellers out there. The amount of information that they provide about their copper sink products will vary widely.
Look for those that provide enough information, sufficient to answer your questions. I tend to gravitate toward merchants that provide more information than less. For me, it shows they know their product and anticipate the kinds of questions that potential customers might ask.
If you find a retailer that doesn't provide enough information to answer your questions, either move on or contact them directly with your questions. Also, read and pay attention to their shipping and return policies and be aware of just what is covered in any warranty. I found some sellers that require you to ship a sink back to them very quickly and at your cost if you have a problem.
Ultimately your due diligence will pay dividends in getting a copper sink you'll be satisfied with.
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