This product is the same material as seen in the leading trade magazines on counter tops. It is supplied in a shiny finish but can be artificially or naturally distressed material to a "soft gray * patina, if an "Old World" or "Natural" look is desired. Since this is Lead free, it is the material of choice for homes and commercial establishments. (* Please note that our material does not have a blue hue to it that may show up in print as seen in several home magazines.)
Since the material is almost pure zinc, it can be worked to produce a variety of finishes. Minor surface flaws and scratches can be removed with sanding, turning, buffing, or polishing. It is resistant to heat and can be molded around a radius greater than 1.5".
All of our zinc sheets are in an unfinished state. Just as no two pieces of wood are the same, so is the look of our sheets. Each has its own imperfections, bumps, scratches, blemishes and striations. Many people enjoy this natural look and let it "weather" even further. Others buff and polish it to a high sheen. The choice is a matter of taste. ** We ask that you take precautions, while handling this product, since the metal edges are very sharp and cutting or grinding can create dangerous chips that will cut the skin or do damage to eyes! This material has been designated for professional use! Do not attempt to fabricate without safety equipment.
The materials use has many possibilities for a variety of applications but keep in mind that it is not for everyone nor every application. Zinc is difficult to maintain if someone is used to a shiny surface that easily wipes clean. Although the finished sheet is polished, Zinc will stain with plain water if left exposed for a continued period. It may show black stains if exposed to certain acids, such as those found in tomato or lemon juice, that are not wiped up. Even vinegar used in cooking, if left for a long time on the surface, will create stains.
Do keep in mind that each sheet is solid metal, not just a surface finish like Formica tm materials, so it can be sanded and polished if necessary to remove these stains.
All of this adds up to a good deal of work, so consult your installer and design your surface area around a material friendly environment.
In original form, you may notice a slight gray residue left behind after touching or rubbing the sheet. This is a thin layer of Zinc Oxide and is caused by the natural occurrence of metal oxidation when the metal is exposed to air. This oxide will continue if left un-coated. The zinc surface can be sealed to deter this oxidation (or whitening) process with several commercial techniques (as offered by your professional installer), or it can be allowed to oxidize naturally over time and create a beautiful weathered look.
Zinc sheets were originally designed for industrial applications such as water resistance, roof flashing, chemical resistance, cathode protection, engraving, sound deadening and scientific applications. Over the years Zinc sheets became popular in commercial establishments including bar finishes and cabinet tops. In France, zinc tables are very popular. This application then spread to decorative raised panels in elevators and architectural designs in stores. Today this versatile material can be seen in with a variety of different looks and is found in prestigious residential applications, including bar tops, decorative counters, kitchen cooking areas, stove enclosures, heat protection panels, sink tops and cabinetry, as well as kick plates and moldings. Bathroom areas and vanities are also taking on a new look with Zinc.
It is highly recommended that seams be fitted mechanically whenever possible or a cold process epoxy filler is used. If a specific application requires that the seams be solder filled, we recommend soldering the joint with a commercial grade Tin/Zinc wire solder before applying it to wood, flake board or any flammable substrate. Since the melting temperatures of these solders are over 600F, when used with zinc sheets, we recommend them for professional use only!
NOTE: **:Edges are also important and special care should be taken to cover the exposed edges to prevent cuts. Whenever possible an external molding should be used or the edges rolled down to create a smooth corner.
SIZE & THICKNESS: We recommend the use of the .030 for sinks, counters, and bar tops. Since a 39" x 96" sheet can weigh 35 lb., we suggest that for certain installations, such as cabinet surfaces, the use of our .020:" thickness should be considered.
We stock several thickness and our most popular grade is .030" (20 gauge) thick. It also comes in an .020", .040" and an .060" thickness.
The .030" sheets are produced in one standard size of 39" x 96". Other sizes are available for special order.
The material is manufactured to demand and may not be in stock at all times. As with any commodity based materials, prices are subject to current market conditions, and we ask that you call for an updated price and our quantity discount schedule.
Please call us at (718) 389-4900 for further information regarding up to date per sheet pricing, technical support and product availability, as well as our complete line of Pewter alloys, White Metal non-ferrous Alloys, Solders and Specialty products.