White Shaker Kitchen with tall cabinets and brass splashback

Brass & Copper Worktops: Pros & Cons

Having written about the pros and cons of stainless steel worktops we decided it was time to write about the pros and cons of brass and copper worktops. As metals are becoming popular choices for kitchen materials it’s important to know the benefits and drawbacks.

Copper

Pros:

Aged copper worktop

  • Flexible sizes

Because copper (and any other metal) is glued onto wood to create the worktop the size can be made to fit other elements of the kitchen including the top of a range cooker. The flexibility of this means that you can go for an ultra thin or thick look all the while making sure it’s completely bespoke and suited to the rest of the kitchen.

  • Antimicrobial and antibacterial

Copper has long been known to have natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It has even been used in hospitals to prevent the spread of microbes. This is perfect for the kitchen as there are often kids and sticky fingers involved. Knowing that your kitchen is protected from germs is definitely a big plus!

  • Warm colour

Stainless steel is often criticised for being cold and sterile which is why many people use it sparingly if at all in a kitchen. Copper on the other hand radiates warmth. The colour warms up a kitchen and looks stylish all in one go.

  • Eco friendly

Copper is one of the most eco friendly metal worktops you could choose for your kitchen. It is a very sustainable material and 100% recyclable.

Cons:

Aged copper worktop

  • Develops a patina

This is only a con if you love a pristine kitchen. Copper like other metals (other than stainless steel) will often change colour as it ages and from wear and tear. The use of acidic liquids like lemon juice or vinegar on the surface will cause it to stain. The above photo is of our aged copper worktop in our showroom. We use this area to prepare our team lunch once a month and we’ve stained it with different liquids.

  • Scratches and dents

Though we’ve not witnessed this ourselves some people do say that it copper scratches and dents easier than stainless steel. Again it all comes back to personal preference and whether you want your kitchen to look like it’s been used or not.

Brass

Pros:

Detail of antiqued brass splashback and island inlay.

  • Minimal maintenance

To keep a brass worktop clean all you need to is dish soap and a sponge or soft cloth. If you use any other cleaning agent it might stain helping the patina to develop faster.

  • Unique look

It doesn’t get more unique than brass, especially if you age it. The best part of having this as a worktop material is that it is a living surface and will change appearance quite drastically. This is a bonus if you’re adventurous and love that worn in look.

Cons:

View of the whole kitchen.

  • Patina

Much the same as copper, brass will also develop a patina over time. Some people love the aged look while others want it to look more polished.

  • Sealant nullifies antimicrobial properties

In order to keep a uniform look some people choose to seal their brass worktop. While this might prevent staining it also neutralises the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties making it less hygienic as a worktop. This applies for copper as well.

  • Not heat proof

Although some say it’s fine to put a hot pan down on a copper or brass surface we don’t recommend this. It will cause the metal to expand and warp.