The Rare Kitchen Countertop That's Easy To Maintain

Even though it isn't hard to maintain, there are various reasons that zinc is more common in commercial settings and rarely seen in homes. Primarily extracted from zinc ores, zinc is not as abundant as other metals and is a rare countertop material due to its limited availability and specialized production process. The global supply is limited and the production process requires specialized skills and equipment. The metal needs to be melted and cast into the desired shape, and the countertops are usually custom-made to fit specific dimensions.

While the cost of the raw material and craftsmanship involved in producing and installing zinc countertops gives them a higher price tag, zinc countertops tend to be a sought-after choice when compared to other countertop materials. They are a distinct countertop surface that appeals to those seeking a unique and elegant look in their kitchen. This is especially due to the patina they develop over time, which gives them character and charm.

Zinc countertop features and costs

Zinc countertops are formed by putting together sheets of zinc which are then formed into shape and fastened to a foundation layer of wood. The most important thing to know about having zinc as a kitchen countertop material is that it is a reactive metal that is always changing. Various kinds of impact will leave a mark on zinc, making every surface have its own unique appearance.

You can pay around $150 to $200 per square foot to install this material based on how thick it is, which is more expensive than other countertop materials like stainless steel and granite. Some other factors to consider are the market price at that given time and the type of edging or finish you want. Note that it can cost an extra 10% to 15% for installation if you want a unique, custom countertop shape. One tip to cut costs is to get second-hand zinc if you're okay with having sheets that have developed a patina layer and are already stained and discolored.

Cleaning and maintenance tips for zinc countertops

To keep zinc countertops looking their best, they need regular cleaning and maintenance. Develop a regular cleaning routine that involves wiping them with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth and a mild, non-abrasive dish soap or a specially formulated zinc cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the surface. If any spills happen, wipe them up promptly to prevent staining. Avoid leaving acidic substances like vinegar, citrus juices, and certain foods on the countertop for too long because they can cause discoloration or staining.

Zinc countertops can be prone to scratching, so it's essential to prevent contact with abrasive materials. Avoid using rough scouring pads or steel wool when cleaning and stick to soft materials as mentioned. Zinc is sensitive to heat, so avoid placing hot pots, pans, or other cookware directly on the countertop to avoid warping or discoloration. Regular maintenance can involve reapplying a protective sealant or wax, gently buffing out any scratches, and addressing any areas that the patina has developed if you want to maintain that new look.