During our extended kitchen design phase, we considered zinc for the whole kitchen, but ultimately we decided on a lovely greenish velvet finish granite.
The island had to be different because Import Tile didn’t have an island-sized slab of the granite (islands are typically 30+ inches deep, vs. kitchen counters, which are 24-25 inches deep). We considered a lot of options, but ultimately came back to zinc, which we decided to do ourselves, topped by a walnut slab bar. We spent weeks debating the right sequencing – should we screw the plywood counter down from the top and then wrap it in zinc? That would mean we’d never get it off. Should we construct the counter as a separate piece and then glue and screw it from below? That would also mean we’d never get it off. Eventually, we were forced to face the fact that no matter what we did, THIS WAS IT – a permanent decision and installation. If it didn’t work, or we didn’t like it, we’d be taking the entire island apart and starting from scratch. Last weekend was D-Day – or should I say Z-Day. And we are very, very proud of ourselves!
Saturday morning we screwed the counter top to the island from below to secure it and flatten it. We began by taking the zinc sheet – 8 feet long and 39 inches wide – placing it on top of the plywood counter we’d built, removing the protective coating, and eyeballing it. Centered, we had 2 ¾ inches on each side and just needed to trim about a foot off one end and cut out the corners and the hole for the sink. Tinsnips ho!
We clamped it (using strips of wood so as not to scratch or dent the zinc too badly) and then spent several loud hours beating on the edges with a rubber mallet to achieve the first bend – the counter edge.
If you have this done in a shop (or if you’re lucky enough to have a shop) there’s a big tool that will do this for you and create a perfectly square edge. If you’re doing it by hand you won’t get as square an edge but we did pretty well.
For an adhesive, we’d been advised to use liquid nails. If we ever do this again we’ll try Sikaflex, which Rotometals mentioned in one of their videos – the liquid nails was very thick and difficult to spread, but we managed to cover with two tubes, using a notched trowel to spread it out. We then placed the zinc on top of the counter, centered it, put plywood on top of it, piled everything we could find on top to weigh it down, said a prayer, and waited for Sunday.