Review Bathroom Faucet Finishes

It's a good idea to review bathroom faucet finishes before choosing which is best for your lifestyle.

Here's how each metal stacks up:

Stainless Steel Faucets
Stainless steel is a popular material for bathroom faucets. Made up of a blend of steel alloys and chromium, it is designed to be rugged and long lasting. Stainless steel is generally one of the most affordable finish options, though this does not mean that all stainless steel faucets are inexpensive-consumers can find models at a variety of price points and in a variety of shapes and styles. To understand how stainless steel compares to other faucet finishes, here's a list of pros and cons associated with stainless steel:

Pros

  • Won't corrode or tarnish

  • Easy to clean

  • Blends well with almost any décor

  • Long-lasting

  • Solid material-no plating involved

    ---BREAK---

Cons

  • Shows fingerprints

  • Can scratch-and later rust at the site of the scratch

  • Dulls over time

Chrome Faucets
Chrome is another popular finish for bathroom faucets and is created by electroplating chrome over a solid brass fixture. Like stainless steel, chrome faucets are silver in color, though considerably more shiny in appearance. You will find chrome faucets to be very economical, though you can certainly find splurge models as well. Here's a list of pros and cons associated with chrome:

Pros

  • Doesn't scratch

  • Doesn't corrode

  • Resists tarnish

  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Water spots show

  • Must be cleaned regularly to remain shiny

  • Chrome finish can wear of over an extended period of time

Brass Faucets
Brass faucets are a bit less common than stainless steel and chrome faucets, but they have certainly earned a loyal following and have been used in bathrooms for a very long time. Unlike stainless steel and chrome faucets, brass faucets are made up of a single metal-no plating or metal blends involved. Expect to pay a bit more for a brass fixture, and to have fewer models to choose from. Here's a list of pros and cons associated with brass:

Pros

  • Distinct look

  • Replicates the look of gold without the price tag

  • Solid material

Cons

  • Can rust if it's not sealed

  • More costly than other finish options

  • Tarnishes over time

  • Fingerprints show

  • Can scratch

Brushed Nickel Faucets
Brushed nickel faucets are the latest in bathroom trends. Much like chrome, nickel finishes are created through electroplating-in this case, applying nickel plate over solid brass. Due to the current popularity, there are numerous styles to choose from and a model for every budget. Here's a list of pros and cons associated with brushed nickel:

Pros

  • The finish hides scratches, fingerprinting and water spots

  • Doesn't tarnish easily

Cons

  • May be more expensive than stainless or chrome due to its current popularity

  • Nickel plating could wear off over time, exposing brass underlayer

With so many faucet choices, you're sure to find one with a finish that you love. Just visit your local home improvement center, and you'll be dazzled by all the options.

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