Like pewter and stainless steel, zinc is used in kitchens and countertops.

Zinc’s coloring tends to start out as a light gray tone and warms to dark grays and mottled blue/green hues. Although zinc is a very traditional material originally, if used properly, zinc will fit in with a more contemporary setting where a mix of modern materials and earthy, rustic materials is desired.

Durability and Maintenance

Zinc’s finish will change over time, but these changes may be slowed with occasional application of bees wax. Zinc is anti-microbial, food-safe, and naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and bacteria. Although zinc is easily scratched, these can be buffed out from time to time. Zinc is not conducive to hot pots and pans, which will leave “heat marks” on the surface that cannot be buffed out. Because zinc is a soft material, the edges may be molded into interesting shapes and may be applied to any thickness of substrate material.


Zinc costs around $100-$120 per square foot, making it a more expensive design option; however, if used in small areas, it can pack a powerful design punch without blowing the entire budget.

Selection and Installation

Zinc can be hammered, sanded, and stained to create visually interesting effects. Seaming can be tricky, so installation requires someone with technical experience.