How to Build A Kitchen with Zinc Bar Top

Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Metallic bar tops have taken over those in marble, stone etc. Popular among them are bar tops made from zinc. This naturally occurring metal is also a sustainable choice as it is easy to install and fully recyclable even after its lifetime is through. Building a zinc bar top for your kitchen can be a breeze, if you understand and pay attention to the following details.

The design and edge profiles

The design is the first and foremost step in building a zinc bar top for your kitchen. Many vendors have readymade designs for you to choose from. The internet is also a great place to look for ideas and inspirations. The design needs to take into consideration the kind of bar counter that you have, as well as its size, and space constraints. You could either replicate a design that you like, or begin from scratch, creating your very own and unique zinc bar top, which reflects your personality and tastes.

The edge profile is another feature to be decided along with the design. Based on the bar top design, the edge profile could be pointed or curved. It could be simple or elaborate, depending on what you like. The soft metal that zinc is, it can be molded to any shape to feature intricate details with recessed shapes, rivets, extrusions, stripes, and lots more.  The bar tops can also be customized to include other options such as drink rails, flip doors, and matching shelves.

The finish

Zinc is a reactive metal and hence tends to develop spots when it comes in contact with fingers, oil, acidic liquids, and other substances that are kept in the bar surface. This however, gives the bar top a beautiful patina and a living, ever-changing character. When zinc comes in contact with salty air on a seaside or with the breeze on a rocky mountain terrain, it oxidizes to form a whitish cast. The natural appearance of the zinc surface can be modified to feature unique finishes, and be coated with polishes to give it a distinct look. However, these patinas are not permanent, and the metal continues to react to form its own character and appearance.

Measurements

Proper measurement is key to a bar top that is well fitted.  While each kitchen has unique needs, some common measurements, as follows, come in handy.

  • Countertop depth vs. cabinet depth – countertops typically overhang the cabinets by 1 inch.
  • Edge of countertop to edge of sink – this measurement is usually 3 inches. What need to be considered are the type of sink, how it is fitted to the countertop, the location of cabinet front, and the amount of space behind the sink for the faucet.
  • Countertop thickness – Typical residential kitchens have countertops that are 1.5 inches thick. The edges can be taller, but they should not hang down in front of drawers or doors.

Samples

Most vendors of zinc bar tops offer samples to customers. They can be used as coasters, or placed within active sinks to see how they develop spots. You could also try polishing the sample with a metal polish to see the difference it creates. Having an actual piece of zinc in hand lets you determine the best suited type for you.

Pricing

Yet another consideration in installing a zinc bar top is its price. Typical prices range between $120 – $180 per square foot of the metal. However, the final price is dependent on many variables such as the size, the work involved, corner radii, attachments etc. Vendors of zinc bar tops typically offer price estimates within a few hours or a day, if a drawing or an image is available. Many of them also have online price request forms, where you can fill in details, and request for a quote based on your needs.

Once all these factors have been considered and finalized, you can place the order for the zinc bar top for your kitchen. Manufacturing takes a few days to weeks depending on the design and its complexity. Once ready, the bar top gets shipped in ready-to-install sections to your home, where you can fit it yourself, or with the help of a professional.

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