How to Find and Choose A Quality Copper Sink

Posted in: Copper Sinks
2010-03-12 21:01:02
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Copper Sinks are Easy to MaintainThe other day we talked about how eco-friendly copper sinks are.  Today we are going debunk a myth about copper sinks and talk about what to look for when purchasing a copper sink.  With so many choices available it is very easy to make a mistake depending on what your end result goals are.   Let’s begin by myth busting a common misconception. Copper sinks are time consuming to clean and are difficult to take care of.  WRONG! Copper sinks, by which we mean quality copper sinks made from 99.7% of copper like you will find on our site, are easy to care for.  A lot of people think of copper pots and pans and how difficult they were to keep clean.  Before the non stick Teflon you had copper in the bottoms of your pans.  These copper pots and copper pans had to be scrubbed and polished regularly. That is a lot of work, too much work in today’s fast paced world.  I can only imagine how people look back and remember how difficult and time consuming it was scrubbing and polishing their copper pots and pans and wonder, “why would I want to spend so much time scrubbing and polishing a beautiful copper sink?”.  I wouldn’t and I don’t blame you if you wouldn’t.  But here is some great news – quality copper sinks require little to no maintenance at all!  How is this possible? Well I’m getting a bit off track so we will talk about that on another day.  Today we are talking about finding a quality copper sink. Step 1: Finding a Quality Copper Sink So how do you know your copper sink is of a good quality?  Make sure your copper sink is made of 99.9% copper.  A lot of cheaper copper sinks are only made of 90% copper and these you will have to scrub and polish.  If in the care description it states that you need to wipe out the copper sink after each use, just keep on looking.  It may be the cheapest bathroom copper sink you have found, but how much is your time worth?  Can you imagine washing your hands, and then having to stop and wipe the bowl dry afterwards?  Can you imagine your family and guests having to do the same thing?  It doesn’t make for a fun time for most people. Step 2: Construction of a Quality Copper Sink Construction is something you should look at in a copper sink.  “Duhh”, you may think.  But we are not talking about looking something over to make sure there aren’t any holes where there shouldn’t be or any other basic construction aspect.  You need to look a bit deeper at the construction.  Think ahead for when the copper sink will be in use. Hand-rolled Corners and Edges A good quality copper sink will feature hand rolled corners and seams.  Why is this important?  Well picture a copper sink (or look at the image below) that does not have a rolled corner and seam.  Imagine how much dirt, grime, food, etc. would get stuck in the small, tight corners and seams.  With a rolled seam and rolled corners you will not have this problem.  There are no tight corners for the dirt and grime to get stuck in.  The hand rolled corners and seam feature promotes proper drainage and easy cleaning.  Simply rinse the sink and walk away. Reinforcements and Supports A good quality large kitchen sink will also have hidden reinforced corners under the sink.  Look at the image below. Notice the difference?  On the left is a good quality Premier Copper Product single bowl farmhouse apron kitchen copper sink.   On the right is a low cost, low quality “similar” product.  The sink on the left has three 14 gauge supports that provide stability in the middle of the apron and at the corners.  This feature will keep the apron straight for the lifetime of the product.  Since copper is a soft metal, a straight apron that remains straight over time is a difficult task that is only accomplished by a skilled artisan and maintained by proper support. Troughed Quality copper kitchen sinks will also be troughed to provide proper drainage to the drain.  A copper sink with a flat bottom (like the cheaper sink on the right) will have to be wiped dry after each use to keep the cheaper 90% copper sink from rusting. Step 3: Considering the Gauge of your Copper Sink The gauge of the copper used in the construction of a copper sink is an important consideration.  A thicker gauge will hold up better during regular use and will be less susceptible to dents or scratches.  You do not want a cheaper copper sink that is constructed by cutting corners using thinner materials for the sinks and supports. Step 4: Tempered Patinas The natural rich look you will find on quality copper sinks is achieved by heat-setting, or tempering, the copper to a patina finish.  The patina is a living finish that will endlessly regenerate throughout the life of the product with regular use and simple maintenance.  Poorly manufactured copper sinks achieve color with chemical treatments and sealants that are not easily maintained over time. Step 5:  The Last Consideration The term “handmade” can mean many things.  Most of the companies making lesser quality copper sinks will promote the term “handmade” to disguise poor or inconsistent manufacturing techniques.  Purchasing acopper sink that is manufactured by a known and trusted copper sink manufacturer may cost a bit more up front, but will save you time, trouble, and more than likely more money in the end. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.  In the area of copper sinks this is very true.  However, just because a sink may be priced a few hundred dollars more than another does not necessarily make it better.  Some may try to disguise their poor construction and cheaper materials by raising the price to portray the thought “You are spending so much more on this copper sink, it must be the best”.  Look at the sink and compare it to our steps above.  If it has everything mentioned in the steps above then it will be a great quality copper sink and you will enjoy not only a lifetime of use out of it, but a lifetime of comments from friends and family about how beautiful your copper sink is.
Great post. I made the mistake once of buying a copper coated steel sink. It started to rust and wouldn't stay clean. It was absolutely horrible. I thought I hated copper sinks from that point, but after some research I found that the rusting was from the steel and copper plating sucks. We now have a real copper sink and 3 months in we are still loving it, it is so much easier to keep clean. Just wipe it out and you're done.
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