Copper Countertop Cost Guide
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You take great pride in your kitchen and nothing exhibits this pride more than a brand new copper countertop. Depending on several factors, the price of your new copper countertop can range from just over $1,000 to well over $20,000. These factors include the size of the job, the type of materials and labor, overall job complexity and geographic area. This guide will help you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of copper countertops and the variables that go into the cost.
- Cheapest: 50 sq. ft. runs about $4,500 - $5,000.
- Average: 50 sq. ft. runs about $5,000 - $6,500.
- Most Expensive: While this can go up to $20,000 or more, 50 sq. ft. usually runs about $6,500- $7,000.
As far as countertops go, copper is one of the most luxurious and, not surprisingly, most expensive materials to use. It has been used by man for thousands of years and remains a popular metal due to its coloration and unique patina that changes over time. Recently, copper countertops have become very trendy, but it's important to keep in mind that copper is not the way to go for everybody. It's always a good idea to consider the price range of your home and neighborhood before you overindulge on home improvements.
For example, if you have an average home in a neighborhood with a median home value of $100,000, it would not be a great idea to splurge on a $25,000 custom copper countertop. You would most likely have a very hard time making money off such an investment because of the relatively low home values in the neighborhood. Say, however, you live in an average home in a neighborhood with a median home value of $500,000. In that particular case, the $25,000 countertop is much more likely to be a valuable selling point, rather than a deal-breaking frivolity. It's always important to consider the relative value of your options.
Types of Copper Countertops
Once you have your mind set on a copper countertop, it is helpful to be familiar with all of your different options. There is a wide variety of options to choose from when selecting a copper countertop. The most obvious is the gauge that you select (keep in mind that the lower the number, the heavier the gauge). As one would reasonably expect, the heavier gauge is more expensive. In addition, it is also more durable and requires less maintenance than lighter gauge copper.
Heavy gauge copper develops rich, complex, coloration and an aesthetically pleasing patina over time. However, light gauge copper is not without its advantages. Besides the obvious plus of being cheaper than heavy gauge copper, it is easier to cut and work with, and is also durable and beautiful. With a brilliant, glossy shine, light gauge copper has a distinct look of its own.
In addition to the gauge, there are many other choices to make when shopping for your copper sheeting. Custom finishes and texturizing can greatly enhance the appearance of your countertop. There are a wide variety of colors, stains, and textures to choose from, allowing you to customize your countertop to exacting specifications. These customization options can make the cost of different projects vary considerably.
If you want to try an economical way to install a copper countertop in your kitchen, try installing a copper backsplash for an attractive accent. Another way to save is to shop around for discontinued, clearance, or odd lot materials for your project. You can make this project much more affordable if you do your homework and shop around Once you have done your research and decided upon the type of copper you will be using for your countertop, it’s time to get to work.
Getting it Done: Know a Guy or DIY?
Depending on the size and complexity of your project, and your level of confidence, it may be worthwhile to consider doing the job yourself. For instance, if you have a geometrically simple countertop with few seams and basic edging, you can accomplish the task with little more than a utility knife, lacquer, and epoxy. In cases like this, installing your own copper countertop can be a fun weekend project for any DIY-er who wants to take personal pride in their handiwork and their kitchen.
However, DIY is not for everyone. There are many who prefer to enlist the services of a skilled handyman to do the job, for a wide variety of reasons. Having your copper countertop professionally installed will ensure that the job gets done efficiently and with a skilled hand. However, this also comes at a higher price, which can be significantly higher depending on the size and complexity of the job. The price of labor can range from around $500 for a relatively small and simple job to upwards of $2,500 for a custom job with a complex configuration.
Depending on the shape, number of corners and levels, and size of your project, the job complexity can vary considerably. If you are having the job done by a contractor, it is important to solicit bids from multiple vendors, ensuring that you explore all of your options. Make sure to use the exact same job specifications for each vendor to make sure that the quotes are comparable. It is important to keep geographical and seasonal considerations in mind. Labor costs can vary considerably from area to area. Labor availability may also be scarcer during high demand periods; to save money on labor costs, contract to have the work done during a low demand period if possible.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Copper Countertops
The most obvious advantage of a copper countertop is the touch of elegance and beauty that it adds to your household, but there are many others. For example, if left unfinished, your copper countertop is naturally antimicrobial, inhibiting the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Copper is also relatively easy to work with, enabling you to make a fun weekend project out of installing your new countertop. In addition, copper is relatively low-maintenance, only requiring semi-annual waxing to maintain a healthy shine. The main disadvantage of copper is its price. It is one of the more expensive types of material to use for a custom countertop. Additionally, it will change color over time, an uncertainty that may cause prospective buyers to think twice. It is important to consider all of these factors when considering a copper countertop.
Copper is used for an extremely wide variety of purposes, from currency to wiring. Its applications in your kitchen and household are equally versatile. For example, in addition to a copper countertop, you can install a copper backsplash behind your sink for a beautiful accent piece. In fact, you could even make yourself a copper sink for an especially unique touch. The applications extend to many other pieces of your home, such as bar tops, range hoods, tabletops and more. Use your imagination to find the perfect combination for your needs and personality.
A copper countertop is an attractive upgrade to make to your kitchen, whether you do it yourself or have it done professionally. The most important consideration is to do your research and know the pros and cons of using copper, from the raw materials and design, to the labor and installation. If you follow the steps outlined in this article, you are well on your way to having the copper countertop of your dreams, at a price that fits your budget.
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Last updated on May 23, 2016