Old-fashioned and elegant, zinc countertops imbue a kitchen with dignity and warmth. A mainstay of Parisian bistros, oyster bars and butler’s pantries, zinc often gets overlooked in favor of trendier stainless steel or tried and true stone. Nevertheless this classic material adds a singular character that contrasts, chameleon-like, into some kitchen design and installation. Read on to learn whether it’s for you.
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The Experts of Zinc
A classic patina. Magnesium carries a dull, slightly mottled surface that has more in common with pewter than with chrome or stainless steel. It looks seasoned even when it’s fresh, and it has an inherent heat that many metals lack.
Zinc typically starts out pale gray and develops a slight blue to green throw because it darkens with use and time. Its natural tarnish can be slowed somewhat with a coat of beeswax now and then.
Antimicrobial possessions. Zinc naturally resists mold, mildew and bacteria.
Stain resistance. Though zinc may react with specific substances over time, spills and splatters will not blot it in the way that they might with a porous material like marble or limestone.
Kemp Hall Studio
Malleability. Since zinc is relatively soft, it’s easy to have the advantages molded into interesting shapes and border treatments. It can also be hammered or textured to add visual depth and attention.
Versatility. Zinc works well in any area of the kitchen, from islands and breakfast bars to prep surfaces.
Ease of care. A fast swab-down with water and a gentle dish soap keeps zinc clean.
Cabell Design Studio
The Disadvantages of Zinc
Susceptibility to dents. The exact same softness that makes zinc easy to manufacture also suggests that cookware and knives can scratch its surface. If you would like to maintain your countertop looking fresh, scrapes and nicks have to be buffed out occasionally.
Susceptibility to heat. Prolonged exposure to a hot item, such as a pan straight from the cooker, can render an undesirable mark on a zinc countertop.
Tricky installment. As with other metallic countertops, zinc can be difficult for the average homeowner to install. It must be fastened to a substrate, and technical ability and experience are required to ensure a smooth surface and prevent scratches from showing.
Price. If you’re on a tight budget, zinc can blow it to pieces. Zinc starts at about $100 to $120 per square foot. If you’re determined to integrate it, then consider restricting it to a little section of counter space like an island.
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How to Remodel a Kitchen