It is not as easy as you might think to go to the home improvement store and buy copper kitchen sinks. You can do it, but you might not like what you get. Copper is a special kind of metal, and you will have different considerations when buying it than you would in buying a stainless steel sink.
The best copper kitchen sinks are made in the US, India, and especially Mexico. If you buy a US-made copper sink, you will probably find mostly smooth copper sinks for sale. While these can be beautiful at first, they do not hold up as well as you might like. They show every scrape and ding that strikes them. Using them as kitchen sinks, you will see that they suffer a lot of damage. Any time you bump a pan or knife across them, it will show.
Mexican copper kitchen sinks hold up better. When you wash dishes in one of the Mexican-hammered copper sinks, you will not damage the sink as much. Furthermore, any little damage you do will not show up as much.
That is because these sinks are made by hammering a sheet of copper into a sturdy design. These hammered copper sinks are one-of-a-kind because the process cannot be repeated the same way twice. The shops where these sinks are made do not mass produce, but have artisans of varying talents. For that reason, you can expect different qualities in the copper kitchen sinks. Make sure the shop that produce these sinks or the distribution company they supply will stand by their products.
Other countries do not have the reputations that the US, India, and Mexico have. In fact, some countries do not even use pure copper. China and some Middle Eastern countries have been known to use lead mixed with copper.
Things to Check Before You Buy a Copper Kitchen Sink
There are a few things to look for in copper kitchen sinks. When you look at the sink, try to notice if the seams have copper welding. You may have a sink that is small enough that it does not have seams. However, if it does, and the seams are not copper, they will not hold up.
It is also important to know how thick the metal of your sink is. The copper on kitchen sinks is normally a thickness of 18 to 14 gauge. 14 gauge is the thickest, and is the best. Also try to notice if the gauge seems to be the same throughout the sink. You do not want any weak spots. Make sure the sink is the shape it is supposed to be, and see to it that the company will replace it if you find that the shape is not right when it is being installed.
There are different colors of copper to buy. Some are weathered copper, shiny reddish copper like that mainly sold in the US, and brown copper. Patina is the coloring process that goes on as time passes. It gives copper character and is a natural process.
Copper kitchen sinks are worth the effort it takes to choose the best ones. Aside from their beauty, they are resistant to stains, and they even fend off bacteria. It is easy to decide that copper sinks are a good match for many kitchens.