A New Sink: Should You Buy a Copper Kitchen Sink?

Are you considering buying a new sink for your kitchen? Here's everything you need to know about buying a copper kitchen sink.

Is your kitchen begging for a makeover? Whether you’re completely gutting it or just making a few changes, the kitchen sink material is an important consideration. 

The sink material affects the look of the kitchen with many styles and materials becoming a focal point in the room. Material choices also affect durability, cost, and maintenance requirements.

Keep reading learn if a copper kitchen sink is right for your renovation.

Distinct Look

When comparing kitchen sinks, the distinct look of a copper kitchen sink can be a pro or a con, depending on your preferences. The metal starts as a warm color and quickly develops a patina that many people love. The patina makes the sink look darker in color.

You can use waxes to retain the original, shiny look of the copper sink. However, it usually just slows down the patina. Your sink will likely eventually develop a patina, so be sure you like this look before choosing copper.

The unique copper color makes the sink stand out and often creates an old world feel in your kitchen. It’s often considered earthy and elegant. If you love this look, want a unique color, and look forward to seeing the patina develop, a copper farmhouse kitchen sink might be the perfect match for you.

However, if you prefer a crisp, clean white kitchen sink, you’ll likely prefer a fireclay farmhouse sink. This option gives your kitchen a lighter, more neutral look and fits almost any decorating style. Fireclay is a very durable material with a thick glaze, making it nonporous and resistant to scratches, cracks, and bacteria.

Variety of Style Options

Despite having a distinct look, copper sinks come in a variety of styles. You can get traditional drop-in and undermount sinks as well as farmhouse kitchen sinks with large exposed aprons. Copper farmhouse sinks come with a variety of designs on the aprons, including smooth material, textured metal, and raised designs to add a decorative touch. 

You can also choose between smooth copper and hammered copper. A hammered finish is the most common option. Not only does it provide an attractive look, but it can also help hide minor blemishes that might happen on the sink.

Copper sinks also come in single and double basin designs. Double basin designs might have two sinks of equal size or one that’s larger than the other.

Antimicrobial Properties

Kitchens can harbor all types of germs and bacteria, which makes the antimicrobial property of copper a major perk. Copper kills over 99.9% of bacteria within 2 hours of contact and continuously kills the germs that can cause infections. It also doesn’t lose its antimicrobial qualities over time, which means you can count on it to prevent bacterial growth in your kitchen sink long term without any chemicals.


Copper is a durable material option for kitchen sinks. It generally holds up well to everyday wear and tear without denting or damage. Despite being made of metal, it won’t tarnish or rust.

However, knowing the gauge of the copper used in the sink is important. While quality sink manufacturers use heavier gauges that hold up well, others skimp and use thinner gauges that don’t hold up as well. A thin gauge copper sink could warp or dent easily.

When comparing copper gauges, remember that a lower number means a heavier metal. A 16- and 17-gauge copper sink is usually a good balance between affordability, weight, and durability. A 14- or 15-gauge copper sink offers more durability, but it’ll cost more and is heavier, which might require more reinforcements.

Copper Sink Maintenance

Maintaining the appearance of your copper kitchen sink is relatively easy, often with a simple rinse being all that’s needed to clean it up. A little soapy water and a soft cloth work on your sink if it needs a little more cleaning power. Since it’s antimicrobial naturally, copper doesn’t require antimicrobial cleaner. 

It’s important to avoid putting anything that’s acidic in the copper sink. While copper generally doesn’t stain, highly acidic food and drinks can discolor the metal.

Hot or sharp objects can also be damaging to copper sinks. Both can leave marks on the sink. Over time, those marks often diminish on their own since copper is a self-healing material.

Copper Kitchen Sink Pricing

Copper sinks are on the more expensive end of kitchen sink materials. They typically range from about $600 to $1,200. However, they also have a good return on investment since many potential homebuyers find them attractive.

Other materials can be just as expensive or even more, but there are many sink options that are more affordable. Solid surface sinks start around $155 and stainless steel sinks can be as low as $110. 

Price isn’t always the best deciding factor, though. When you invest in a signature piece such as copper or fireclay, you get a long-lasting kitchen sink that stands out and becomes part of the decor. Keep the cost in mind to ensure the sink fits your budget, but use other factors to decide on your sink material as well.

Installation Considerations

Copper is a heavy sink material, which can make installation challenging. That’s especially true for a farmhouse kitchen sink due to its larger size. Farmhouse sinks often need extra reinforcements, and your cabinets and countertops will likely need to be changed to accommodate the farmhouse style.

A copper sink should work with existing kitchen sink plumbing, but there could be other installation issues that are challenging for a DIYer. Undermount sinks often require special installation, especially when made with heavy material like copper. 

Having a professional install your copper sink and kitchen sink drain ensures the entire project is done correctly. This adds to the overall costs since a professional installer will likely change more for the more labor-intensive installation.

Is a Copper Kitchen Sink Right for You?

Deciding whether or not a copper kitchen sink is right for you often comes down to your style preferences. Keep your budget in mind, and consider the overall look and care considerations of different sink materials.

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