Copper Countertops Pros & Cons

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While copper countertops are not commonly seen in kitchens, they can be used as an attractive alternative to granite, stainless steel or Formica countertops. It's important to understand the pros and cons of copper countertops before buying one.

Antimicrobial Properties

  • One major reason to install a copper countertop is to benefit from copper's antimicrobial properties. In early 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially registered five copper-containing alloy products and allowed the companies marketing products containing these alloys to make the claim that they "kill 99.9% of bacteria within two hours."

Easy Cleaning

  • A copper countertop can be cleaned easily with soap and water, with no special cleaning materials required.

Susceptibility to Damage

  • One major problem with copper countertops is that copper is a relatively soft metal susceptible to damage, including scratches and abrasions, during use.

Color Changes

  • Although copper is shiny when first installed, it doesn't stay that way for very long because the metal reacts to whatever substance it comes into contact with if it is unsealed. Typically copper will fade to a brown color fairly quickly. While some find the brown color unattractive, others consider it part of the metal's developing patina.

Installation Problems

  • During a copper countertop installation, copper sheets are usually fastened to a solid substrate with adhesive. If these copper sheets aren't mounted properly, the copper countertop can experience a higher rate of dents and dings on the surface.

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