Nickel faucets decreased in popularity when chrome became the standard for faucets in the 1930s. Chrome is still popular today; however, there are many faucet finishes to choose from for your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Polished chrome is probably the most common faucet finish because it is inexpensive and versatile. However, faucet finishes range in price depending on the faucet so it is best to look at more than just the finish when shopping for faucets. Each faucet finish has its own pros and cons so choose a finish that suits your unique tastes and needs.
Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is a popular faucet finish because it is beautiful, durable and affordable. Stainless steel is easy to clean and will not corrode or tarnish. Furthermore, it is a solid material so there is no plating to rub off. However, it does show fingerprints, dulls over time and can rust when scratched.
Brushed Nickel – This popular faucet finish involves applying nickel plate over solid brass. The best thing about this faucet finish is it hides fingerprints, water spots and scratches. The finish can wear off exposing the brass and it is more expensive than some other faucet finishes.
Chrome – Chrome faucets are made by electroplating chrome over brass giving the faucet a silver finish like stainless steel but with more shine. Chrome does not corrode nor tarnish and it is durable for a long lasting faucet. However, it takes regular cleaning to keep it shinny and as with brushed nickel, the finish can wear off in time.
Brass – Brass faucets are solid – no plating – so the finish will not wear off over time. However, brass can rust if not sealed and will tarnish over time. Brass is not as popular as other finishes but it does give a very distinctive look to a bathroom. Because brass is not as popular as other faucet finishes, your choices may be limited. The price tag may be higher but brass does give the look of gold without the cost.
Another tip to keep in mind is the difference between polished and brushed finishes. Brushed finishes are matte and do not show water spots or fingerprints like polished finishes. You should choose a faucet finish that coordinates not only with your countertop but also with the colors on your walls. Furthermore, take into consideration your lighting fixtures and accessories when choosing a faucet finish. If you have a lighting fixture already picked out, you may want to choose a faucet finish that matches the lighting fixture.