The use of zinc and other metals for countertops and a variety of kitchen surfaces is an emerging trend. Gives a warm look to the kitchen. The color of the zinc is more similar to pewter and is nothing like stainless steel. The finish is actually reminiscent of the duller look unique to bullet metals. Over time, the zinc oxidizes and takes on a patina like an early American mug. Although it is softer than stainless steel, zinc will resist teeth. However, it will scratch with frequent use. Fortunately, many people find that it adds to the rustic charm. Trivets and cutting boards are recommended to prevent heat damage and scratches.
In any case, it’s a nice change from the cold, institutional look of stainless steel. For those who prefer a cleaner, more polished look for their zinc counters, a clear coat can be applied to maintain a smoother finish. If someone isn’t happy with seeing so much wear and tear, another option would be to buff the zinc regularly to brighten the look. Also, the sanding process to remove unwanted scratches and scuffs is not difficult.
Since zinc is a necessary mineral for the body, it is an absolutely safe material to use for countertops. Because the zinc oxide that forms on the surface is a natural inhibitor of mold, mildew, and bacteria, it is recommended for use on chopping blocks and in food preparation areas. Keep in mind that different foods and beverages can leave their own mark on a zinc countertop, but because zinc is naturally non-porous, it’s virtually stain resistant. Cleaning and maintenance is a breeze as the zinc can be easily cleaned with warm water and a mild detergent. Cleaners containing abrasives should not be used. If the natural tarnishing process is not desirable, it can be controlled somewhat by waxing the surface with beeswax.
Just like any other material used for countertops, zinc countertops can accommodate any undermount sink of your choice. Another popular option is to have a custom zinc sink welded to the counter so it becomes one seamless piece. In addition to countertops, zinc can be used to design other surfaces. Metal tile and patterned backsplashes are also available for a custom look. Range hoods, cabinet doors, and wall panels are other options offered to enhance the rustic charm of any kitchen.
The price of zinc starts at around $120 per square foot. Although it is about the same cost as granite, the look is completely unique and designer. Stainless steel can be durable and look elegant in a modern kitchen, but metals like zinc and copper can pair beautifully with more traditional or vintage-style kitchens. One of the advantages that metal countertops have over all other materials is that they are fully recyclable. As a bonus, the smoother metal counter edges can be decoratively molded into almost any design you can imagine.