White Shaker Kitchen with tall cabinets and brass splashback

Brass and copper worktops: pros and cons

When it comes to worktops, some of our most show-stopping kitchen designs are the White Shaker with Brass Worktop and the Antiqued Brass Contemporary Kitchen. As with a lot of statement designs, there are certain considerations to take into account when choosing which worktop you’d like in your kitchen.

With metal being such a popular choice for kitchen materials, it’s important to know not just the benefits, but the potential drawbacks, too.

If you’re also considering a stainless steel worktop,  you can read more about the pros and cons of stainless steel here.

 

Copper

What are the pros of having a copper worktop in my kitchen?

Aged copper worktop

Copper worktop benefit 1: You can be flexible with size

Because copper (and indeed any other metal worktop) is glued onto wood to create the worktop, the size can be made to fit other elements of the kitchen. As an example of how this would work, it can be cut to size to enable you to situate your appliances wherever you like. You can go for an ultra-thin or thick look, all the while making sure it’s completely bespoke to your kitchen’s overall look.

Copper worktop benefit 2: It’ll be antimicrobial and antibacterial

When it comes to cleanliness, copper wins out. It’s even been used in hospitals to prevent the spread of microbes. When you’ve got messy recipes and creative kids making a whirlwind in the kitchen, being better protected from germs is a comfort.

Copper worktop benefit 3: That beautiful, warm colour

Copper has a natural warm glow, which means you can get away with different colours in your cabinetry. While pairing a stainless steel worktop with an all-white run of cabinets might look a touch cold or sterile, a copper worktop immediately balances out the crispness of a white palette.

Copper worktop benefit 4: It has fantastic eco credentials

Copper is one of the most eco-friendly metal worktops you could choose for your kitchen. It’s a sustainable material and if it ever needs to be replaced due to changing tastes, it’s completely recyclable.

 

What are the cons of having a copper worktop in my kitchen?

Aged copper worktop

Copper worktop con 1: It is known to develop a patina

This is somewhat subjective, as plenty of people love a weathered look.

As a natural and living material, copper often changes colour as it ages from wear and tear. This is true of most metals, although stainless steel is the notable exception. It’s good to know that the use of acidic liquids, such as lemon juice or vinegar, may cause stains on the surface.

Pictured above is our Bristol display kitchen, which is in constant use. As you can see, our monthly team lunches have left their mark. We love having a little bit of history in our team kitchen, but it’s worth considering whether this would look good in your home.

Copper worktop con 2: It’s a sensitive material

We’ve not witnessed this ourselves, but some people do say that copper is more susceptible to scratches and dents. Again, this is down to personal preference: would your dream kitchen be pristine or weathered?

 

Brass

What are the pros of having a brass worktop in my kitchen?

Detail of antiqued brass splashback and island inlay.

Brass worktop benefit 1: It’s low maintenance

To keep a brass worktop clean, all you need is dish soap and a soft cloth or sponge. Any other cleaning agent runs the risk of staining and helping the patina to develop faster. For busy kitchens, this is a low-maintenance dream.

Brass worktop benefit 2: You won’t often see it elsewhere

Our clients come to us when they want a bespoke kitchen that won’t be copy and pasted in other homes on their street. One of the reasons brass is popular is exactly that: it’s a real conversation-starter. As a living surface, the appearance will change drastically so you’ll never see an identikit copy.

 

What are the cons of having a brass worktop in my kitchen?

View of the whole kitchen.

Brass worktop con 1: It will also develop a patina

Like copper, a patina will develop on a brass worktop over time. For this very reason, natural materials reign supreme in design philosophies all over the world (particularly in Japanese zen philosophy); though a changing surface isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste. Our designers would be happy to talk to you about choosing your Sustainable Kitchens worktop.

Brass worktop con 2: Sealant can nullify the antimicrobial properties

Sealant helps to keep a uniform look and prevent staining. However, this does neutralise the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which make it a little less hygienic.

Brass worktop con 3: Careful with heat!

As you might expect, putting hot pans down on copper or brass worktops is a sure-fire way to make the metal expand and warp.

 

As with any natural material, there are plenty of things to take into consideration. Our designers are experts in the details of every material you might find in your Sustainable Kitchens design, so get in touch with Sarah to ask any questions about what worktop will look best in your kitchen:

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