Where to buy good quality light fixtures? Chrome. (past mistake)

mcmjillyDecember 12, 2011

A few years ago, I replaced a broken, rusty bathroom light fixture with one I purchased at a certain "big box" hardware store. The new light had a chrome finish which began to rust within three weeks of installation. (This is not an exaggeration.) I'm sad to say that I was too lazy to return the defective light fixture and it has remained in place for three years and has attained a rustic rusty appearance. On a positive note, I can say that the light it supplies has been satisfactory.

I'm feeling a sudden urge to put a proper light fixture in my bathroom, but since the last two were rusty messes, I wonder where I should go to find a good quality chrome fixture. I don't want to make the same mistake this time.

Can anyone give me advice? Please?

The other chrome surfaces in my bathroom are in perfect condition. I don't understand why light fixtures are such an issue. Is it the heat?

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""big box" hardware store."

The low prices are the result of the low quality.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:26PM
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So does a high price automatically indicate good quality? Is there anything else to look for?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:03AM
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'So does a high price automatically indicate good quality?"

No, but to make the item at a low price something has to give.

Chrome is expensive to do correctly requiring under-plating for many metals, and a thick enough layer to avoid pin holes.

Plated brass has similar problems.

Pin holes in the plating allow the (often) steel base material to rust under the platting. Thicker platting has less chance of pin holes, but costs more to apply.
Solid brass eliminate the whole issue (but you could not afford something made of solid chrome).

There is a reason that most of the surviving old chrome plated items made it. Thick chrome correctly applied.

The thinly plated items rusted and have been discarded.

I have a chrome plated soda bottle opener form the 1950's that looks as good as the day it was made (steel opener mounted on a steel plate and covered with a chrome plated box to catch the bottle tops).
It is heavily chrome plated, and while there was light rust on the interior side, the plating on the outside is pristine.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 10:18AM
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As the other poster points out, the process has to be done correctly. Anything in a bathroom is exposed to constant and extreme humidity so it has to be done above and beyond what would be acceptable in another environment.

Sadly, ALL the current bathroom light fixtures are mass produced in China and done the cheapest unsupervised way possible. An issue also is that your "other" bathroom fixtures that you say look good are chrome plated BRASS which takes a lot longer to rust than cheap steal. However, it's much more expensive material. Having to deal with over 100 bathrooms these issues can get expensive!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:04PM
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