The Truth About Copper Sinks

Ryan M. Grambart
Founder & CEO - CopperSmith
Ryan M. Grambart

custom copper sinks

Copper has quite the reputation. From being 100% recyclable and used for years to making its way into the homes of so many looking for an interior design update, this precious metal has withstood the test of time and looks good doing it. Ready to dive into copper? Let’s go! We’ll show you how its properties, values, treatments, and history can complement the look of a home and be the new “go-to” material you’ve been longing for.

advantages of a copper sink


Will my copper sink change color? 

will my copper sink change color?

Let’s start with a tough one right off the bat! This is a tricky question to answer because there are multiple avenues the reply may venture down. The truth is that it all depends on what you’re looking for in terms of appearance, functionality, and its final destination in your home. Various companies have different processes and capabilities and are going to market everything they have, but their products may not be tailored to your specific needs. Simply put, the following three types of finishes are the most popular among copper sink manufacturers today. Each will add a unique style element to your home but may change the overall appearance and aesthetic you might be trying to achieve in the midst of your remodeling process.

So, we are going to transparently describe each finish, in order to provide valuable information that will help your purchasing decisions go more smoothly. You will notice that distinctive sink finishes will react differently as they become exposed to the elements. So, don’t make the mistake of buying a sink that appeals to you visually, yet does not meet your care and functionality expectations. Copper’s amazing natural properties should not be ignored when applied to a home, and each finish has the opportunity to alter the metal’s abilities in some way.

What are the different types of copper sink finishes? 

designer front farmhouse

The large structure of a designer front farmhouse is a great option for the individual who loves to be in the kitchen, whether cooking or entertaining. This sink creates a larger workspace, and its wider shape is an appealing element for obvious spatial reasons. Additionally, the overall look adds a unique aesthetic to the room, especially when looking into all the different finish and patina options we have to offer. If you’re looking to update your home or possibly sell it, adding this style will increase your home value, not only because the style is so sought after, but because copper is a very treasured entity due to its highly sustainable properties.

In terms of design, there are a few factors that may deter you from adding this particular model to your home. Since it has such a large exterior, it may not pair well with smaller kitchens because it will eliminate needed counter space. Due to its size, it may also be difficult to install, so we recommend you partner with a professional to ensure not to damage any materials.

When looking at this style, it’s important to consider the type of patina you’re looking for as well, as it’s important to the overall finish of the sink. We all know there are different copper patinas, whether they’re liked fully or not. Sometimes customers opt for a natural patina as opposed to one that appears more minimalistic.  Contrary to what may be more commonly believed, they’re actually easier to maintain than one might originally think.  This is one of the main factors when looking at the overall appearance of the finish. Truthfully, of all the places to use copper and try to stop the patina, the sink proves to be the most challenging. Think about it; with the heavy use and exposure to elements and minerals, these will definitely cause the patina to surface. Therefore, for homeowners who want to purchase a copper sink at a particular stage in the patina, the process usually involves artificially producing the patina and then sealing it to lock it in. This method will block out any unevenness to the appearance and allow you to enjoy that exact finish for years.

copper sink finish

“If you’re looking for a particular patina or metal finish on the apron front sinks but don’t want to deal with potential scratches or maintenance of a custom finish in the basin, then these type of Copper Farmhouse Sinks may be right for you. When you choose a patina finish you most enjoy, our team will professionally seal it to preserve the end result, so you can enjoy your beautiful copper sink without worry of the finish furthering its oxidation. This allows for the perfect balance between classic and sustainable sink options. Simply select your texture and finish – and have it sealed for a maintenance-free finish.

artisan natural sink

Did you know that all our sinks can be made in an artisan patina? Great news, right? These are hand-hammered from recycled copper and then finished with natural oils to bring out the beautifully vibrant colors. The advantage this finish has over the sealed finish is the patina is brought out using natural heat, so it will not cause the copper to lose its desired natural properties. It’s then finished with a protective wax and oil.

Recycled copper also happens to provide unique benefits to the environment. Each year in the United States, as much copper is recovered from recycled material as it is derived from new material. Any recycled copper holds of a minimum of 95% of its original value, which means its value never fades, and if anything, it increases. Additionally, the ability to reuse copper extracted from recycled products is an effort in the industry to be environmentally friendly while also providing you the highest quality of one of Earth’s natural resources. No matter the stage of life copper may be in, this multi-faceted metal may always be repurposed for new use in some capacity.

If the copper happens to get knocked or scratched with this finish, at first it may show as a shiny spot, but over time it will fade away. The new patina will likely blend right in with the finish of the sink. This is the same for any dark spots that might appear over time from exposure to heat. To maintain it’s appearance, you always have the option to use refinishing oil to refinish the sink if desired, or you may apply a wax that will refresh and revitalize any lost shine.

“This finish is truly perfect for the homeowner who likes a natural, authentic texture along with vibrant patinas.” It will add to the desired vibrance of the home and will allow your kitchen to appear warmer and more inviting with its rustic qualities. This is a finish that is more durable and sustainable than the sealed finish, and it has the ability to be refinished (which is a huge benefit) because it’s a more natural element.

natural copper sink finishes

You can find Artisan Natural sinks in 14- or 16-gauge copper, which is a higher quality copper. The lower the gauge number, the better the material proves to be. Artisan Natural sinks are versatile and allow the option for either a hammered or smooth finish, which creates two diverse looks from the same finish. The finish alone is a beautiful sight to see, but with the ability to add other custom features, any area of the home that this copper sink is placed in will receive a luxurious upgrade.

These sinks are a living finish, meaning they may still adapt and change over time. This will happen through exposure to different temperature patterns, excess water, and the air itself. However, by having a sink with a living finish, it makes the material more controlled than that of a natural copper. This will be the better option for those who want to sustain the look of copper at a certain patina for an extended period of time.

natural copper sinks

For those that don’t want to stop copper’s natural patina, but rather fully embrace it, the new trend is our modern copper undermount sinks. This sink will arrive bright, without any sealants or patinas. The process from that point is pretty simple. You use it naturally. You don’t worry about patina forming because that is the whole appeal of copper. As an example, imagine a copper penny. Over time, the color will change to appear darker, and your sink will do the same over the years.

If you want to prolong the shine in the midst of the patina, you may take precautionary measures such as making sure the sink is dry from any excess moisture. If there happens to be a green spot, it only means that the copper was building up a natural defense from being wet for too long. To wash the sink, all you need to do is grab a soft sponge and gentle soap to wipe it down and remove any dirt or food residue. If food with highly acidic levels is left in the sink, it may also leave spots, but it will eventually fade back into the same coloring over time. The great thing about this finish is a scratch is meaningless, and it will blend shortly at its own will. Want a brighter sink? No problem! Simply hit it with a scotch bright pad occasionally. A raw copper sink is a completely sustainable, unique, and growing trend.

Hit it with a scotch bright pad

The natural copper finish is perfect for the homeowner looking to embrace patina as it naturally occurs. Over time, you’ll appreciate and enjoy the natural beauty and sustainability. This is a Redsmith Copper Sink with natural patina. The secret is to occasionally spray it with Bayes teak cleaner and wash gently with a scotch bright pad from time-to-time. This creates a natural copper look that is anti-microbial. Since copper is corrosion resistance naturally, this original design will continue to be a popular choice and bring beauty to your home.

sealed copper sinks

Looking to have your copper sink sealed? This option is for the homeowner looking to keep their sink exactly as is. A seal will lock in the desired appearance and not allow the copper to go through the natural changes it has a reputation for.  Sealants across the industry vary in quality, application technique, and warranty. Due to this, there can’t be a clear guarantee on how the copper will withstand the treatment process as time progresses. We recommend copper kitchen sink basins to have a living finish, so the homeowner can enjoy its natural look, adding more depth to the interior design of a room. Although bathrooms and bar sinks are proven to be better candidates for sealed sinks because of their excessive uses and higher tarnishing rate, we still recommend a living finish to experience all the natural properties including its antibacterial behavior. When a sealant is applied, the copper is highly weakened and its abilities to fight off germs and bacteria are highly diminished. This process eliminates some of the properties the material is so well-known for.

However, sealed copper may still be for you, if you do not enjoy the natural finish as much as others. To enjoy the look of copper, in general, without worrying about the possibility of oxidation, products such as Copper Range Hoods are excellent candidates for the desired finish.

What sink gauge should I get? 

What gauge copper sink should I go with?

This is a great question! The thickness and weight of copper is often measured in gauges. Since copper is a softer metal, the degree of thickness will prove how it wears over time. The thicker the material, the better quality it will be. The typical thickness for copper is half an ounce. When measuring in terms of gauges, the best way to understand it is that the thickness is expressed in weight per square foot. The lower the number reads, the higher the quality. For example, 20-gauge copper is the thinnest someone may purchase, whereas 14 is the thickest

When a sink is in use, you’ll be able to tell how thin a sink’s gauge is based on the sound it produces when water hits the surface. If it’s a thinner gauge, the water will sound as if it’s hitting tin and will dent more easily. If you happen to invest in a less expensive farmhouse sink, then there might be foam blocks in place in an attempt to muffle the sound.

copper sink gauges

Each weighted measurement has a wide range in difference. For instance, a sink with a gauge of 14 is over 33% thicker than sinks gauged at 16. While 16 is the most commonly selected gauge, we find that an investment in 14 will prove to last much longer and will be worth the added investment in the long run. With the difference in weight, the lower gauges are less susceptible to damage in transit and after installation. Because of this, it’s important to take into consideration the portion of the sink that is most exposed. With sinks that are susceptible to dings and scratches from kitchen materials such as pots, pans, or even cleaning supplies, the thicker material will be its saving grace. You’ll also appreciate the more premium look heavy gauge sinks offer, and the peace of mind of knowing you invested in a sink that will last a lifetime – a truly sustainable investment.

our copper sinks

Here is a link to a thickness guide of basic copper. It shows recommendations of the thicknesses you should use for different products. You’ll notice the lower the gauge, the thicker the metal! We encourage customers to purchase a gauge testing tool and keep the companies they purchase from honest! Our findings have been that “ our 14-gauge sinks weigh 30-40% more than other companies’ sinks advertised as 14-gauge models”, which means we take measurement seriously and ensure our quality is 100% accurate before placing our products in your hands.

Will copper sinks drain properly

The craftmanship of each individual sink will determine functionality and how well each one will drain. All copper sinks should drain properly, but with different design functions, qualities of a few parts may respond differently. Most commonly, hammered sinks and smooth sinks are the two finishes that pose a debate as far as which works better for proper drainage.

Hammered sinks look more rustic and tend to be handcrafted individually in small artisan shapes to get their unique look. Since the copper is hammered, it will have increased strength and be more durable as time progresses. This style will do well in more traditional or eclectic environments. During use, the hammered appearance has the ability to cover up more marks or signs of discoloration and will always have an imperfect shape.

On the other hand, smooth sinks are easier to create, and therefore, they are mass produced by press or mold. They are more likely to complement modern home designs and minimalistic style choices. During maintenance, they will show dings and scratches easier because of the smooth, even finish.

Now, we said we’d be transparent, so let’s be honest. If you go with a hammered copper sink, it will always hold a small amount of water and not drain perfectly. This is especially true for larger hammer marks than can create more of an indent and place for water to puddle up. Smooth copper sinks, with sloped basins, will drain perfectly because there is no part of the material able to hold small droplets of water.

The drain in particular is a more delicate area of any type of sink. For copper, it’s important to clean that area diligently, especially as minerals start to build from repeated water exposure. When using cleaning supplies, it’s important to avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach in order to extend the life of the sink.


How are copper sinks shipped? 

will my copper sink survive delivery

Regardless of packaging, a quality made product will stand up better to the rigors of transport. This next part is paramount! So, listen up. Look for a copper sink with a full welded apron design. Without it, you’re almost guaranteed to have a damaged sink delivered or even worse – suffer damage after installation when someone unknowingly leans up against the final product and damages it (as not much weight will be needed to force a dent). Your new copper sink should be packaged in a minimum of 3 ply cardboard or 1/2″ plywood along with 2″ of foam or honeycomb. We guarantee damage-free delivery, and we take every precaution possible to ensure our top-quality products arrive safely in highly secure packaging.


Can my copper sink be customized? 


can my copper sink be customized?

The truth (and good news) is, there is no more customizable sink than a copper sink. Why? Because copper is one of the most preferred metal by artisans worldwide. This soft metal allows for easier craftsmanship and individuals are able to independently work on the material. You can carve unique designs in it and easily cut, shape, and weld it, as compared to other metals like stainless steel and brass that are much trickier to work with. For materials such as stainless steel or brass to be customized, dedicated machinery must be utilized to handle the material. These tougher metals take longer to cut through and obtaining the specific equipment is often expensive.

unique copper sink designs

When looking at the structure and overall appearance of a copper sink, you will see there are many ways you can customize the final look. One way to customize is with size. There are so many varying sizes to choose from in order to accommodate the size of your kitchen and how much space you want to dedicate to your copper sink. The size of the inner sink basin also matters. By controlling the size of your sink, you are also able to create multiple bays in the sink to separate utensils or more fragile dishware.  When it comes to the texture of the sink, as discussed previously, you have the ability to choose a hammered or smooth finish. If it's hammered, then you have the option to decide how heavy you want the hammering details, and you may also choose the overall thickness of your new sink.

When it comes to the patina alone, there are numerous options. This is a very important customizable element of design that most other materials cannot offer. For instance, we are able to take the patina stage you desire and seal it into the copper, in order to prolong that level of oxidation.


And the custom options don’t end there! After your initial copper sink has been designed, you then have the option to include any extra creative elements you desire, such as unique carvings or embossments on the front of your sink. This design element can range from unique pictures of flowers, animals, or even family initials.  A coinciding faucet may also be considered. Once copper is your chosen material, the opportunities to create your custom sink design appear to be endless, as copper offers so much design flexibility.

Are copper sinks expensive? 

are copper sinks really expensive?

We said we’d be honest, so…Yes, it’s true that copper sinks have a reputation for being more expensive than sinks composed of other materials. However, there’s a good reason why copper sinks come with a higher price tag. Looking at other options, no other competing metal proves to be as resilient or luxurious as copper, which is why it’s perceived at a higher value. So, let’s compare the following materials. These are merely average costs and appearance evaluations.

Solid surface

Mostly made of sheets of polyester or acrylic resins, the average cost ranges from anywhere between $70.00 to $1000. These are most commonly found in bathrooms and give a modern look.

Stainless steel

Simple and versatile, this is a material that ranges from $100 to $800. It can be tough to customize, and the gauge ranges from 18 to 20 for durability and strength.


This is a man-made mix of quartz dust and resin, which can be molded to be chip-resistant and stain-proof. The cost will range from $149-$600.

Granite or other solid stone

Although pretty to look at, these sinks can be fragile on the edges and stain easily depending on the color chosen. The cost ranges anywhere from $250-$800.

Cast Iron

While more traditional like copper, this material is heavy and much more difficult to install. There is less room for customization, so the finish might appear to be more clunky. These sinks range in price from $190-$2400.


This is a type of ceramic that is commonly used in retro-style homes. Even though it is heavy, the material is not durable, and it can easily chip if you’re not careful. This material will cost anywhere from $350-$1000.


With the highest price range, this material can cost from $394 to an upwards of $3250. However, we find that the natural properties of this beautiful metal make the cost worth every penny. As an example, copper has natural antibacterial properties that no other material for a sink seems to possess. This means that the metal can kill any germs or bacteria that appears to linger on the surface. This alone, will make a home healthier, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Additionally, by being a softer metal, it’s more easily customizable, so it allows you to achieve a dream look for your home due to its flexibility. Although copper is more likely to oxidize, it is stain-resistant, like many other materials, fighting off the unwanted residue of any leftover food or facial cosmetics. And because copper is a sustainable material, this means that by utilizing it, you create a cleaner environment because copper is 100% recyclable.

It’s a proven fact that the majority of people who invest in copper are happy with the results. The material itself almost never requires replacement, so it will be one of the best home assets your home has for years to come.


Will copper sinks go out of style? 

will copper sinks go out of style?

That’s the question on everyone’s mind! According to Real Simple, among so many other home publications, copper is seen as a well-known luxury that won’t be leaving the style/trend section anytime soon. If anything, it’s being considered a classic, the same way gold and silver has always been introduced. Several popular designers have even said that shiny accents elevate a home’s ambiance, which will only raise its value.

Copper has been around for over 10,000 years and has been considered man’s oldest metal. There has never been a time when this material hasn’t been needed and coveted. It has extended itself to be seen in objects of varying use, such as money, jewelry, wiring, and now, home elements. At one time, there was a copper pendant discovered that dates all the way back to 8700 B.C.  Four thousand years later, copper began to take the main stage when people started creating a stronger alloy of copper by fusing it together with tin. This type of development lead to the Bronze Age.

Copper also had a love affiliation at one point when Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love was associated in mythology. The beauty they both portrayed had people crafting copper in frames for mirrors.

Fast forwarding to the 19th century, this is when we see copper start to be placed in homes, mainly for electrical wiring, roofing, plumbing, and industrial machinery. This is when the material first started to be used for tubs and sinks, and it only became more common as the years progressed. It was first seen as a symbol of wealth, so only the rich were able to place it in their homes. As other parts of the home started to fall apart, the copper fixtures always seemed to remain firmly intact, which is why so many people believe the material to have a “lifetime warranty” quality.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that we finally saw copper used for interior design aspects instead of sole functionality. The material was famously placed in farmhouses and country inns.

copper sink facts

In 2005, Tom Dixon, placed copper rightfully in the 21st century. Copper was one of the most desirable metallics, and so, he began designing the beautiful metal into urban home products. He designed his first Copper Shade pendant lamp. Major stores, such as Ikea, now carry copper accessories throughout the year, which will beautifully match any copper appliances or sinks in your home. So, no matter what year or century we’re in, copper has always had a place, especially in the home.

How Will Copper Evolve?

Copper is clearly something that won't be going out of style anytime soon, but what can we expect to see going forward? There are so many potential ways that copper could continue to evolve, especially in terms of home designs. Here are a few of our predictions:

Lighting Fixtures

Because copper is a warm and inviting material, it's very likely we may see copper lighting designs with more modern shapes and intricate detailing. Copper may appear somewhat rustic, but it can add a great touch of elegance due to its bronze color.

Front and Center in Sustainability 

Because copper develops a natural patina over time, this doesn't just add character and depth to its appearance, but it also highlights the fact that copper is a living, breathing material that makes us sit up and take notice. Copper encourages us to look for more materials that are linked to the concept of environmental practices and sustainability. 

As homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious, for example, by adding insulation or looking for ways to reduce their energy output, they may look towards copper and how it can age gracefully. Copper is also something that can be recycled without losing any of its initial quality. As approximately 75% of all copper is recycled copper, this is something that we can effectively buy into if we want to become more environmentally conscious.

Finding Its Way Into Different Textures and Finishes

The great thing about copper is that you can customize it to your liking, which is something we can can help you with. If you are excited about how copper is going to evolve over the next few years, undoubtedly, it will end up in a variety of textures and finishes that can inform homeowners beyond choosing something that just suits their personal style. They can have a direct influence on the final outcome. 

We help people customize their furniture, including sinks, range hoods, bathtubs, and tables, but we will undoubtedly see copper finishes in a wide variety of ways, including hammered or brushed copper finishes, to add something extra to fixtures or surfaces.

More Copper in the Kitchen

We already see the impact of copper sinks and hoods in the kitchen, not to mention other furnishings like bathtubs. In the future, we might see more experimentation with designers exploring different combinations of copper with other materials and metals. 

Because copper is an amazing material to bring warmth and character to interiors, we may also see it in more statement pieces. For example, copper vases and wall art. Whether someone wants to have more copper in their home is, ultimately, down to the individual, but it's very likely we're going to see more copper in the future because of its architectural elements in combination with a greater focus on sustainability.

A Mix of Copper and Other Materials

Because copper has that striking visual appeal, we might see more combinations with other materials like stone, wood, concrete, or glass to create a unique blend of different aesthetics that will instantly elevate the look of a space. 

Copper creates visual appeal because of its striking colors, but we will also likely see more interesting contrasts throughout the home, mixing the traditional look of copper with more contemporary materials.

copper sink fact

It’s no secret that copper sinks have been all the rage lately among top home and garden bloggers, interior designers, and contractors. Year after year, these experts always make it a point to give copper a seat at the table with the rest of the metallics, proving that it’s not a fleeting trend. Whether it’s in a sink or other kitchen essentials, the precious metal never fails to look timeless. The conversation about luxury sinks usually begins because of the obvious visual appeal copper and brass sinks have to offer.

Copper is a beautiful material that should make its way into your home. A copper sink is something that will provide you with years of beauty and functionality, and if you are looking to upgrade your home to accommodate a copper sink, there are a lot of things to consider, but you can customize the final look. 

copper sink care guide

At CopperSmith, we can help you create a copper sink that doesn't just look the part but can be suited to your direct specifications. We provide a 3D rendering that can help you see how your copper sink would look in your kitchen or bathroom. Being able to configure components like the texture of the bowl, the finish, the location of the drain, the drain materials, accessories, all to the height, width, and depth you need, ensures that you can create the perfect copper sink that suits your luxury, rustic, modern, or relaxed aesthetics. 

In addition to our 3-D rendering, you can get a quote for your perfect sink within 24 hours, ensuring that you can come to the perfect conclusion that a copper sink is one of the best ways to give an extra sheen to your bathroom or kitchen and add so much more to your home.

We’ve been 100% honest and truly hope this article has adequately addressed all the truths about copper sinks, while also clearing up any confusion or concerns about purchasing one for your home. We strive to put your mind at ease and educate those in the market for a classic, timeless upgrade, whether you’re looking to add the beauty of copper to your kitchen or bathroom.


February 15, 2015