The beautiful poison: why we’re using copper in the home

Copper is toxic to all living organisms but when it is used in passive applications its toxicity has a distinct advantage...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team
0FC8CFBD-C43F-4180-85D1-CF38FD5869A7Created with sketchtool.
E160A899-8C92-47FF-BB31-6DB22BCEB5D9Created with sketchtool.

Copper is toxic to all living organisms but when it is used in passive applications its toxicity has a distinct advantage. Used widely in US hospitals for its self-cleaning properties, copper is seeing a revival in New Zealand homes. We spoke to Hydra Plumbing about the benefits of this living material.

As a material, copper has a host of benefits from its durability to its ultimate sustainability. It is copper’s antimicrobial properties though, that are generating a renewed interest in its use in the home.

 

“Copper, because of its inherent makeup, naturally kills bacteria unlike other commonly used materials for tapware, basins, sinks, showers and baths such as stainless steel, ceramic and marble,” Hydra Plumbing’s Nathan Brown says. “Copper is poisonous to all living organisms. That’s why it’s generally not advised to use copper pans for cooking, for example, because if you cook anything slightly acidic, the acid will burn through the oxidised layer and copper could be present in the food,” Nathan says.

 

“However, it is exactly this toxicity that makes copper perfect for touch points in the home where bacteria is found. We talk about these as ‘passive’ applications, including sinks, basins and tapware.” When bacteria come into contact with copper, they will quickly die, which is why copper has been introduced widely in American hospitals as a method to self-clean. “There, they’re using copper for everything from door handles to keyboards; places where bacteria normally thrives. “Copper does this naturally due to its antimicrobial properties. It’s for this reason we can call it a self-sanitising surface,” Nathan says.

 

Copper is a particularly unique material, and one that is coveted not only for its self-sanitising properties but because of its ultimate longevity and changing, living finish. “Over time, copper will naturally oxidise, creating a beautiful patina over the years. This patina makes copper particularly suited to outdoor applications, where it blends in with its natural surrounds as it ages. It can also withstand extremely harsh environments and climatic conditions.”

 

Hydra Plumbing specialises in copper tapware and kitchen and bathroom fittings including sinks, showers, baths, basins and mixers - all of which are designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

 

“Copper is also an interesting material in that it is essentially a self healing product. If copper gets scratched for example, because it is a living material that responds to its surrounds, it will naturally heal itself, with the scratch eventually oxidising in line with the rest of the surface to an extent where it is no longer visible.

 

“You can expect copper products to last for generations. If they do require repurposing at any point, copper does not lose its integrity during the recycling process like other metals, and it can be recycled infinitely without degrading in quality.”

Hydra Plumbing’s pieces are crafted with an inspiration deeply seated in the Victorian era - they are classic pieces designed for timelessness. Each is available in various options, from antiqued copper, which has been moved through the beginning of the oxidisation process and begins its in situ life as a dark brown material.

 

“We can also chrome plate any of our products, which gives the classic bright silver finish that will stay shiny for years. This finish is often sought after in more contemporary architectural settings where the classic designs work well in a bright finish as a real focal point.”

 

Hydra Plumbing is family-run business based in Christchurch. Visit Hydra Plumbing on ArchiPro here to find out more about copper products for both indoors and out. 

Get in touch with
Hydra Plumbing

Request pricing/info
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The beautiful poison: why we’re using copper in the home

Copper is toxic to all living organisms but when it is used in passive applications its toxicity has a distinct advantage...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team
0FC8CFBD-C43F-4180-85D1-CF38FD5869A7Created with sketchtool.
E160A899-8C92-47FF-BB31-6DB22BCEB5D9Created with sketchtool.

Copper is toxic to all living organisms but when it is used in passive applications its toxicity has a distinct advantage. Used widely in US hospitals for its self-cleaning properties, copper is seeing a revival in New Zealand homes. We spoke to Hydra Plumbing about the benefits of this living material.

As a material, copper has a host of benefits from its durability to its ultimate sustainability. It is copper’s antimicrobial properties though, that are generating a renewed interest in its use in the home.

 

“Copper, because of its inherent makeup, naturally kills bacteria unlike other commonly used materials for tapware, basins, sinks, showers and baths such as stainless steel, ceramic and marble,” Hydra Plumbing’s Nathan Brown says. “Copper is poisonous to all living organisms. That’s why it’s generally not advised to use copper pans for cooking, for example, because if you cook anything slightly acidic, the acid will burn through the oxidised layer and copper could be present in the food,” Nathan says.

 

“However, it is exactly this toxicity that makes copper perfect for touch points in the home where bacteria is found. We talk about these as ‘passive’ applications, including sinks, basins and tapware.” When bacteria come into contact with copper, they will quickly die, which is why copper has been introduced widely in American hospitals as a method to self-clean. “There, they’re using copper for everything from door handles to keyboards; places where bacteria normally thrives. “Copper does this naturally due to its antimicrobial properties. It’s for this reason we can call it a self-sanitising surface,” Nathan says.

 

Copper is a particularly unique material, and one that is coveted not only for its self-sanitising properties but because of its ultimate longevity and changing, living finish. “Over time, copper will naturally oxidise, creating a beautiful patina over the years. This patina makes copper particularly suited to outdoor applications, where it blends in with its natural surrounds as it ages. It can also withstand extremely harsh environments and climatic conditions.”

 

Hydra Plumbing specialises in copper tapware and kitchen and bathroom fittings including sinks, showers, baths, basins and mixers - all of which are designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

 

“Copper is also an interesting material in that it is essentially a self healing product. If copper gets scratched for example, because it is a living material that responds to its surrounds, it will naturally heal itself, with the scratch eventually oxidising in line with the rest of the surface to an extent where it is no longer visible.

 

“You can expect copper products to last for generations. If they do require repurposing at any point, copper does not lose its integrity during the recycling process like other metals, and it can be recycled infinitely without degrading in quality.”

Hydra Plumbing’s pieces are crafted with an inspiration deeply seated in the Victorian era - they are classic pieces designed for timelessness. Each is available in various options, from antiqued copper, which has been moved through the beginning of the oxidisation process and begins its in situ life as a dark brown material.

 

“We can also chrome plate any of our products, which gives the classic bright silver finish that will stay shiny for years. This finish is often sought after in more contemporary architectural settings where the classic designs work well in a bright finish as a real focal point.”

 

Hydra Plumbing is family-run business based in Christchurch. Visit Hydra Plumbing on ArchiPro here to find out more about copper products for both indoors and out. 

Get in touch with
Hydra Plumbing

Request pricing/info
Visit website
Done tagging

The beautiful poison: why we’re using copper in the home

Copper is toxic to all living organisms but when it is used in passive applications its toxicity has a distinct advantage...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team
0FC8CFBD-C43F-4180-85D1-CF38FD5869A7Created with sketchtool.
E160A899-8C92-47FF-BB31-6DB22BCEB5D9Created with sketchtool.

Copper is toxic to all living organisms but when it is used in passive applications its toxicity has a distinct advantage. Used widely in US hospitals for its self-cleaning properties, copper is seeing a revival in New Zealand homes. We spoke to Hydra Plumbing about the benefits of this living material.

As a material, copper has a host of benefits from its durability to its ultimate sustainability. It is copper’s antimicrobial properties though, that are generating a renewed interest in its use in the home.

 

“Copper, because of its inherent makeup, naturally kills bacteria unlike other commonly used materials for tapware, basins, sinks, showers and baths such as stainless steel, ceramic and marble,” Hydra Plumbing’s Nathan Brown says. “Copper is poisonous to all living organisms. That’s why it’s generally not advised to use copper pans for cooking, for example, because if you cook anything slightly acidic, the acid will burn through the oxidised layer and copper could be present in the food,” Nathan says.

 

“However, it is exactly this toxicity that makes copper perfect for touch points in the home where bacteria is found. We talk about these as ‘passive’ applications, including sinks, basins and tapware.” When bacteria come into contact with copper, they will quickly die, which is why copper has been introduced widely in American hospitals as a method to self-clean. “There, they’re using copper for everything from door handles to keyboards; places where bacteria normally thrives. “Copper does this naturally due to its antimicrobial properties. It’s for this reason we can call it a self-sanitising surface,” Nathan says.

 

Copper is a particularly unique material, and one that is coveted not only for its self-sanitising properties but because of its ultimate longevity and changing, living finish. “Over time, copper will naturally oxidise, creating a beautiful patina over the years. This patina makes copper particularly suited to outdoor applications, where it blends in with its natural surrounds as it ages. It can also withstand extremely harsh environments and climatic conditions.”

 

Hydra Plumbing specialises in copper tapware and kitchen and bathroom fittings including sinks, showers, baths, basins and mixers - all of which are designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

 

“Copper is also an interesting material in that it is essentially a self healing product. If copper gets scratched for example, because it is a living material that responds to its surrounds, it will naturally heal itself, with the scratch eventually oxidising in line with the rest of the surface to an extent where it is no longer visible.

 

“You can expect copper products to last for generations. If they do require repurposing at any point, copper does not lose its integrity during the recycling process like other metals, and it can be recycled infinitely without degrading in quality.”

Hydra Plumbing’s pieces are crafted with an inspiration deeply seated in the Victorian era - they are classic pieces designed for timelessness. Each is available in various options, from antiqued copper, which has been moved through the beginning of the oxidisation process and begins its in situ life as a dark brown material.

 

“We can also chrome plate any of our products, which gives the classic bright silver finish that will stay shiny for years. This finish is often sought after in more contemporary architectural settings where the classic designs work well in a bright finish as a real focal point.”

 

Hydra Plumbing is family-run business based in Christchurch. Visit Hydra Plumbing on ArchiPro here to find out more about copper products for both indoors and out. 

Get in touch with
Hydra Plumbing

Request pricing/info
Visit website
Done tagging
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