Do you really want a copper sink? You better do your homework if you do.
First on the list of things to research is the use and care. If you cannot find written use and care information, run! From what I have seen, all imported sinks require drying after each use.
Secondly, look at the specifications. Many indicate the product you will receive will be plus or minus 1/2" from the written specifications. (I think they believe there must be yeast in the mix)
This is a video from a well known brand showing the use and care: Click here to watch
If you listened closely, you will find that you must dry the sink bowl completely after each use. There are two reasons for the requirement. 1. The finish 2. The draining.
Let's look at the finish first. I was one of the earliest to work with copper sinks sold in the US for kitchen use. I have over 20 years of experience with copper patina. I did all of the copper patina work in the early days of my company. I discovered early on that copper "wants to" turn a caramel brown - and wants to stay that way. Think about the real copper penny. When new, they were a shiny rose gold color. Once they came in contact with our hands, they seemed to all turn a caramel brown. They didn't turn a dark brown or black unless something unusual happened to them. If you see sinks that are not the color of an old penny, you can be assured the "finish" is not natural. Finishes vary from country to country. For example, most of the copper sinks coming from China have an artificial finish with a protective lacquer. Those sinks do not require drying after each use. They do, however, have two weaknesses - hot water and abrasions. I have been told that hot water can turn the lacquer milky white - and there is no fix for that. Dropping a sharp knife can cut through the lacquer causing other negative issues. Sinks from Mexico, India, and Turkey seem to have artificial finishes with no protective lacquer. In my opinion, these are better sinks. They all seem to require drying after each use and suggest no abrasive can be used and to be careful about lemons, vinegar and other products. They say that because the original finish will eventually come off exposing the copper, which then will naturally age to the color of an old penny - not matching the original color.
2. The Draining: All sinks must evacuate water quickly and without leaving areas that pool water. This is a common issue with copper sinks in general. If water is allowed to pool in the same place inside the bowl, it will leave a stain that is difficult to deal with. This is the main reason why companies insist on having you dry your sink after each use.
Why do my sinks never need to be dried while the others seem to require drying?
The answer is simple. The bowls of all of my copper sinks are "naturally" aged to the "natural" color copper wants to be and my sinks are pitched significantly toward the drain so they drain properly. Every sink is tested for proper draining before they ship to you. That is why we have thousands of customers who will testify that their sinks are very easy to care for. Simply wash with soap (we use Dawn) and rinse after use.
Now, let's find out if you really want a copper sink from anyone! If you are looking for a copper sink that has a uniform finish inside the bowl, you will be greatly disappointed in a copper sink from me or anyone else. If you understand copper is a living finish and will change daily and will heal (hide) scratches and odd marks over time, our copper sink should make you quite happy.
Investing in a copper sink, or any sink for that matter, should be a decision made with a fair amount of investigation. It is not simple to remove or replace a kitchen sink. Sadly, the copper sink business is like the "Used Car Business" of the 1960's. There is a great deal of deception going on! For example, I had a lady call me that was comparing our sinks to another American copper sink manufacturer and was wondering why my price was three times as expensive. I quickly replied to her that she must be mistaken and told her I believed the other company was importing their sinks. She told me she was quite certain. She gave me the name of the company and as soon as I saw the photos of their sinks I knew they were imported from India. I asked her to call that company and verify if the sinks were made in the US. She did so and was told they were imported from India. If you looked at their website, they did everything possible to give the "impression" the sinks were made in the U.S. without actually "saying" the sinks were made in the U.S. Statements like "We are an American company" are likely true. Most imported sinks are bought and resold by American companies.
I point out these facts so that you can be an informed buyer, not to knock the competition. We truly are not in competition with the folks that import copper sinks. Many of the owners are friends of mine and some purchase our solid copper drains from me. We are a luxury custom manufacturer, not a mass producer or stocking distributor. 99% of the sinks we sell are custom made, one at a time, based on individual purchases. We do not stock sinks. Just like Rolls Royce is not a competitor to Chevrolet, we each have our place in the market and are not competitors.
Before I started my company in late 1998, there was one or two companies selling copper kitchen sinks in the U.S. They were very crudely built and had center drains. In fact, one of the two companies had soldered joints instead of welded joints. This is a list of design features and functional features I pioneered in this industry.
- Single bowl sinks with rear corner drains
- Workstation sink design - Yep, I designed the first workstation sink in the industry.
- Naturally weathered, self healing interiors on our copper sinks.
- Ergonomically designed apron fronts that are thinner, allowing for easy reaching into the bowl.
- Varied sink depths based on height of user
- Unique patinas on the apron front portion of our sink that are unique to our sinks
- Patented two tiered sink design - two steps inside the bowl for accessories.
- Patented shorter apron with a channel behind the apron to slip over existing cabinetry for retrofitting.
- Top mount replacement workstation sinks,
- NexGen design - offering an interior ledge instead of a step (recovering an inch of front to back dimension and allowing the drain grid to sit on the bottom of the bowl),
- Single bowl Corner sinks,
- The sponge caddy,
- The "Add a Bowl" and "Strainer Element" offering a secondary bowl within a bowl.
- The first and still the only 100% custom sink manufacturer!
This photo shows the front left side of the apron - not even close to being straight. This sink was made in the USA too! Yikes!
Make sure you click on this photo. Look at how the apron is made. YIPES!
This is the most common issue with copper sinks. The manufacturers do not know how to make a sink that drains properly. (It is not as easy as you would think)
Do your homework! Take a look at these three pages on our site and you will learn all about copper sink (at least from my perspective)