Of all the conversations we have around selections during a remodel, choosing a hardware finish is usually a relatively easy one.
We will typically ask what kind of finish the customer is looking for, but in our experience, people tend to lean towards what is already in the home. Unless that is, they want to change everything.
So, this means that in older houses that still have the original chrome fixtures, the homeowner will generally want to stick with that, just for continuity. In more modern homes, that is, homes that are very sleek and streamlined, they might like the reflective aspect of chrome instead of having a brushed finish.
It’s usually a quick conversation. The choice you make is going to come down to your own personal style and tastes.
Brushed Nickel And Chrome: What’s The Difference?
Brushed nickel is similar to chrome. It’s like the difference between stainless steel and polished steel. They’re remarkably similar, so people are interested to know whether there are benefits of one over the other, or any pros and cons.
Many people are concerned about water marks left on chrome in the bathroom. Because of the reflectiveness and sleekness of chrome, it tends to show droplets of water, and people might be concerned about that and whether it will scratch.
Stainless, on the other hand, can take a little bit more of a beating before it shows any wear. It would hide the water marks more easily because it’s got a little more of a matte finish to it. Chrome, on the other hand, is like having a big, bright, polished mirror.
Other Hardware Finishes And Tints To Consider
Perhaps the biggest difference between brushed nickel and chrome is in the way the metal is tinted and the variety of tints you have to choose from.
Chrome has a markedly blue undertone, lending a cooler and more sophisticated look, while brushed metal is warmer and more yellow.
You can also choose hardware in different tints, like rose gold. It will clean and perform the same as the rest, but it has a reddish copper tint to it. It also has the same caveats in terms of appearance, in that the polished variety will show watermarks, just like chrome.
If you chose a brushed rose gold, it would hide the droplets a little more, just like stainless or brushed nickel would. What matters here, if this is something that concerns you, is the finish itself, not the color.
Brushed nickel is available in a greater variety of tints than chrome does. Depending on the amount of plating and the density of the nickel itself, two faucets might look different even though, technically, the finish is the same.
For example, you might have nickel-plated faucets in your home and also want to put them in a new bathroom addition. However, if you order from a different manufacturer, even though the styles might be similar, the finish will probably not be exactly the same. Purchasing items from the same manufacturer will get you closer to the result you want.
Matching Your Décor
Ultimately, the choice you make for hardware should really come down to what’s already in the room. If the colors and selections you choose are warmer, earthier tones, brushed nickel would be the way to go. If your décor tends towards the cooler end of the spectrum—blues, grays, white—you would probably be better off with chrome.
Thinking about your interior design, brushed nickel fits well with traditional décor, while chrome suits a more modern environment. Chrome is more attention-grabbing and not as soft. It’s big and shiny, making the hardware more of a focal point, as opposed to a feature.
Pros And Cons Of Nickel Versus Chrome
While your choice is a matter of taste, there are pros and cons to either selection. If you’re having a hard time deciding, these factors could help you weigh the argument.
Brushed nickel pros:
- Maintains its finish longer
- Doesn’t show water spots
- Comes in a wide range of tints
- Easy to match with your current home design, accessories, and features
On the cons side, it doesn’t make as much of a statement as chrome. Because it is a softer finish, it tends to blend in a little more.
- Easy to care for
- Matches well with décor and other fixtures
On the downside, it does tend to show fingerprints, water spots, and scratches more easily.
Are you thinking about a remodel for your St. Louis home? We’ve got plenty of ideas that will make it pop! Reach out today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.