A copper backsplash gives your kitchen a warm and rustic appeal. It not only provides a sleek and shiny backdrop for your kitchen decor, but also makes it look more spacious. Hence, it is a great option if you have a particularly small kitchen. Copper is a popular material for backsplashes along with stainless steel.
Copper is a versatile metal and comes in various types. The backsplash is made from simple malleable copper sheets that are trimmed for installation. The most common size for sheets is 8 x 3 feet, and they are priced per foot. Tiles are an innovation in hammered copper backsplashes and are a preferred way for creating custom designed ones. They are also less expensive and easy to install.
Hammered copper sheets are available in various thicknesses. Thickness of these sheets is represented in gauge; higher the gauge, thinner the sheet. The selection of thickness should be done depending upon the intended usage. For residential purposes, opt for a higher gauge as you will be installing it yourself. A thin sheet can be easily trimmed with metal sheers and can be molded around the edges. The only problem with thin sheets is that they can neither withstand dents nor hide imperfections.
Copper allows you to choose from a variety of finishes such as hammered, textured, embossed, or brushed. These finishes are in most cases machine-made. However, hammer finishing can also be done manually at home. All you have to do is buy a plain copper sheet and hammer it with a ball-peen hammer.
The installation process is similar to that of installing a roof flashing. Copper metal sheets are never nailed or screwed onto the surface. The best method of installing it is by gluing it to the surface with an adhesive. Another way of installing is by laminating it to a backer board (such as plywood, sheetrock, or particleboard) and then installing it.
Your previous experience with copper might warn you against using it as backsplash, since this metal demands routine cleaning. Surprisingly though, copper ones won't bother you much with cleaning. When copper comes into contact with air, it forms a greenish layer on its surface called patina. Although applying multiple coats of lacquer on your backsplash prevents it from exposure to the atmospheric oxygen and sulfuric compounds, thereby preventing oxidation, there are many people who love patina for its aesthetic appeal. Applying lacquer also prevents it from smudging and provides a glossy effect.
Following are some of the advantages of using copper as the material for your kitchen backsplash which should be reason enough for you choose it over other materials:
- It looks stylish and is versatile.
- Since this metal acts as a natural antimicrobial surface, it repels the growth of fungi or algae. This is a particularly useful property of this metal, since the dampness in and around the sink area is favorable for the growth of microbes.
- It is extremely durable and low on maintenance.