Chrome vs. Brushed Nickel

summer71February 3, 2012

We are renovating two bathrooms, kids and master. The price of the brushed nickel faucets are much more than chrome. Both my husband and I actually quite like the look of chrome but feel pressured to go with BN because everyone we have asked, have BN in the master. We are definitely doing chrome in the kids bathroom. We have the money for it so it isn't like we can't afford it but the question is, is it worth it? We are still not sure if we are staying in house longterm or selling it in three years so resale is always on our mind.

Appreciate any advice!

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Everyone says chrome is timeless. I am starting to hear BN included in that. We went with Delta's chrome in the kids' baths because you were supposed to be able to use cleansers on it vs many of the other finishes. As we have well water, we figured we'd at least have water spots to remove. We went with a different finish in the master shower (aged pewter--it's kind of like a medium brushed nickel) because I really really liked it and we got a great deal on the floor sample. After living with both for 4 months, I wish we had done anything other than chrome in the kids' baths or at least in their showers. The water spots are awful in the shower (sink faucet is ok) and I have to really scrub to get rid of them. By contrast, the aged pewter master shower controls that get absolutely soaked are spotless. It's almost like there is some kind of repellant coating on them or something. Can't say if you will have the same experience with whatever brand of faucet you get, but looking back, I would not have done the chrome.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:10AM
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You're essentially writing that you're going to design your bathrooms to your friends' design preferences over your own preferences.

When you read it that way, it seems silly, doesn't it?

It's your house. Tell your friends they can have design input in your renovation only after they take over your mortgage payments.

And if they ever do take over your payments, listen to what they say...but then still go with chrome. Because it's what you want, and it's your house.

Chrome is timeless. And years ago it used to be the cadillac of finishes. "You have chrome? Ooooohhh (drool)"

The "problem" is that the chrome plating process is now commonplace, making it very very affordable. Because it's inexpensive, it's entry-level. Commonplace. Now people snub it.

Chrome is an excellent neutral. It compares with polished nickel, the two differing in the spectrum of light that they reflect. Chrome reflects the blue spectrum so it can look "cold". Nickel red, so it looks "warm".

I've had so many instances over the years when chrome is the more appropriate design choice, but people want the "specialty finish". That's cool, because that's what design is all about, Getting what YOU want. Do don't defer your design to your neighbors, especially because it's not what you want.

There's nothing wrong with other finishes. Some are design trends, some fads, some are indeed timeless. Trends become trends because someone broke the mold and ventured off in a new desirable direction of design. Fads can be desirable, but they often fade away after a bit because they are more novelty than a true design. They're the latest, but not the greatest. Fads are keeping up with the Jones' just because the Jones' have something new, not necessarily because they also have something that you want, something that you find desirable.

I can't believe that I rambled on this long. I should have just written:

"Tell you neighbors to stuff it". lol

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Oh, and do make sure the chrome is "chrome plating" and not shiny "chrome plastic".

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Actually chrome plating came about with the mass production of the automobile, there really is nothing timeless about it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I think mongo said it perfectly. Do what you want and don't worry about it. Chrome is a lovely finish and it's not "out". As mongo mentioned, there are cheap plastic finishes that approximate chrome, so make certain you're actually getting chrome, but otherwise both brushed nickel and chrome are very lovely.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:48AM
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We've gone with chrome with 2 brand new bathrooms. No regrets at all.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:53PM
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I love chrome, I never have much trouble with it spotting, about once a week I wipe it down with a cloth with a small amount of wd-40 on it - which is also the best thing there is for getting smudges off a stainless steel refrigerator

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Yes, get what you want, and, what goes with your house. I am in the process of updating the upstairs bathroom which my son will use. He wanted something modern looking, shiney chrome, which was a good choice to compliment the color scheme that he chose. My Master bathroom has polished nickel which was a good choice because it's a bit more subtle then chrome, and warm. The warmth of the polished nickel goes very well with the creama marfil and cream cabinets that I chose. So...the decision comes down to personal preference, plus what finishes are appropriate for your house and room.

Every finish goes out of style and comes back...even brass is making a resurgence!

Have fun with your project!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 4:22PM
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If you prefer chrome and it's cheaper then it's a no brainer to me. It not often that the option I prefer is cheaper, so when it happens, I don't hesitate :)

All of the baths in our pretty high end custom built end have chrome faucets.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:37PM
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If you look in the most recent bath publications, polished chrome is all the rage. Personally I love it and I don't think I'm going to end up using even one piece of BN in my new house!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:12PM
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I am having the same problem in our bath remodel. I want the polished chrome as I want a traditional 1920 bath to go with our cottage bungalow, but I do know that everything I look at that I like is brushed or satin that is so popular and some of the chrome does have that cheap plastic look. The brushed or satin is more expensive. No matter what we do a different look will be popular in a few years. How else would the manufacturers make money every few years. Pick what you like and don't worry about what others think or for resale, how could you possibly keep up with the trends? Polished is just classic!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:06PM
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yep. get what you want not what someone else wants.

now if you can work out w/them not only to pay the mtg but clean it also - then think about getting what they want - lol!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:58PM
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I think chrome does spot more, but I still like it and wouldn't hesitate to use it if it fit the look I was going for more than other finishes.

Lynne---thanks for the WD-40 tip...I would have never thought of it. I guess I can assume it doesn't ruin the finish of chrome or SS?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:57AM
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We did brushed nickle in our kitchen and Chrome in our master bath. I love both and they both look gorgeous where they are. Kitchen is more contemporary and bathroom is more modern. Go with whichever makes you happy.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Go with what you love. Both finishes are pretty and as long as the rest of your finishes in the room blend it's a no brainer. I have 20 year old chrome faucets in my bathrooms that still look brand new, and I have a brushed nickel faucet in my kitchen that I love. The chrome is easier to take care of. I've had to replace the BN kitchen faucet after 3 years because the finish had problems and I have to be more careful about which cleaning products I use on the BN.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Personally I love chrome, I love the bling it adds. I think it is beautiful and timeless. It is much less expensive too so I took the extra money (our builder originally had ORB everywhere) and I upgraded more noticeable parts of the house. In the end go with what YOU love, who cares what everyone else says.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 2:32PM
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