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Forum topic by RobS posted 05-29-2008 05:05 PM 1569 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1334 posts in 4306 days

05-29-2008 05:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: copper kitchen food counters chemical reactions question

My SIL is contemplating new kitchen counter top ideas for their Mountain Cabin and one suggestion/idea that came up was copper counter tops.

Other than the obvious cost issues, although I don’t know how it would compare to high end granite, what other pros or cons could there be with using copper covered counters in the kitchen (wow, that is some alliteration!)?

I did not know if anyone here has used large pieces or sheets of copper in their projects, so thought I’d ask.

Also I did not know if there would be some adverse chemical reactions to the copper as it related to different foods/liquids in the kitchen?? But I suppose it could be sealed if necessary.

Comments? Concerns? Experiences?


-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

16 replies so far

View benhasajeep's profile


30 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 05-29-2008 05:46 PM

Not sure about using copper. One thing is have to keep polishing it to keep it from turning green. Another is you have to watch what you leave mounted on top of it. As copper would react to stainless steel and other metals. Disimilar metals will cause corrosion and copper would be the one that gets affected the most.

I think it would look nice. But would need fairly constant attention. And if this is for a cabin (assuming part time use) I don’t think its too good of a choice.

Never tried to seal copper. If you can keep oxygen away from it. It will not turn green or corrode.

-- Ben, Living the good life in Maine now (almost, just need to retire in 2 decades time)

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#2 posted 05-29-2008 11:00 PM

Another point is that copper is a rather soft material. It will be easily dented and readily banged up. But I am not sure that you can stop it from oxidizing. Sealing it with a coat of poly or lacquer will not stop the oxidation but only slow it down. The other thing to consider is the cost. Copper prices have gone up dramatically within the last few years. But if money is no object then it would certainly be unique.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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3648 posts in 4326 days

#3 posted 05-30-2008 01:19 AM

They sell copper sinks – or used to. require a bit of TLC, but sure look great (in a homey antique-y kinda way). – If I were doing another counter, I’d do concrete, cast in place, or made outside, filled up with broken glass and other recyclables, and ground/sanded super smooth.

PLUS, with the rising prices for recycling copper (people have even tried stealing it from police stations) it’s probably not a cheap way to go. (I’m salvaging copper wire from jobs to sell to a local scrap place to recycle. Getting quite a bit of it.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3736 days

#4 posted 05-30-2008 01:33 AM

Stainless countertops are the way to go if one is wanting metal tops. They are tough and durable. Copper is very hard to maintain as a top goes and quite soft. A good stainless top usually has concrete under it so as to better protect it from denting. It is quite common in Brazil as are granite tops. The reason I bring up Brazil is that I have been there many times.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3840 days

#5 posted 05-30-2008 01:44 AM

As said above copper it self is very soft and prone to being easily damaged such as scratches and dings. I would use stainless or stone as John suggested.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3798 days

#6 posted 05-30-2008 01:52 AM

I have seen some cool copper tiles for the backsplash… A copper counter is easily damaged.. Go with a stone counter and copper backsplash..

-- making sawdust....

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4314 days

#7 posted 05-30-2008 05:52 AM

A few years ago if you suggested a concrete top I would have balked. I’m guessing in a few more years you will see just as many copper counter tops as you do concrete. You can install it like a laminate so it has a hard base. It can have a beautiful patina. It has been used for years as cookware. A roll of copper is a lot cheaper than granite. I think it might be just the thing.

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 3770 days

#8 posted 05-30-2008 06:25 AM

Rob, Sounds like an interesting idea… I’d say go for it and enjoy it.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4306 days

#9 posted 06-07-2008 07:43 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone, I sent my SIL the link so she can gain some knowledge on the subject.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3885 days

#10 posted 06-07-2008 09:02 PM

That’s Copper the Beagle in the picture at left. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View tresselk's profile


28 posts in 3768 days

#11 posted 06-08-2008 07:07 AM

Copper could be a very interesting design statement. Since you cannot stop the patina, I would suggest creating a patina on it from the start. David Mark of “Wood Works” created a garden gate with the center being copper and went through the process of a chemical patina. It looked excellent.
As many people have pointed out, copper is soft and may be dented easily. If you have an island or small focal point that you could use the copper on you could created a pounded copper look so that any future dents would blend right in. Obviously this type of countertop would be a bit more difficult to clean, but if it is only on a small part (like and island) it might be worth the unique look.

View RipSawRon's profile


21 posts in 3665 days

#12 posted 06-08-2008 07:32 AM

How about copper back splash that goes from a stone counter top up. Put in the stone and run it up from the counter top about 4’ then start the coper on the wall all the way up to the bottom of the top cabinets.

One more idea would be to take coper or tin celing tiles, Menards sells them in a 24×24 inch size with about 6 designs to use. Mount them on the wall with with a horizontal rabited board, then you could slide them out to clean them etc. Install some accent lighting on a dimmer and it would look cool.

By the way, install GFIC breakers or outlets, you got metal, water and power all in a small area.


View RipSawRon's profile


21 posts in 3665 days

#13 posted 06-08-2008 07:35 AM

Glue a bunch of pennys down and pour epoxy over all of it.

View beaudex's profile


65 posts in 3638 days

#14 posted 06-11-2008 12:46 PM

I had a piece of left over copper sheet from a job I did and decided to use it as a portion of my sharpening station.(because it is so soft it wont damage the sharpened tools) This area also doubles as a beer making area so it has seen use as a countertop material. I would have to say it looks amazing, however it does require a lot of upkeep, I polish it (not easy) once every 2 months and this can be a very dirty job. The other issue which I am unsure of the solution to is that when I put it down I used contact cement which does not do the best job on the copper.

To get a real opinion about durability I would go to a bar, I know in my city there at least 3 or 4 bars who have copper topped bars and I bet the bartenders could tell you about the durability of the material and the upkeep.

-- Derek Tay, Venerate the Tree Design

View gator9t9's profile


331 posts in 3704 days

#15 posted 06-11-2008 03:21 PM

IS your SIL named Clara ….?? and in the kictchen where she wants to have her copper covered counter she may have some Clappers ..
Years ago on Johnny Carson ….Johnny did a skit with Jack Webb …about the clean copper clappers kept in the Kitchen closet that were copped by the kleptomaniac Claude Cooper from Cleveland and first discovered by the cleaning woman Clara Clifford …
very funny skit …
and your copper countertop made me think of that …

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

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