Oil Rubbed Bronze faucets, love or regret????

janealexaSeptember 13, 2011

Are you still happy with your ORB faucets? How are they holding up? Are they difficult to keep clean? Anyone wish they had chrome instead?

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The thing to remember is ORB is a living finish, it will patina and turn green.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 12:01PM
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We almost went with ORB faucets but in the end we bought really nice chrome faucets instead.

Some of the fauctes we saw on display at Fergusons were scratched, exposing the plain metal underneath. We didn't feel these display faucets (not cheap ones), in that type of a store, would be taking unusual abuse. It made us question how the finish would hold up.

The tone of the finish varied from brand to brand, and sometimes within the same manufacturer. If doing a bathroom where there are several fixtures, and one becomes unrepairable in the future, it could be difficult matching just the item that needs replaced. Manufacturers discontinue or change things all the time. I've had it happen. I could live with a slightly different style that blended between a shower, tub, or sink, but in my opinion different shades of the ORB would not look nice.

The same exact faucet in chrome was as much as $200 more just because it was ORB, much of the time. I refuse to support that type of rip off. The finishes were not great enough to warrant that much markup.

I'm very happy with the chrome, and it's classic. I also feel I can mix things up a bit within the bathroom, and the chrome still works.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 5:52PM
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All very excellent points Sandy, thank you for your input.
In my current house I have polished chrome faucets then bronze pulls/knobs, curtain rods, and light fixures. And I think it all looks fine together. I'm considering doing the same in the new house. Maybe just having a bronze faucet in the powder room only since I have a furniture sink vanity there.

What type of hardware do you have on your doors? I am considering bronze for the door hardware, but I'd like to find hardware that has a permanent finish, not a living finish that will wear down over time - not sure if there is such a thing...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 7:39PM
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I have a love-hate relationship with my ORB hardware & faucets. My door hardware has turned chaulky in the sun. My cabinet hardware has turned shiny and almost black from ware. My faucets in the guest bathroom have calcium buildup. I thought they'd be fine in there since it's seldom used except the sink. Then our master shower started leaking and we've been using the guest bath since January. I fight the water spots and calcium constantly. According to the packaging, I shouldn't use any chemicals as it may harm the finish.

But I do love the look of the ORB. And I'm completely grateful I changed my mind against using the ORB in the kitchen and now in the masterbath.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 5:39PM
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janealexa-Delta makes a ORB with a lifetime finish warranty. If they make a faucet style you like, that may be a great option so you don't get the living finish thing going on and your finish will stay uniform. With that being said, ORB is quite a bit more expensive than it's chrome counterparts. As far as water spots and build up, it is my understanding that with Delta, you don't have as much of a problem with it--again something to do with their finish. I do not have any 1st hand experience with that though. I ran a thread on Delta's aged pewter finish (another dark finish that you're not supposed to use chemicals on) & water spots/deposits with well water and got a handful of responses which were positive overall. Give me a few more weeks and I'll have some experience to fall back on. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 7:41PM
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"Delta makes a ORB with a lifetime finish warranty"

This is something I need to investigate then as i don't understand how that is possible as ORB is as I stated a living finish that is designed to patina from the elements and also from oils from the skin which is why the parts that get touched regularly become slightly different colors that the other parts. Which also is part of the beauty of ORB

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 9:02AM
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My faucets are Delta. Water spots and calcium are an issue with mine. I finally gave up and used CLR on them this past weekend and they cleaned up and so far the finish is unharmed.

I'm sure if we took the time to wipe down the faucets after use that might stop some of the issues but who wants to do that when the showerhead is still dripping on everything.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 11:36AM
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This discussion makes me very nervous since we are going with ORB throughout our new house. I have read previous threads about mixing finishes, but still not completely sold on the idea.

Does anyone have the Devonshire faucets from Kohler in Oil Rubbed Bronze? I would be interested in how they have stood up.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 12:47PM
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Thanks for your responses!

For those of you with water spots, does anyone have a water softener? We are having a water softener installed and I am wondering if that would alleviate that problem.

Thinking of just doing bronze in the kitchen and the powder room. I have a furniture vanity in the powder room and I think the bronze would look very pretty with it.

That's interesting about the Delta faucets. I'm looking at the Delta Leland collection, the finish is Venetian Bronze. I'm going to call customer service to inquire about the finish.

For the other baths...We have tan brown granite tops and dark brown cabinets. I am considering going with polished chrome. We have polished chrome Moen Monticello faucets in our current home. They've held up very well and have a very classic look. HOWEVER, I've already ordered bronze light fixtures. I guess that won't look bad b/c of the dark granite tops and dark brown cabinets. I will probably do bronze hardware for the window treatments. Door hardware is also bronze. BUT WHAT FINISH SHOULD THE TOWEL BARS BE?? OH THE CONFUSION!

I started a thread recently about mixing finishes. mongoct posted a pic of a bathroom with mixed finishes and it looks beautiful. See below for link to that thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: matching finishes in bathroom??

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 2:12PM
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No water softener at our home. That could make all the difference.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 5:00PM
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If you are a trend follower, don't choose ORB. It's already over. Chrome and nickel are clsssics that will always be in style. Or, aged (not antique brass) is the next hot finish if you want to be on the cusp of the trend. Even if you don't care about trends, I'd choose a nickel above ORB. It's easier to maintain long term.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 5:33PM
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I just called Delta customer service 800-345-DELTA. The Vicorian and Leland Collections both have fixed bronze finishes that will not change over time. They also have a lifetime warranty and you MUST follow the cleaning instructions.

This is what I was told:
Use a soft cloth with an acceptable cleaner such as:
vinegar and water (half half)
Barkeepers friend
409 bacterial
other cleaners are listed in the instructions

He said vinegar and water is best. It may take several tries if you have a lot of build up.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 5:50PM
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Barkeepers friend is a miracle cleaner. So good to know it is on the approved list for Delta! As we are now faced with possibly mixing finishes, I'm headed over to check out your other thread janealexa...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 9:46PM
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We're going to put oil rubbed bronze hardware on our wood doors, but we are building a log syled home (not a primitive interior but a more refined farm look). We are putting mostly all pocket doors in, so it'll be whatever the nicest pocket door hardware is. We're still in the process of building, but getting close to being finished.

I wasn't trying to discourage anyone from mixing oil rubbed bronze items with chrome, or any other finishes in a room. I mix and match all the time, as I buy what I like when it comes to curtain rods, lights, etc. that I like. It all always works and looks personal and homey. It's sort of like when I enjoy wearing a silk blouse with a pair of jeans.

What I meant was if you have a certain shade of ORB on a sink, and that is near another matching sink, or a bathtub, etc. that if you ever need to replace the faucet it may be hard to make them blend to satisfaction. It sure is a shame to feel one has to replace other things not broken if they don't like how the differing finishes work.

However, that might not be an issue with many people. And even though that has happened to me before, the chance of ever having that happen is probably low and would happen so far down the road you would want a total change by then anyway. I'm not a matchy matchy person, but when I tried to imagine if I had to mix and match the ORB faucet fixtures I didn't like it.

I'm actually considering a vanity light that has oil rubbed bronze even though my faucets are chrome. All the magazine pictures show the vanity light metal matching the faucet. I don't think that is necessary. It all boils down to going with what your gut is telling you what YOU like. You need to feel happy every time you walk in the room.

Just double check the warranty on the finish. Some companies won't warrant that.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 5:28PM
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My orb handles on doors are fine look new after 3 years, and in a prior home held up fine even the front door exterior hardware. They may have made upgrades to the finishes the last few years because people used to say their door handles color was rubbing off and I havent ever seen it. Maybe because we have the levers and not knobs? Installed orb shower/bath fixtures, only problem is our super hard water, those calcium deposits show more on the dark fixtures. I have used clr on them and it doesnt strip them or discolor, but i dont leave it too long just a few seconds and deposits clean easily. It doesnt seem to effect the large overhead shower its just the lower fixtures that get buildup, bc we dont dry them off and water sits there longer. We have so many projects going the water softener has been on the back burner for years, need to bump it up on the list of to dos. If youre doing a water softener anyway go for it if thats the finish you like.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:42AM
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I decided to go with ORB in the powder room only. For the rest of the house I chose chrome. I was going to do ORB in the kitchen, but the water filter faucet in bronze did not match the other kitchen faucet in bronze (different brands). I saved a lot of money and used the extra money towards upgrading elsewhere:) Thanks again for your responses...

mydreamhome, if you are reading this, did you ever install that chandelier in your bathroom? Would love to see it:)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 5:30PM
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I have the Ashfield ORB fixtures in my guest/hall bathroom. I love the looks, but, I, too have experienced a calcium build-up already due to our local hard water. I think I'm going to use chrome for my master bathroom remodel.

Here is a link that might be useful: ORB Fixtures

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:04AM
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We chose Cifial Stone Mountain in distressed bronze. We will NEVER tire of this finish, we love it -that- much!

As for maintenance, I just wipe it down with whatever is already on the paper towel in my hand... either method mirror cleaner or method stone cleaner.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Thank you all for your responses!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 4:33PM
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