Or do you know someone who has. IRL
Here is a thread of one posted before.
Here is a link that might be useful: Zinc
Could it be? One zinc counter in 7 years...
Here is a link to some beauties.
I'm planning to do so, and DIY, as well.
I have some samples pieces that I am field testing right now. It's not something you should consider if you're looking for the pristine look and metallic toughness of stainless. It gets dings, dents, scratches, stains, splotches and acid etches and it can't take hot pots being put down on it, but other than that, it's fab.
No, really, all of the above is true, but I'm still planning to use it as that fits with my style goals.
Strongly suggest getting some pieces and living with them, first.
Thanks a lot, trail!
Still looking for a gw'er who has them...
Thanks for your note. Not to worry, I am not choosing zinc for durability! And my project wont be diy.
I am curious about seeing residential apps IRL. It must mean something that no one chooses it. I appreciate its costly, but still.
mountainredux just put in a pewter countertop. I wonder what the differences/similarities between zinc & pewter might be?
kitschy, I've got copper, which is a far cry from zinc but perhaps similar enough that I can give you a few pertinent usage details? Just give me a holler via email if there's any info I could share that might help you in your quest. I'm all about the lesser-used metals. :-)
Actually, it's not terribly expensive. I don't know why it's gotten that reputation other than that so few places work with it that they can name their own prices.
To me it's the poor man's choice for a metal counter, especially if you DIY.
I have long admired circuspeanut's handsome copper counters, so that's what made me investigate zinc. I like the color of it better than unoxidized copper, that's all. Otherwise, if my project turns out even a fraction as well as curcuspeanut's I'll be thrilled. I'm not trying anything so ambitious, so I have hope.
As long as you are cold working it, such as gluing bar stock to sheet stock, you can probably DIY a counter just fine. If it involves any welding, soldering, or other heating of the zinc, then you just crossed over into a VERY TOXIC situation that a homeowner needs to steer completely clear of. And that's one of the reason that it is an expensive choice for professionally fabricated countertops. It's toxic and tricky to deal with. You need an expert with a TIG welder and a respirator.
As you might have guessed, zinc counters should NOT come in contact with any food as a prep surface.
I am not a DIY'er. My standards of workmanship are a great deal higher then my skills!
I remain fascinated by the fact that no one can post a picture of a finished kitchen IRL using zinc.
I am aware of some having health concerns, but my research tells me it is not an issue. Not to mention, I would not prepare food on any counter, directly.
Thanks, Circus, your kitchen is lovely. But I did not want a copper color, and I don't want stainless. I want something soft dull gray and that will patina.
Mntredux, I have not thought about pewter. Do you like it?
I have posted about my counters before, and I think it will probably answer anything you might need to know about zinc and pewter.
(link below has photos too)
I was thinking, though, my pewter isnt really a counter. I think in one version of my kitchen i planned to use zinc or pewter in another area, too. But as I have used it, it is almost part of a hutch. So really I don't have a pewter countertop in the sense you may be looking for.
PS If you google gardenweb and zinc, you will find this post and others.
Here is a link that might be useful: all about zinc and pewter
They are basically a French restaurant bar item/look so fabricators tend to be commercial. They haven't gained traction here over the last 10 years since the durability is an issue and, coupled with low demand, few fabricators specialize.
Brooks Custom, which did mtnrdredux's pewter apron for her hutches, can do them (Brooks is ultra high end and does every type of counter superbly).
For me, the beauty of a zinc counter is in the edge details which tend to be elaborate as you can see in trailrunner's link.
If we add a fitted hutch to my kitchen, which I'm still debating, I'd do a 6-foot zinc counter on that as it essentially would be a breakfast, coffee and drinks bar. One purpose would be to have the elaborate edge as a finishing element. It's one of the ultimate "living" counters since as someone pointed out upthread, it will ding, discolor etc. For a hutch, that's no problem for me at all. I also could see a section of regular kitchen counters in zinc. A full kitchen would no doubt be gorgeous but ya gotta love maintenance.
In terms of food preparation: once the zinc has reached the desired patina (or you've created it more quickly with patinating chemicals), you can seal it with a food-safe coating, like they do for copper sinks. I'm seriously toying with this idea for the portions of my raw copper counters where I'm most sick of constantly wiping off verdigris.
I haven't done one, but I looked into doing so some time ago. This company came highly recommended and seemed to be willing to answer many questions at that time.
Here is a link that might be useful: Handcrafted Metal
some very good info at the link below. They say zinc is absolutely not toxic and has such good antibacterial qualities that is regularly used for oyster bars...so there you go. Perfect. I also like the idea of polishing it with bees wax...sounds so beautiful.
As an aside it was always used in morgues...presumably for the same reason.
Here is a link that might be useful: ZINC countertop FAQ
just finishing up a great DIY project, counter tops, back splash, stove back.....
I would be happy to answer any Q's on Zinc!
Pictures, Caa60126, we need many pictures of your work! Please?
Caa60126 I would be interested in hearing more also!
Eek... I hope nobody is talked out of their Zinc counters via Hollysprigs' advice. Sorry, Holly, I beleive you're rather wrong on both accounts of Zinc soldering being toxic and zinc in-general being toxic.
Re: a matte countertop, a friend with stainless counters told me that after his counters had been in awhile and were thoroughly scratched up, he went over them with a random orbit sander with fine sandpaper, and got a matte finish. My stainless counters are still fairly new, so I'm not going to try this yet, but I might try it on a test sample down the road.