Faucet finishes and hard water; best choice?

caroline94535August 24, 2008

We've chosen Kohler's "Bancroft" faucets for the bathroom. I want the brushed nickle finish with porcelain handles.

I have extrememly hard water here in Larimore, ND. We have a water softener, but it's still "bad" water. I get water/mineral spots on anything that stays damp.

I clean the current old (inexpensive)chrome fixtures daily with a spritz of Windex and a paper towel. This keeps them looking acceptable.

Is brushed nickle any more difficult than chrome to keep clean and free of water marks?

Thanks! (We begin the tear out in the morniing!!!)

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We have the same situation (in Connecticut), and were advised by 2 different plumbing supply stores to use polished chrome, which is what we'll be doing. I was told that we'd have to wipe dry the nickel finish to keep it from spotting - and even then we might have problems depending on exactly what is in our water.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:00PM
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I don't have "hard" water but it's not very soft either. I find (as do so many others here that have answered this question in the past) that he brushed nickel is one of the best to not show water spots. Anything polished is going to show spots and prints more than a brushed finish.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:05PM
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I have hard, well water here in my area of CT. I have brushed nickel in my kitchen and it is a complete pain to keep spotless. It does have to be wiped dry each and every time or it shows spots. Considering it is in the kitchen, it wasn't the best use of finishes, but I love the look so I deal with it but sometimes wish I had chosen a different finish. In my kids bathroom, I am sticking with polished chrome. I am using venetian bronze and will make a decision on our master bath hardware when we get around to doing it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:15PM
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Anna Vegia

I have very hard water, and brushed nickel finishes in all of my bathrooms. I've had no trouble at all keeping them clean, with normal maintenance. They've been in a little over 3 years. Now I'm redoing 2 baths, and am considering switching at least one of the bathrooms over to polished chrome, and I'm a little worried about that.

BTW, I have polished chrome in my kitchen, and that needs to be wiped down several times daily to keep it clean/spot free.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:48PM
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We have extremely hard water (have to soak the shower head in vinegar twice a month) and the only finish that has been fairly easy to keep up for us has been the oil-rubbed bronze (I thought it would be the worst). We've had brushed nickel and I had to dry after each use, same as when we had polished chrome. With very hard water, I don't think any finish will be easy upkeep, so I would get the look you like. I dream of the day we have a water softener!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:22PM
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This is a late follow-up question to this thread's topic: I'm about to launch a bathroom remodel and have to choose the faucets, etc. Like some of the earlier posters, I live in a hard-water zone in the Upper Midwest. Even with a softener, my polished chrome fittings throughout the house get spotted unless I'm endlessly vigilant (which I'm not).

I'm liking a Delta collection (Leland) that offers polished chrome, Venetian bronze and their "Brilliance" finished stainless (it looks brushed).

I can imagine what the chrome will do, and have to admit I don't really like the dark finish, so any opinions about / experience with the Stainless and this finish protection in hard-water conditions?

many thanks!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:21PM
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