When you think of a metal countertop, sleek stainless steel might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are several other options, including copper, zinc and even bronze or pewter. The handsome look and excellent longevity of these materials make them a great choice for homeowners looking to remodel their kitchen with something unique.
What exactly is a metal countertop?
Metal countertops look like a thick sheet of metal, but that's not what they really are. Most metal countertops are a thin yet durable sheet of metal that has been formed and fastened to a base of wood or some other comparable material. The metal wraps around the edges of the base, the corners are welded and the sharp edges sanded to create a smooth, seamless look.
Styles and types, colors and stains
A metal countertop can be purchased in all sorts of styles and shapes. The material you choose will help determine how your countertop weathers time and regular use. For instance, stainless steel can keep a nice shine for decades, but copper will gradually change colors, taking on a rich patina over time.
Stainless steel is very popular in restaurants and industrial kitchens, and can impart a very warm or cold feel to your kitchen, depending upon the cabinetry and accessories paired with it. Copper has been used in kitchens for centuries, and the patina it takes over time can make your kitchen feel warm, friendly and old-fashioned. Newly-installed zinc countertops often look silver-gray but fade to a nice blue-gray color over the years. Brass and bronze can make for a rare countertop that darkens to a brownish-black color over time.
How durable is your metal countertop?
Metal is very durable, but not immune to scratches or dents. Many homeowners love to see the small scratches and dents that accumulate over time and enjoy the character of the ever-changing colors. Steel and copper are especially tolerant of heat, so there will be no problem with setting that hot pan on the counter.
Though it doesn't speak to durability, the anti-bacterial properties of stainless steel, copper and other metals are a nice selling point for these countertop materials. The fact that they are very easy to clean and require no sealants is also a good reason to consider a metal countertop.
The bottom line: cost and installation
Metal countertops are often considered high-end or specialty items for your kitchen. As such, you can expect to pay a bit more. Stainless steel and copper can cost between $75 to $200 per square foot. Countertops made of zinc, bronze and brass can cost up to four times as much, while pewter can go even higher. The rarity of these materials could also account for their expense.
How to get started
Once you decide which type of metal you want to use for your countertop, it is time to look into the best contractor to handle the job. Start with the form on this page, which will put you in contact with several contractors in your area who can handle your metal countertop installation.
Check them out by asking for references, looking them up at the Better Business Bureau, and inquiring about their licenses and experience. Get several estimates and then sit down to compare your short list until you choose the one contractor who is right for your kitchen remodel.