When it comes to the metal market in home furnishings, stainless steel dominates other metals. However, zinc has been becoming a popular table material. It’s worth considering, especially for dining tables and countertops.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is a natural element found in water, soil, and air and looks silvery-greyish when oxidation over the metal is removed. Zinc is durable, making it a great material for a tabletop.
Due to the beautiful color of zinc, many prefer to use this metal on various different kinds of furniture. It adds a new material to the room, making the entire space feel more dynamic and have a clean look.
Naturally, zinc is bluish-white and lustrous. However, when used in a different form, it usually has a dull finish, which often fits nicely with most places’ interiors. Zinc is also extremely useful as it is known to form alloys, which are also often used in interior pieces. One popular alloy is brass.
Zinc is the 24th most abundant element on earth and is easily found in association with other metals such as copper and leads in ores. Since it is a chalcophile, it is more likely that the element will be found in minerals alongside other heavy chalcogens.
Using zinc to make countertops is ingenuous because it is a reactive metal that changes over time. It all depends on how you interact with it. Small everyday things such as dropping water or juice over it, touching it, having sunlight fall on it, etc., change how the countertop looks.
Over time, the zinc countertop becomes almost unique. Due to the different usage, no two zinc countertops can look alike.
Like other metal countertops, thin sheets of zinc are molded and fastened to the wood sublayer to make zinc countertops. These come in different finishes, but with usage, the metal will change and form a dark blue-gray patina over time. Usually, it has a rustic quality to it.
Different Finishes for Zinc Dining Tables
Zinc is a gorgeous metal that gives an industrial aura to a dining room, though it offers a warmer feel as compared to stainless steel. There are three main types of finishes for zinc table tops: polished, matte, and patina.
Matte is the most common finish for zinc tabletops. It makes the surface more reactive to everything, making an aged look appear naturally. Matte finishes are also low maintenance and easy to take care of. Therefore, it is a low-maintenance finish, which can be great if you do not have the means to regularly clean the kitchen.
A polished zinc tabletop is very shiny and reflective, as the surface is smooth and less porous. Since it is less porous, patina forms the slowest. However, polished zinc can show scratches in the long run.
Therefore, polished zinc table-tops are much more labor intensive. Fingerprints and even the lightest of scratches will show much more prominently on polished zinc surfaces as compared to matte or patina finishes. Thus, you will need to polish the top frequently to keep the exterior looking scratch-free and new.
This type of finish is for you if you want a tabletop with a patina finish early on. It used acid to create the reaction on the surface of the zinc. Most reactive agents used by manufacturers create a darker color on the zinc.
A patina finishes zinc table top is much easier to take care of as it is very low-maintenance. You can easily clean it using daily non-abrasive house cleaning products. With a quick wipe, your table surface will look brand new.
Advantages of Zinc Dining Tables
There are many different kinds of metal out there which can be used to make table-tops. However, zinc table tops are pretty unique, and using them has many advantages that you probably would not be able to find with other metal dining tables.
The Stylish Rustic Look
Usually, zinc tables are made using zinc tops and either wood or metal frames. Therefore, you have endless choices in how to make your dining table look unique. Zinc table tops are unique, unlike other kinds of laminations or metals, such as stainless steel.
Zinc is a reactive metal that reacts differently to different materials and environments. Therefore, they look very different depending on how much they are used and where they are placed. A zinc table set in sunlight will appear much different than a zinc table placed in an area without sunlight.
Therefore, over time, a zinc table becomes a custom piece, unique to its experiences. Furthermore, it is also versatile in terms of style. For an understated look, it can be paired with a wood base. However, if you want it to be a centerpiece, having a metal base will make it look more glamorous.
Zin also adds a new material into the design. If your kitchen or dining room has wooden textures, adding a metal dining table will add a contrasting color and texture, which will help balance the dark colors. Overall, zinc has a clean and polished feel, which can become a statement piece in your dining room.
Easy to Maintain
Zinc is an easy-to-maintain table-top provided that you do not choose the polished finish, making marks and scratches very prominent. In general, zinc is extremely easy to clean. You can use any mild soap or a non-abrasive household cleaner to clean.
It is also highly durable and will not easily damage. Still, it is malleable, which makes it easy to customize. Fabricators can add decorative bits, such as edges and rivets, to make the table more special. Therefore, it is extremely easy to work with.
Despite its malleability, zinc will not gouge easily as wood does, and when it ages, unlike wood, it will not leave evidence of hand prints, which makes it an excellent material to use if you have children. Zinc also does not crack, chip or warp like glass does. Therefore, it is superior to other dining table materials.
The developing patina is also very forgiving and does not immortalize the water rings and stains. They usually blend and fade along with the patina that develops over the top.
Zinc is a nonporous solid surface. Therefore, it does not harbor any kind of harmful microorganisms. Consequently, it is a perfect surface for germophobes. It has a smooth surface, which makes it extremely easy to clean, and once cleaned, it is an ideal surface to prepare food on. If you can prepare food on it, it is clean enough o be used as a dining table as well.
When using a zinc table, you do not need to worry about food going into the nooks and crannies that you will have to clean later on. It is a smooth surface; with one wipe, all the germs and microorganisms will be wiped clean. Therefore, it is often used in industrial kitchens and bars.
Disadvantages of Zinc Dining Tables
Adding a zinc dining table may seem like the best possible option. However, there are some things that one needs to be cautious about when purchasing zinc dining tables.
Zinc is an expensive material compared to others used to make dining tables, such as granite and stainless steel. Usually, a zinc dining table top may cost somewhere around $150 to $200 per square foot.
Instead, you can opt to install a sheet of zinc, but it may be difficult as it requires a lot of soldering, and that requires a considerable amount of skill if you want the job well done. Therefore, looking into the cost may be a smart choice before purchasing a zinc dining table.
Furthermore, you should also choose the right dining table size for your dining room if you are going to invest in a zinc dining table. Having too large of a table or one that is too small may ruin the aesthetics of the room.
Zinc is a soft metal, due to which it scratches really easily. Some may argue that the scratches that a zinc table top endures add to the character and rustic charm, but for others, it can be merely annoying.
However, scratches can be prevented if one is careful. To avoid scratches, use table mats to prevent unnecessary scratching by cutlery, and be cautious when placing objects on the surface.
It Is Heat Intolerant
Zinc is not suitable for hot objects; if hot pots, pans, and trays are placed in it, it can warp. It is advised that items over 300 degrees Farheinet are not placed on zinc tops as it can melt them. To avoid such issues, it is always better to use a trivet and put any hot items on it.
Cleaning Zinc Table Tops
Zinc countertops are pretty easy to clean, and the process is overall super quick and straightforward. All you need is a cloth, water, a non-abrasive household cleaner, or soap. When you have all your supplies, apply the water and your choice of cleaner onto the table and then wipe clean.
Instead of a cloth, you can also use a soft sponge. However, make sure that it is non-abrasive. Otherwise, it may scratch the surface of your table. Furthermore, avoid using bleach, citric acid, or ammonia cleaners. To check, just read the ingredient list.
If your table has developed scratches, use a scouring pad or 150 to 220-grade sandpaper to buff out any scratches or scuffs that the table may have developed. If you want your table to have a shiny finish at the end, apply a coat of beeswax.
Suppose you want to deviate from the traditional path of getting a wood dining table. In that case, a zinc dining table is an excellent option. It has many advantages, such as anti-microbial properties, easy to clean, and durability, making it perfect for dining table use. Zinc is also known to change with time. Therefore, based on how you use the table, it will develop a gorgeous and unique patina, significantly enhancing the table’s look and making it the centerpiece of your dining room.
Zinc is also expensive and scratches easily. Therefore, it may not be the smartest option if you are on a budget or want something that will stay the same as when it was bought. Therefore, before purchasing a zinc dining table, considerable thought is required so that you end up choosing the perfect dining table.