Copper has been used for many purposes over time, from tools in 8000BC to bathroom fittings and hospital equipment today. Copper is a versatile, attractive and infinitely useful material that can be applied in a multitude of ways. Copper has long been the standard for in wall plumbing and piping and has been used in all manner of plumbing fixtures since before the Victorian era.
When considering using copper for bathroom fittings it is important to remember some of the key benefits of copper.
Copper is a great plumbing material because it doesn’t corrode when in contact with water. Copper does react with oxygen in the air but only to the point of discolouring to create copper oxide, after the oxide has formed it then actually protects the copper underneath from any further corrosion. Copper doesn’t rust like iron and steel which makes it a great product to use in damp environments where water contact is a concern.
Copper is both malleable and durable allowing it to be formed into objects like pipe, showers, baths & basins but also holds its form under stress. It also isn’t as easy to break from impact damage such as being dropped on a tile floor, where plastic or ceramic fittings could be an issue.
Copper has a beautiful finish that matures with time to give a natural patina. It can be polished to a high shine, or aged to match its surroundings. You can also easily electroplate copper fittings with brass, chrome, nickel & even gold. It can also be powder coated to give a variety of coloured finishes to match your style. Copper has a living finish that will repair itself over time if its damaged, It can easily be polished to restore its shine.
Copper is a great conductor of heat, which makes products made of copper great at holding and radiating heat. A copper bath will hold its heat for longer than a cast iron or ceramic bath as they draw heat away from the water, the copper bath radiates that heat back into the water keeping it warm so you can relax for a longer time.
Copper has recently been studied by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for application in hospitals at an alternative to stainless steel for many surfaces. Copper has been proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria within 2 hours and stop many other bacteria from multiplying. Some of the tested bacteria include Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli O157:H7, and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE). This property has prompted copper to be used in hospitals around the world in a range of uses like; copper railings on beds, copper door handles and touch plates, copper light switches and copper keyboards among other areas. The antimicrobial properties of copper make it an excellent product to use in a kitchen or bathroom to help protect your health.
Copper is a great material for those who like to consider the sustainability and end-of-life use of the things they buy. Copper can be recycled and 100% of the material can be recovered in the process. It is estimated that around 80% off all copper ever mined is still in circulation today, with very little being lost to landfill or other waste.
Coppers versatility and its wide range of uses makes it an excellent choice for any kitchen, bathroom or outdoor plumbing fittings from showers, to sinks and baths. When designing your bathroom consider copper as an alternative to traditional materials so your home is healthy, warm and inviting.
Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Heritage Bathware.