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Use Copper Patina Tile for Beauty

Copper patina tile is beautiful and durable. It gives a feel of stability and graciousness to any home. The style can vary from old-world grandeur to modern elegance, but copper is always warm and welcoming.

Unsealed copper is a living surface. Copper does not rust, but over time, it interacts with the environment to form a thin ‘skin’ to protect it from the elements. In a dry environment, such as a house interior, it ages to a warm, rich brown with hints of blue and purple. When copper is directly exposed to very moist or acidic conditions, the result is a greenish verdigris patina. The appearance of copper patina tile will vary depending on its environment.

Radical color changes often take place when unsealed copper is exposed to air. Colors can range from with iridescent pinks to oranges and reds interspersed with brassy yellows, blues, greens and purples. These bright colors are especially likely to develop in a humid atmosphere or in areas with frequent rainfall. As exposure continues, these bright colors fade and are replaced by the russet brown shades known as statuary or oxidized finishes.

Copper patina tile will generally form a natural patina in five to seven years in industrial and seacoast atmospheres. In rural atmospheres, patina may not reach its fully oxidized state for ten to fourteen years. In arid environments, the patina may never form completely. Generally, horizontal surfaces develop more rapidly than vertical surfaces. Once the patina has developed fully, it is very stable, and no further weathering will occur.

Many homeowners value the look of copper patina tile and wait eagerly for the patina to form. Some would like to hurry the process along. Some sheet copper fabricators offer prepatination systems, where the initial patina is produced using patented chemical processes. These processes result in a true chemical conversion, so that purchasers have real copper patina tile. There are several conversion treatments in general use, but the results are not always uniform. Oxidized finishes are usually produced by using an
ammonium sulfide base or a potassium sulfide base. Verdigris finishes can be produced with an ammonium sulfate base, an ammonium chloride base, or a cuprous chloride/hydrochloric acid base.

Do-it-yourselfers often make copper patina tile by covering the raw copper tile with a combination of a chemical solution and sawdust. The tile is wrapped in plastic and left for three weeks, when it is unwrapped, washed, and left to dry in the sunlight. In another process, a different chemical solution is applied with cotton wool, and is kept moist for ten to twenty hours before being washed and air-dried. Both solutions are toxic, and their vapors can be unhealthy when inhaled.

Whether the patina is formed naturally or hastened by chemical processes, copper patina tile makes its surroundings beautiful.

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