At Bastille Metal Works, we always thoroughly explain the difference between cast zinc and cast pewter, because aesthetically they have very different looks. Zinc is more matte with blue and brown hues, meanwhile pewter has more distinctive polished look with silver hues. But how do these alloy metals compare to other luxury kitchen countertop materials?
Stainless steel is a popular choice because it is durable, heat resistant, and relatively easy to maintain. Unfortunately steel can get scratched and blemished fairly easily. And unlike zinc and pewter, it doesn’t develop a patina which gives the metal an appearance of warmth. As a patina develops on zinc and pewter it blends any imperfections and forms a protective carbonate layer over time, which is one of the reasons alloy metals lasts centuries and become even more beautiful with age.
Marble is a popular choice because of the variety of color selections. The marble surface is relatively chip resistant and smooth in appearance. It’s important to note that marble can be easily stained without a sealant, particularly with red wine, and it doesn’t have a protective layer like a patina. This means chemicals are needed to protect the material, making it not nearly as organic as zinc and pewter.
Granite is significantly more durable than marble, which is why it’s such a popular choice in kitchens. It is also fairly versatile, with a large variety of colors available to match a kitchen’s decor. Unfortunately granite is not as low maintenance as other materials, because you have to reseal it every year, so again, you have to use chemicals to keep the material looking good year after year and protect the surface. It has also become a very mainstream choice and is not as commonly used in high-end settings.
Onyx is a beautiful and unique choice for countertops, because of its dramatic character and translucent qualities, which sometimes gives it a glowing appearance. Unfortunately, onyx doesn’t become more beautiful with age and can quickly look worn down. The stone itself is very fragile, making it easy to scratch and very brittle. Fiberglass is often used to hold the onyx together, so for the price, onyx is a very high maintenance material.
Glass countertops are a beautifully artistic and durable choice. They retain their look over time and are waterproof and relatively easy to maintain. They are great, particularly for commercial and specialty projects because they are environmentally friendly and use no sealants. Unfortunately they don’t have the versatility of zinc and pewter, because glass is strikingly modern in appearance. The material is rarely used in traditional kitchens and is not as adaptable as the other choices.
Zinc and Pewter Applications
Cast zinc and pewter are a truly unique choice for countertops that have a warmth, beauty, and history. The two alloy metals naturally retain their look and don’t fade over time thanks to their natural patina, and can last decades or even centuries with proper care. At Bastille Metal Works we use high quality zinc and pewter that is 100% food-safe, non-toxic, naturally anti-microbial, and VOC/chemical free. Our metals are also chip free, stain resistant, and very low maintenance. Both alloy’s sustainability make them an environmentally friendly choice and a superior investment in comparison to other materials because they become more beautiful and develop their look with time. Both cast zinc and pewter are highly versatile and can be used in traditional, transitional, contemporary, and modern aesthetics. The materials can be completely transformed to a specific decor based on the edge profile, finish, and patina choices.
If you are ready to take your kitchen or restaurant to the next level with a custom piece of artwork, contact us today to learn about zinc and pewter. We will send samples upon request and are certain you will be enthralled by the quality and aesthetic of this stunning material.