A buyer’s guide to sheet metal kitchen countertops
CSM outlines everything you need to know ahead of ordering a sheet metal kitchen countertop.
Think of kitchen countertops and the first materials that come to mind are likely to be granite, wood, or even laminate. But in recent years, sheet metal countertops have experienced a rise in popularity. They share many of the same properties as the more traditional materials, are easy to shape into bespoke designs and can look striking in both modern and more traditional style kitchens. Despite the fact that more people are opting for metal kitchen surfaces, there’s relatively little information on the choices available to you, so the following is intended as a brief buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice.
Knowing which material to choose is the first step to purchasing a sheet metal countertop. You have a number of options available, all with distinct qualities. Here are five of the most popular:
One of the original craftsman’s materials, pewter has a long and cherished history in the British kitchen, having been used for everything from sinks and basins to plates and cutlery. It makes a natural choice, therefore, for those looking to bring a traditional touch to their home. Its deep grey colour goes well with most design pallets. Pewter can be supplied in shades from bright to antiqued finishes. Naturally antimicrobial and timelessly stylish, this is a great choice for a classic look in your kitchen.
While it may be more common for ‘accents’ such as splash backs or edging, a bronze kitchen counter makes for a striking and original statement in your kitchen. It is harder than many other sheet metals, and therefore less prone to damage. Like copper, the tone will darken slightly over time, giving the surface a warm, ‘lived in’ feel. Bronze is a more expensive option than many other metal kitchen counters, but if it’s an attractive, practical talking point that you’re after, it’s a great choice.
There’s something rather romantic about a kitchen countertop that gently changes hue over the years, responding to the light, the heat and your touch. It’s as if it’s telling the story of your time in your family kitchen; after a while no other worktop will look quite the same as yours. Add to this the naturally warm colour and antibacterial properties of copper and it becomes clear why it is such a popular choice of kitchen counter.
With its deep, golden tones and long-lasting shine, a brass counter top gives a look of true quality. It’s also an original choice – perfect for those looking to add a touch of class to their home.
Think zinc, think attractive grey-blue tones that look great in everything from cosy kitchens to the display counters of artisan bakeries. Like copper, zinc can change hue over time, but with regular polishing you can retain the original colour and shine if preferred. Zinc also has the benefits that it absorbs no moisture and is easy to clean. If stainless steel feels a little cold and clinical for you, a zinc countertop might be the answer.
Go to any commercial kitchen and you’ll see surfaces gleaming with the unmistakable sheen of stainless steel. There’s good reason for this: stainless steel countertops are one of the most hygienic work surfaces available. They are easy to clean, don’t absorb any odour or moisture from food and are resistant to rust and burn. With the rise in popularity of the ‘industrial look’, and the increasing number of serious home cooks, stainless steel worktops are becoming a popular option. When weighing up your options, it’s worth bearing in mind that stainless steel does dent, scratch and pick up smudges such as fingerprints a little easier than many other surfaces. If it’s a professional, modern look you’re after, this makes a great choice.
Fabrication and Fitting
You may or may not be aware that sheet metal countertops are not ‘slabs’ in the same way that a granite or wooden worktop is. Rather, they are, quite literally, ‘sheets’ that are built in around your kitchen. This means the shape can be entirely bespoke to your kitchen.
In terms of finish, the malleable nature of metals means that a wide range of finishes are available, from the sleek look of a polished surface, to an attractive brushed look, to the more rustic style of a hammered effect. Be sure to ask to see samples of how the available finishes look in your chosen material.
You can also ensure features such as edges are completely bespoke to your tastes. Softer metals can be shaped into decorative designs. Again, be sure to ask us to show you what’s possible to help make the right choice.
In summary, sheet metal countertops offer an attractive and practical alternative to the more common choices of granite, wood or laminate, and can complement a range of styles, from minimalist modern chic, to a more traditional ‘country home’ aesthetic. With the hard wearing and naturally antibacterial properties, as well as the different design options that sheet metal gives, it may well be worth considering a sheet metal countertop for that new kitchen.