Chrome or Brushed Nickel - Which finish holds up the best?

OrchidOCDJune 22, 2011

I'm planning for the remodel of two full baths, so will be buying lots of fixtures. Silver's a must for me, but I keep wavering between shiny chrome and brushed nickel. I'd just about settled on brushed nickel, but then noticed that some mfg. Lifetime warranties don't apply for any of their non-chrome finishes - Kohler's one example.

So, that concerns me that brushed nickel may not hold up long term as well as chrome. Any opinions on how brushed nickel holds up at, say, the 10 year mark? We plan to retire in this house, so plan to buy quality materials that will hold up for more than a few years. Any opinions/experiences would be greatly appreciated.

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Fori is not pleased

At the 10 year mark it's possible that brushed nickel will be horribly dated like brass (I don't mind dated finishes but some folks sure do).

Chrome really is durable. Unbeatably so. Look at old Buicks!

I do have some 80 year old nickel faucets (hot and cold) that look a bit weathered but the nickel is still good. Of course, it started off shiny and is probably not what they are currently using for "nickel". I think for nickel, you need to compare specific manufacturers--the colors of the finish vary and the composition must as well. I had brushed nickel hardware (door handles and cabinet pulls) installed my the PO in my last house and after less than 5 years, the more used ones were worn smooth. I didn't mind, but you could sure see which cabinet had the good towels and which one had the cleaning supplies (insert blushing face here).

For durability (and for not being in fashion enough to go out of fashion), I think chrome is the way to go unless you dislike it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Thank you very much for the reply, Fori. You confirmed what I was suspecting, and I'm going to go with chrome. I really like the idea of being able to mix mfg.'s to get exactly what I want without having to worry about matching finishes, and you are exactly right - look at how the old Buicks shiny chrome has held up!

Thank you again - chrome it is!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 12:00AM
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You made the right choice, in my opinion, in selecting chrome. We wavered between oil rubbed bronze which looks good, I suppose, in a log style home (such as we are building), and the brushed nickel. For years I thought I wanted brushed nickel. Loved it. Then recently I started to tire of it...fortunately before we purchased all of our sink and shower fixtures.

We went with classic chrome and I am very happy with it.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:47AM
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I'll be the voice of descent here, but it really depends a lot on what type of water you have. If it's really hard, brushed nickel would be my preference as it will not get water marks the way Chrome does. We have well water and sure enough, the first time we used our new shower, which is the one place I used chrome (Moen) it got permanent spots. I also have put brushed nickel throughout the rest of our home and have never had an issue with it. Many of the knobs and my kitchen faucet are several years old now and they still look brand new.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 5:59PM
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I agree with lukkiirish. I have both in my house and the brushed nickel is way way way way easier to maintain. I would never put chrome in my house again. In fact I would use anything but chrome in the future and am slowly replacing all of it. I don't even have hard water.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 1:36AM
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All depends on the manufacturer and quality of the finish. My brushed nickle, from Jado, is brighter than a lot of I've seen. You can't get the stuff to show water spots! L O V E it, but not for just that, I love the look of it. It's not the darkish brush nickle. It's been 3 1/2 years in the master bathroom. NO problems, unless it's a problem that it doesn't get cleaned as often as it probably should because you can't see anything one it :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:18AM
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