Brushed Nickel vs Chrome Finish – Which To Choose For Your Faucet?

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Kitchen faucets, as well as bathroom faucets, come in many different finishes. These mean how the metal was finished to provide a certain level of shininess and texture. Two of the most popular ones are polished chrome and brushed nickel due to how easy it is to match them to different hardware. They both provide a clean, modern look to kitchens and bathrooms. So which finish should you choose – brushed nickel or chrome?


chrome kitchen faucetChrome is often plated onto another metal to give it extra hardness and resistance. It also has a decorative purpose as it gives the metal a beautifully reflective mirror-like look. The qualities of chrome finish provide corrosion and rust resistance.

It’s often used for industrial purposes, but it’s also one of the favorites for home fixtures, including bathroom and kitchen faucets. It’s the most popular finish since it fits almost any style and it’s usually easy to match with other accessories and fixtures.

An example of a kitchen faucet with chrome finish is the Delta Faucet Essa model that is displayed on the image on the left.



brushed nickel faucetNickel also offers high resistance to corrosion, so manufacturers often use it to plate iron or brass fixtures.

It has a warmer and softer look than polished chrome. Such faucets perfectly combine style and comfort.

It looks good on stark-white sinks in both kitchen and bathroom. The soft hue of brushed nickel also makes it look great on stone countertops, such as marble and granite. As for the decor styles that it can work with, they include modern, vintage, Tuscan, and others.

The Appaso APS148BN kitchen faucet displayed on the left shows an example of the brushed nickel finish.


Brushed Nickel vs Chrome Comparison

Brushed Nickel vs Chrome Finish

  • Tinting. Here lies the main difference between brushed nickel and chrome. While chrome plating creates a slightly blue shine, nickel has a more whitish appearance. This results in chrome fixtures looking more sophisticated and flashy look, while nickel is considered a warmer color.
  • Durability. Both finishes are corrosion resistant. However, nickel, unlike chrome, can easily tarnish.
  • Cleaning. Brushed is easier to maintain and clean than polished chrome since it doesn’t show fingerprints and water spots.
  • Price. Chrome used to be more expensive than nickel since it’s a relatively modern addition. Nickel has long been used for metal finishing. Today, however, they are nearly equal in price.
  • Variety. Most chrome fixtures have the same slightly blue tint. Brushed nickel, on the other hand, has a bigger variety of tints. It can be less or more yellow, which usually depends on the amount of plating done or the nickel’s density. So various manufacturers can produce faucets with brushed nickel that have a slightly different appearance.
  • Matching to your decor. Often, choosing between these two finishes comes down to the product’s appearance. Both metals are just as durable and have similar non-corrosive qualities. However, they do differ in the visual effect they provide. So, for example, if you’ve got warm earth-tone colors in your decor, a brushed nickel fixture would look the best. Other colors, such grey, blue or white look more cool, making the blue hues of a chrome fixture look better.

In all, both finishes have a good level of durability. So choosing between the two is more about personal preference and your existing decor. Take a look around your kitchen or bathroom to understand the overall sense of style. Choose a fixture with a finish that will compliment that style.

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