Copper sinks-- anyone have one?

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

Copper sinks-- anyone have one?

We are in a pickle about replacing our sink and counters. We made some decisions and due to material shortages and a really difficult experience with a template (long, dull story) we are back to square one. We only have a limited time for an install in November due to bookings. 

 

One of the items we have considered for a Plan B design is a copper sink. Anyone have one? I just wonder how it holds up with guests.

21 Replies 21
Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Ursula117  thank you! Are they easy to keep clean?

Ursula117
Level 3
Ottawa, Canada

We have very hard water in the Yucatan and so the white spots show up on the dark brown copper.  We do have to wipe them dry but it’s no more work than our matte black faucets.  Or a chrome faucet for that matter.

 

i think where you’d drive yourself crazy with cleaning and polishing is if you wanted that bright, shiny look and it had to be perfect with no spots or blemishes.

Ursula117
Level 3
Ottawa, Canada

We have handmade hammered copper sinks in our Airbnb in Mexico.  They are lovely and rich and definitely add a sense of luxury that porcelain couldn’t possibly

compete with.  Ours are already dark, not shiny, and the weathered patina hides flaws and imperfections.  They look rustic and beautiful but part of our emphasis is to feature things that are produced locally.  I’m not sure how well this translates for you and your kitchen sink.

Robin4
Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

@Laura2592 

Laura, I have found over the years it is not a good idea to translate that ideal picture you have in your mind into what you will supply in a rental facility. 

Most guests are wonderful but, there is always that one that will have you scratching your head wondering how they ever made it to adulthood!

 

In the house I have black granite counter tops and I think they are wonderful....you don't have to worry about scratching the surface or using a cutting board and, maybe I am just a bit more careful than your average guests but I have never managed to break anything on them. I started with the same out in the listing cottage and every 4-5th guest would manage to break plates or drink glasses invariably ruining the set! So I have gone back to a timber counter-top and I use a plastic counter-top protector. It is heat resistant and comes in 2ft by 12ft rolls and costs a minuscule fraction of what counter-top replacement costs......

 

CAM02463.jpg

This piece had been in use for about 6 months when this photo was taken and sure, it needs a rub with oil to make the score marks disappear....but it has solved my breakage and damage issues.

A copper sink will look good but will not be as durable as stainless steel, there will always be that guest that will want to rattle the cutlery around in it until it looks like it came out of the trenches in World War 1 .....and no guest is going to look back on you with kindly thoughts because of your copper sink.

 

Keep it simply, after the cracking of my second glass shower door when a guest has let the flexible shower head hit it, I installed a motorised roller blind similar to what we have in our main bathroom to serve as a rigid shower curtain......

IMG20210927104654.jpg

Guests love it and I have not had a problem since...and it always looks clean, unlike glass shower doors, it's battery operated so there are no mains power issues.  It was my 'practical' solution.

 

I understand you want to provide a lovely unique listing, but Laura, the problem with copper is, it is soft, it will dent in something is dropped into it, just not practical. Butchers block is designed to look chopped into but it is not designed to have food colourings engraved into it forever more.

Try to keep it simple and practical.

 

Cheers........Rob

Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@Laura2592 Have you tried Second Chance in Baltimore? It's a massive repurposed building supply  place. They also employ formerly incarcerated people, giving them, as well as the materials,  a "second chance."

I'm fairly sure that you could find the granite you need (maybe not the exact color) along with a sink. If your contractor can cut granite, all the better. 

They have everything from architectural salvage to toilets, cabinets, furniture, rugs, etc. Definitely worth a try, in my opinion. Good luck. 

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Kia272 yep I am familiar with them. We have a similar store here. Guaranteed they don't have it. There is only one color and finish that would work in granite and I have sourced every supplier from here to Virginia to the NY State line. Nada. 

 

Its just the pandemic world of remodels. Everything is a waitlist or gone. It costs far more than it used to. Contractors cherry pick jobs based on ease and price. I have done a master bath and a few other projects in the last year and the issues are worse now than ever. But thanks for the suggestion!

Brian2036
Level 10
Arkansas, United States

@Laura2592 

 

I suspect that wood and copper would not get along well together. Oxidation from the copper would leach into the surrounding wood and people would be yelping that it was dirty.

 

Soapstone would be impervious, I think, but it’s also very heavy.

 

Too bad about the cast-iron sink. Seems like it could be braced up with steel brackets but I don’t know exactly what the cabinet configuration is.

Brian2036
Level 10
Arkansas, United States

@Laura2592 

 

My great-grandmother had one.

 

She scoured it out every morning with Bon Ami and eventually wore a hole in it. (She lived there for 70 years and I don’t know how long it was in use before she got there.)

 

Anything acid left overnight will create green oxidation, but that’s easy to polish off. It’s also easy to scratch, cut, gouge and dent.

 

I would prefer high-nickel stainless steel.

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Brian2036 yeah we have a stainless steel sink right now. That was my first choice. Actually no, that's not true-- my first choice was a 1920s cast iron sink with a drainboard that I found at a yard sale but my contractor doesn't think our old handmade cabinets will support it. 

 

Our granite slabs were sold out from under us and there is a shortage in the finish we want so no way can we get it installed on the dates we blocked from guests. Now we are looking at soapstone or butcher block. In my head I see this cool copper sink with a butcher block counter-- both could be foolish with some of our guests. 

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Laura2592  Don't you think your guests would ruin butcher block in a matter of months?  Burn holes, scratches, stains?  What about a different granite that is in stock?  

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Mark116 thats the concern.  

 

Its a long story but we want a really specific finish on a really specific non-busy color of granite which is not available.  And the template person had a tantrum because we don't have standard cabinets.  So we are scrambling. My contractor can make a butcher block and seal it so that it's impervious to stains but people can still cut it or put hot things to scorch it. So it's definitely something to consider.  

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Laura2592  I would say then you should either 1) wait until whatever you really want is available, or 2) compromise and get a different granite. Granite seems like the best option due to its durability.  Since your space is a 'staycation' you know that guests will use it and be hard on it, whatever it is.  Copper, I don't know, it seems risky, but it would probably still look good even if guests banged it up. Butcher block I suspect would get burned quickly.  

 

Maybe you need a new 'template person'....non standard cabinets are not that rare.

 

I'm amazed how many knife marks the kitchen table has...even though there are 1) a large wooden cutting board sitting on the radiator top 2) a marble cutting board sitting ON THE TABLE and 3) 2 plastic cutting boards in the cabinet.  Yet still people are cutting right on the table over and over again.  

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Laura2592  I don't have any experience w/copper sinks, but isn't copper very soft, and would need a lot of cleaning/polishing to keep it from tarnishing?  I did have some friends once who had a nickel sink at their beach house and it was very cool.

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Mark116 I am reading different things about them so I'm not sure. Some sources say they are easy to care for. Others say not as much. I wonder if anyone has one and will give the unvarnished truth!

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Laura2592  I don't have one myself, but I have a friend who designed, had made, and sold copper and ironware. I have a few of her copper creations. She swore by and recommended to her customers just shining them up with lemon juice and baking soda. Works fine.

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Sarah977 that is one camp--they are easy to care for. Baking soda for stains. Polish them up easily. 

 

The other is that they are terrible lol!

 

In the middle somewhere is the truth I bet.

Dimitar27
Level 10
Sofia, Bulgaria

What is the reason to use such an expensive item in a guesthouse? Handmade copper sink costs something like 500$ here, where I am. In US the price will be probably x5.

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Dimitar27 actually it's less than $400, the one I'm looking at. About what a nice stainless sink costs. I have a discount place I go due to my design projects. 

 

We have nice items because its OUR house  first and foremost.  And we enjoy staying there. Guests benefit from the little touches we also love. But we don't want to buy something that is too easy for someone to ruin so I am asking. 

Dimitar27
Level 10
Sofia, Bulgaria

Copper is very soft material. Very easy to scratch. That's the main disadvantage.

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Dimitar27 I think that is why most of them have a hammered finish-- so scratches don't show 🙂

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