|More zinc facts!
Zinc is the 23rd most abundant element in the earth, and an important element in the proper function of the human body.
It is a relatively soft, non-ferrous (non-magnetic), non-porous, pewter-like (bluish-white) metal.
When polished, zinc resembles shiny pewter ... but when allowed to
naturally oxidize (tarnish) a textured, semi-matte, blue-gray patina
develops in about a year.
Back in Style
During the early 1900's, zinc was a popular covering for kitchen work areas in the U.S.
Today, zinc is enjoying a renewed popularity for kitchen and vanity
countertops, backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, mantels, wall panels,
tabletops, door panels, and cabinet exteriors.
Zinc countertops are made like other metal countertops, with thin
metal sheets formed over a wood or other substrate backing. Zinc
countertops are available in high polished, distressed or matte
Because zinc can be welded, it is possible to incorporate an
integral sink into the countertop. The sink is welded to the countertop
and the seams ground for transition from countertop to sink.
Points of welding, soldering, attachment of sheets, etc, yield a different color shade and at times an uneven surface.
This is considered part of the rustic "charm" of Zinc and Copper countertops ... and not defective workmanship.
Like stainless steel, zinc is safe to use around food. Unlike
stainless steel, zinc reacts with acids and alkalis and other
Amost anything that comes in contact with it will oxidize (tarnish) it
to some degree, including moist air. If you prefer to keep the original
color, apply Beeswax or Butchers Wax periodically.
Zinc, like all metallic surfaces, will scratch, but polishing will
remove most surface scratches. Many people prefer to maintain their
tops with surface scratches as it adds to the patina.
Scratches will never rust and can be polished, or in extreme cases,
sanded out. To minimize damage, use cutting boards when chopping,
cutting or preparing foods.
Zinc is softer than stainless steel, and is heat sensitive. Do not place hot pots and pans directly on a zinc countertop.
Zinc has a relatively low melting temperature, and although the top
will not become molten, some distortion can occur with prolonged
contact over 300°F.
Care & Maintenance
The ultimate appearance and maintenance schedule is a matter of preference and convenience:
Daily cleaning requires nothing more than soap and water.
If you prefer the patina appearance no further maintenance is required.
It will take about 12 months for the patina to fully develop on new zinc surfaces.
- High luster
To maintain the ordinal high lustre appearance, apply a polishing compound to the entire surface every month.
When polishing, work in sections 2ft x 2ft. over the entire surface. Do NOT "spot polish" cuts and scratches.
Did You Know?
Traditional "zinc" bar/counters in France are not really zinc? They are actually made of an alloy of lead and tin.
Develops a blue-gray patina with age or can be polished to preserve original color
Points of welding, soldering, attachment of sheets, etc, yield a
different shade and sometimes different levels (uneven surface).
Seams and welds may be visible
Safe for use around food
- Durable but not Indestructible
Softer than stainless steel
Not scratch resistant
Susceptible to stains from acidic foods
Can be damaged by temperatures over 300°F
Use trivets and cutting boards
Clean with mild soap and water
Polish only if maintaining original appearance
Do not spot polish