When designing a bar there are so many options for the bar counter top – perhaps the most important part of any bar structure – that it can be difficult to make a choice. Zinc has become a popular option for bar counters and has been widely used in traditional bars, restaurants and cafés in Paris. Hygienic, stylish and offering a natural finish, zinc makes a good choice for bar counter tops.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a mineral and has been extracted from the earth and worked since ancient times. It became popular and was used in large quantities in India in the 12th century and is now the fourth most popular metal in use (it is used in alloys including brass). Zinc is also an essential mineral and is used in a prepared powdered form as a dietary health supplement, giving zinc metal a natural appeal.
Why is zinc a good choice for bar counter tops?
Perhaps the closest alternative to zinc is stainless steel. Unlike stainless steel, however, zinc is a warmer, more reactive and charismatic choice. For these reasons zinc has been referred to as “The living metal” because of the way in which it reacts to use and its environment. Zinc, unlike stainless steel, will develop a darker blue-grey colour with wear. Although this does take time – up to a year depending upon use – to develop, it offers a unique and appealing aged character. Zinc reacts to the atmosphere in which it is located as well as contact with everything, including human hands and fingers. Unlike other metal surfaces zinc is not for those who require a sterile and ultra-shiny surface and its characteristics cannot be duplicated. With age and wear the character will develop and yield further rewards. Zinc is also naturally stain resistant and has anti-bacterial properties which are beneficial when creating a bar counter. Zinc is also easy to clean requiring only wiping with soap and water.
Working with zinc to form bar tops
Because it is softer than some other metals zinc is easily formed to shape and can even be laid over existing appropriate surfaces. Zinc will also take patterns and decorative moulding easily. These qualities do not detract from the durability of zinc.
Getting it right
Choosing zinc may seem a less obvious option for a bar counter but it has many benefits. Sometimes it helps to discuss using less obvious materials with specialists. There are many companies that specialise in providing zinc for private and commercial uses as well as those that are specialists in creating bespoke bars such as Dawnvale. It will help anyone considering using zinc for a bar top to make contact with such a company and seek their specialist advice. Zinc can be more expensive than other bar top options so obtaining reassurance and making sure that every detail has been clarified can bring peace of mind as well as help in choosing the right supplier and designer.