3- Are zinc bar tops really antimicrobial?

3- Are zinc bar tops really antimicrobial?

Another challenge facing the living metal countertop industry revolves around the claim that zinc, brass, and copper are antimicrobial. So, are most zinc bar tops truly antimicrobial? To investigate this claim, we have to look at the whole countertop system, and not simply the metal choice.

Is zinc antimicrobial?

Zinc kills germs on various surfaces, but scientists are unsure about the specific way it works. Most agree that it kills bad actors effectively on sheet metal. 3 Spark’s method of manufacture mounts an even more ferocious and deadly defense with surfaces created through our deposition process. Because of this typology, the microscopic pores tear microbes apart at the cellular level even more effectively through an ionic charge than typical sheet metal.

Zinc alloys have some copper present, which can also help with the fight. We talk about alloys in other sections, but copper also contains tremendous antimicrobial properties similar to zinc. Since brass contains both zinc and copper, it retains these antimicrobial properties from both parents.

The Environmental Protection Agency tested many copper alloys. They found that 355 of them, including brasses and bronzes, can kill over 99.9% of bacteria within two hours of contact. Normal tarnishing or patina was found not to impair antimicrobial effectiveness. So this is a good thing!

However, most bar tops are not solid zinc or copper, and herein lies the rub. Most bar tops attach metal onto a plywood core, which is a biologically susceptible substrate. Companies claiming their products are antimicrobial have not shown proof of the effectiveness of their assemblies through third-party testing.

So once fluid finds its way past the defense barrier of zinc, brass, or copper, it has the potential to set up shop just below the protective surface where it can’t be addressed. Bacteria thrive in wet areas like scuppers, drink rails, and bar service areas.

Wet wood is a great breeding ground for bacteria. Despite cleaning, major design flaws ensure the failure of these systems with wooden cores. You can’t effectively clean between the separated metal and the wood below.

The construction details that most in the industry use lend themselves to bacterial infiltration and outbreak. I’ve seen this problem, firsthand, with many projects. It’s impossible to fix, even with better training for bar staff.

A problem for zinc countertops is that current accepted construction methods don’t fully utilize zinc’s ability to kill germs.

3 Spark Engineers a Better Substrate

At 3 Spark Design, we have alleviated this concern. By using composites and materials impervious to biological attack, we have eliminated this susceptibility. Fixing the problem at its core, we have created a superior system that allows zinc and copper to perform as the heroes they are.

Additionally, since we don’t assemble components with seams where water can sit, we further reduce the likelihood that water will infiltrate your bar top assembly.

We also specify stainless components for drink rails, beer taps, and other service uses that should not be left as bare living metal. This is a simple reality for any bar top, and we have the experience to help you.

This allows the use of rubber bar mats and service mats in traditional areas where they are most needed. We don’t void your warranty when using these items with our products, as some other manufacturers do.

Our commitment to quality means that we take every precaution to protect your investment and ensure its longevity.

At 3 Spark, we have extensive experience in designing and constructing bar tops that are not only visually appealing but also highly functional and durable. We take pride in out attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction. You can trust us to provide you with a top-quality bar top that will exceed expectations.

We do not use wooden assemblies for our products, ensuring that your substrates have the best chance for bacteria-free existence. Contact us today to get started on your project.


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