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One of the choices that you’ll need to make when shopping for a new kitchen faucet is the type of finish. Two of the most common options are chrome and stainless steel. They are bright, durable and require relatively low maintenance. Either type of metal can also fit in almost any design. However, they do have a few key differences and advantages. So in this article, we’ll look at the chrome vs stainless steel faucet comparison.
Stainless steel, unlike chrome, is an alloy of steel and at least 10.5% chromium. The material is completed with polishing and grinding, which gives it a mirror-like look devoid of any scratches or pinholes. It gives the faucet a nice shine and an overall pleasing appearance.
Stainless is more durable in comparison to chrome. Even with heavy use, it won’t dent easily. It can stand the impact of high speed water and remain without any wear. The service life of stainless steel faucets can be more than 10 years.
If the faucet has also been covered with a thick chromium oxide layer, the surface of stainless steel also has excellent corrosion resistance. It won’t rust and corrode as quickly as other metals.
Stainless steel is also better at disguising water spots and finger smudges, maintaining its shiny appearance. This makes it easy to maintain such faucets. You just need to regularly wipe dry the surface of the faucet with a soft cloth.
However, they are not impervious to scratching and spotting. To prevent the water spots from forming, you can dry the faucet with a soft cloth every time it gets wet. If you already got spots on your kitchen faucet, you can get rid of them with the help of white vinegar. Stainless steel faucets also tend to get scratches quite easily. One way to avoid them is to avoid any rough cleaning products and brushes. Instead, use only a soft cloth for cleaning its surface.
Stainless steel faucets also have good high and low temperature resistance. It resists scaling and shows exceptional toughness at very high temperatures.
There’s a wide variety of kitchen and bathroom faucets available in stainless steel. Most of them are also less expensive compared to the chrome fixtures.
- More durable.
- Excellent corrosion resistance.
- High and low temperature resistance.
- Requires less maintenance than chrome.
- A wide variety of models available.
- Lower cost.
- Easily scratches.
- Water spots and fingerprints leave visible marks.
When people talk of chrome faucets, they don’t mean that the fixture is made of solid chrome. A chrome faucet can be made from steel, brass, plastic or stainless steel. Chrome is the plating that is applied on top of the base metal using the process of electroplating.
Chrome kitchen faucets are often chosen for their high shine, which is shinier even than stainless steel. It makes the fixture an eye-catching piece of the kitchen decor.
Chrome faucets can also come in satin and brushed chrome finish. These faucets will have a more matte look.
On one hand, the bright shine contributes to the aesthetics of the faucet but on the other, it makes it more challenging to keep the faucet clean. The water spots and fingerprints that are left behind on the fixture stay very noticeable, creating a contrast against the chrome shine. The polished surface of chrome plating is also easily scratched. However, with regular cleaning and using non-abrasive cleaning products, the faucet can maintain its luster.
Just like stainless steel, chrome also has good corrosion resistance.
Almost all faucets, both bathroom and kitchen ones, offer a model with a chrome finish. So you have a bigger variety of styles to choose from. Moreover, chrome is a popular choice for other fixtures in the house, making it easy to match them with the new faucet.
- Shiny finish.
- Modern looking faucets.
- Requires more upkeep for maintaining its shiny look.
- Scratches easily.
- Shows fingerprints and dirt.
The choice of chrome or stainless steel is ultimately up to the buyer and his preferences. You can find chrome kitchen faucets in almost any style and budget range. They look modern and are usually easy to match to your other existing chrome fixtures. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is very durable and will require less time to keep it clean.