Help-polished nickel vs chrome?

lizbeth-gardenerJune 16, 2009

I'm new here and not sure which site to post on. Hope this is it.

We are doing a second bath in a craftsman house and am hung up on fixture finish. I think I want shiny to offset the tumbled carrara floor--vanity top yet to be determined, but probably carrara marble.

I really like the polished nickel, but am concerned I won't be able to find towel bars, etc to match and need to order sconces now. Does anyone have any advice on chrome vs polished nickel? Also was told by a lighting sales rep that I would never notice the difference from lights to faucets to towel bars if some were chrome and some polished nickel. I'm not sure I believe that.

Any help will be appreciated.

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That sounds like a very pretty & classic look. I agree with the salesman, if you were doing brushed or satin nickel, you may have a problem but with the two polished services I don't think it would be an issue at all to mix them. That said, even though they are very close in appearance, there is a noticable price difference between the two finishes and their wear isn't much different. Chrome is a classic, timeless look that is very typical with the craftsman look, if it were me, I'd just go chrome, not only for the savings, but because Chrome is the most readily available finish and easy to find everything in.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:12AM
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You will be able to find polished nickel towel bars, lights, etc., but they will cost a bit more, and selection may be a bit limited. Rejuvenation and Restoration Hardware are two sources that seem to always carry lots of polished nickel. Some fixtures mfrs -- Grohe, for example -- have limited selections of faucets & showerheads, and others have lots of polished nickel.

I'm doing the same thing with polished nickel. I had to use chrome for the under-sink plumbing S curve and such; my plumber told me that if I wanted the plumbing to be plated in polished nickel, it would cost $250, and I decided that I just didn't care $250 worth. I also have chrome grab bars in the shower because my choices were brushed nickel/slippery finish and chrome/easy to grip finish, and obviously practicality is far more important than precise color.

Good luck! Blue

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:48AM
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I wound up doing a little mixing because I used Restoration Hardware accessories and they are very strange about stocking collaborating items sometimes.

For example, my towel bars and mirror are polished chrome from RH's Dillon line.

The Dillon countertop accessories are only made in polished nickel.

Honestly, I don't even notice the difference anymore.

Here is a link that might be useful: My bathroom pictures

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:59PM
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I just redid my bathroom and used polished nickel for all the fixtures. My contractor said he could get me Kohler products at cost, so I didn't even look anywhere else. I ended up choosing the Bancroft line for everything. Its very traditional and everything from the faucets, towel racks, hooks, and toilet paper holder came in polished nickel. I like the polished nickel more than the chrome because it looks vintage-y and original to the home.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 5:34PM
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If they are near each other in the same field of view, polished chrome can look colder (reflects a little more blue) and polished nickel shows a little warmer (reflects a little more of the red spectrum).

So two towel bars next to each other, one nickel the other chrome? Yes, the difference might be apparent.

But a chrome sink faucet over here and a nickel shower valve and nickel shower head over there?

Totally Martha.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 5:45PM
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Circus Peanut

I have 3 different brands of polished nickel and some vintage nickel and a bit of vintage chrome/steel in my bath, and it all plays together marvelously. Personally, I find the polished nickel delicious and infinitely richer than chrome. If the fixtures will be close, you will be able to tell the difference -- when placed together, chrome is definitely blue and nickel is definitely yellow -- but spaced out, not so much.

But I suspect you won't have too much problem finding all polished nickel items. Plus they are more historically correct than chrome for the Craftsman period. (Chrome didn't become widely available until the 1930's, and almost all Craftsman fixtures are brass or nickel-plated brass.)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Thank you everyone--I am so grateful for the time you took to help me.
I haven't made any firm decisions yet, but feel better equipped to do so now. I really love the polished nickel and think the only place they will be close is vanity faucets under sconces. So the search begins!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:14AM
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