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A Copper Kitchen Backsplash and Countertop Is Beautiful and Healthful



Homeowners have valued a copper kitchen backsplash and countertop for centuries because they are beautiful and durable. Today, there is growing recognition that they are healthful, too.

The warm glow of a copper kitchen backsplash adds beauty to the kitchen. Because copper is a highly malleable metal, the backsplash can be a work of art. Artisans can hammer it into a variety of ornamental patterns or flame it for astonishing bursts of color - or it can be left as a simple, elegant sheet. Copper is available in many textures and finishes. A copper kitchen backsplash can be used when creating a wide range of moods and styles.

Copper can be left to age naturally or treated to retain its bright pinkish color. Unsealed copper is a living surface. Inside the home, it ages to a warm, rich brown with hints of blue and purple. Many homeowners value this look, and wait eagerly for the patina to form. Others prefer the brightness of new copper, and choose to protect the surface with several coats of lacquer. A lacquered copper kitchen backsplash will require periodic resealing to maintain its look.

Unsealed copper countertops can protect the family from a variety of diseases. Drs. C. William Keevil and J.O. Noyce, researchers at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, found that E. Coli and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria die after exposure to copper. Copper is 30 times more effective than stainless steel in stopping bacteria growth. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also dies after contact with copper. Researchers at the University of Chile are examining copper’s effectiveness against Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni. It may also kill some viruses, especially those associated with Influenza A.

If you value copper’s antimicrobial properties, but like the bright, shiny color of new copper before it develops a patina, you can keep your countertops and copper kitchen backsplash bright without sealing them. This can be accomplished by rubbing the surface with salt and lemon wedges, and then rinsing thoroughly. Performed once a month, this routine will allow only a light patina to develop.

Copper is a soft metal, which means it can easily acquire dents with use. To reduce denting, it should be installed on a solid substrate such as 3/4-inch plywood. Copper sheet used to make a copper kitchen backsplash is sold by ounces per square foot. Sixteen oz or 20 oz copper is a good weight for this purpose.

An adhesive caulk that's compatible with metals is usually used for installation. Do not nail or screw the copper. If fasteners are used, they should be made of copper, brass or bronze. Seams or miters can be soldered easily, and the solder can be tinted to match the surface. A completely seamless appearance can be created by welding the seams and miters and then polishing the welds.

A beautiful copper kitchen backsplash will give you and your family a lifetime of service and pleasure.





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