Copper is the oldest metal known to man and artisans have spent centuries handing down a very beautiful and unique craft. But some artisans have begun cutting corners and swindling buyers. If you are planning on adding a beautiful copper sink or bathtub to your home, be careful if the prices are uncommonly low. There are reasons.
Who Buys Copper Sinks and Tubs?
Individuals who enjoy having the best of everything in life and are connoisseurs of quality buy copper sinks and bathtubs for their homes.
People who want unique and extravagant products to be their focal point of the bathroom love copper. For centuries, all cultures have recognized copper as a metal of highest quality and price. Therefore, individuals who possess it are also thought of in high regard and good taste.
Cleaning and Maintaining Copper
Copper is a living metal – one that changes with time but also a metal that needs maintenance and cleaning regularly. The copper patina changes color over time and naturally should get darker, but if not maintained properly can turn blue, green, brown or black.
Never allow excess soap or toothpaste to accumulate on the surface of copper because it will soon turn a color that is hard to eliminate. Also, avoid using harsh and abrasive chemicals or cleaners. Always use a soft rag and a little soap mixed with warm water to clean and maintain your fixtures. Dry immediately with a soft rag. If necessary, wax with a paste wax to keep it clean and free of spots and small scratches.
Methods of Manufacturing
For centuries, artisans in Mexico have been handcrafting sinks and tubs from copper using a technique called “hand hammered”. The metal is actually shaped by hammering the copper into a unique and beautiful shape. The surface has a “hammered” look for good reason. It hides dents, scratches and spots.
Usually copper tubs and sinks are of the highest quality from Mexico, but be careful that it is pure copper and not some copper alloy mixed with lead, which is potentially deadly, but cheaper, than pure copper. Mostly fixtures with this alloy come from China and the Middle East.
Welding copper is tricky and lends itself to only professional grade welders using a MIG welder. Look and see if welds are even and of a professional grade quality. Bad welds are ugly and uneven. Level and square joints are important as well, to prevent problems with leakage and cracks. Make sure you use a reputable manufacturer who stands behind their products.
Check the gauge, or thickness, of the metal. Thin gauge copper sounds tinny, while thicker gauges have a distinctive sound that is strong and secure.
Any time you use international products make sure you get references and check them out. Better safe the sorry when dealing with exports from overseas. Better yet, work with a reputable supplier here in the states to insure you are getting a first-class product. Remember – copper is a top of the class product and its unique look will be costly.