Is Chrome the right choice? Cleaning?

2LittleFishiesMay 2, 2012

I'm choosing Chrome for my fixtures and just was curious if it will be a nightmare with water spots, etc? I am using chrome pulls and wondered if I should consider mixing materials and using something else for the faucets?

I think I'm right with chrome but before I order thought I'd throw it out there!

I'm told polished nickel is harder to keep. Wondered if mixing a brushed finish would look good? Or.... just go with chrome! : )

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We'll actually have chrome (faucets) and polished nickel (pulls/knobs) as well as glass and silver (pulls/knobs) in our kitchen. I think they are all pretty much the same in terms of cleaning needs. I like things sparkling, so don't mind a quick polish when needed.

Love your faucet, what brand is it?


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Thanks! I like sparkle too : ) We'll have some glass knobs as well.
It is the Moen Woodmere faucet.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Chrome is a better choice for faucets. It withstands getting wet and staying wet better. That's why you see it on cars and such. For the pulls it is a matter of preference. Both are suitable for kitchen use and should just need a quick wipe down once in a while. Many people mix chrome and nickel-particularly between sink fixtures and hardware. Some people do find the difference objectionable.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Chrome and nickel are not pretty much the same thing when it comes to cleaning. In fact they are the opposite ends of the spectrum. Nickel tarnishes like silver. Some companies use a slightly protective finish to reduce spotting but it only reduces it, not eliminates it, and the protective finish gradually wears off. Plus, you don't know when you're purchasing which fixture has an OK finish and which doesn't. A "quick wipe" is not adequate to clean polished nickel, period, full stop. I have polished nickel in my bath (big mistake) and while the towel bars aren't that bad, the faucets require a full-on buffing and cleaning each week with a polishing cream, and even so during the week they often look terrible.

Chrome does not spot at all. You can get spots on it, from water that dries with left-over deposits or soap scum, but those come right off with water or spray cleaner or whatever you want to use. Chrome can always be brought back to look good as new; nickel cannot.

Satin or brushed finishes ameliorate the problem somewhat on nickel but they are not anything you would call "timeless." They are transitional circa today.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I think chrome is much easier to keep looking clean than SS. BUT my kitchen sink is below huge south-facing windows and the tall pulldown faucet in chrome was blinding! So I switched it out for SS. I guess I'd rather see spots than glare :).

hope this helps

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:54AM
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If you're planning to use a tapmaster you will touch your faucet much less. My guess for us is that the faucet is touched only 5 - 10% as much. We have chrome faucets and they are very easy to maintain.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:53AM
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How are Nickel and Chrome finishes different?

Although we offer Polished Chrome on many of our products, among our exclusives we favor Polished or Brushed Nickel because nickel was the standard hardware and lighting finish for period kitchens and bathrooms from the mid-1800s until the early 1930s. Polished Chrome became popular later, after the automobile industry began using it on grilles, bumpers and engine parts.

Both finishes are durable, and protect solid brass from the pitting it would otherwise endure with constant exposure to humidity and heat.

If historical authenticity is your guide, nickel effectively resembles antique lighting and hardware finishes. Nickel has faint, warm amber undertones, while chrome has cooler, more contemporary blue undertones.

Tip: Mixing both chrome and nickel finishes in your bathroom or kitchen isn't cause for alarm, and may be somewhat unavoidable unless you're installing all new lighting and hardware. While the differences between the two finishes are detectable to the experienced eye, they aren't dramatic, and they can blend together in one room.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Thanks Marcolo for the detailed explanation on the differences...and to Oceangirl for additional information.

I believe the OP and I do not mind polishing nickel, it shouldn't be a problem....I polish often silver collection likes to be coddled... :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Chrome is a classic finish for a faucet, an item less subject to trends and whims. I think I'd get tired of chrome on cabinet hardware, though. I have satin chrome knobs and drawer pulls on my cabinets, and I do have to wipe them from time to time, but less likely than it seems I would with shiny chrome. A faucet seems easier to wipe down as needed since you probably have a rag nearby, and it's one thing as opposed to however many numerous drawers and door you may have. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:55PM
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Our brushed chrome faucet is a big improvement as far as water spots, over the shiny chrome we had previously.
But marcolo is scaring me now, because we just put in two wall lighting fixtures with a polished nickel finish, from Rejuvenation, who state that it is not lacquered. I wasn't planning on polishing them like silver (can just see myself falling in the sink).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:12PM
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We decided on stainless for the faucet finish. This is installed over a stainless farmhouse sink. The other stainless we have in the kitchen includes a wet bar sink and faucet, range top and double oven. All of our cabinet hardware is antiqued brass. I had my doubts when my wife ordered it, but it looks amazing. We got our hardware at houseofantiquehardware. The quality is exceptional. My custom cabinet maker was also very impresses with the quality.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:16PM
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A nickel light fixture that never gets any water on it will probably be OK. Faucets are the worst because you're always touching them. However, I will say that the nickel accessories I bought from RH--a nickel tissue box, a tray, a couple of other items--are a nightmare. When you use a bathroom you splash minuscule drops of water that you normally never notice--waving your wet hand around while you're toweling, shaking your hands in the sink, etc. Those droplets that land on the nickel permanently mark it. I use silverware as well, and the nickel is actually significantly harder to keep pristine.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Marcolo, we are using polished nickel pulls/knobs in our kitchen. Is there a specific polish that one needs to use for the hardware? can you recommend? Thanks much!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Faucet Brite and Brass ProTech were recommended to me by Newport Brass. I forget which one we're using now but it works fairly well except on the permanent marks.

As I said, there is often a protective finish (not a lacquer) that can help, depending on its quality. So YMMV. Knobs are easier to maintain than faucets.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Thank you for this post. It was very helpful. I am getting a chrome faucet and will be mixing with glass knobs on my cab doors.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Fishies- The chrome looks great! I like the shine, too :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:10PM
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the chrome is my best choice..Like it

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:34PM
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As an interior designer, my first response is to consider what else is in your room. From a distance you will see your faucets, appliances, and kitchen hardware. Many people are choosing stainless steel to match the sink and appliances. However, you mention chrome pulls. So, IMHO, chrome is actually your best choice for the faucets. It holds up the best, is easiest to clean, and the finish is stable. Other finishes deteriorate over time. SS can take on a bronze cast. Chrome is the most economical, the longest lasting, and cleans up well.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Thanks avidchef : )

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:20PM
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LOVE the shiny chrome and I think we'll use it for our kitchen even though everything else is stainless steel. Apart from the Brizo Belo pull-down being really WAY more for stainless than for polished chrome, the polished really seems to show the beautiful elegance of the (not yet ordered) Brizo Belo faucet that the SS does not convey. I really think I couldn't care less that it will be a different finish from the DW and range top and fridge. Designers and even showroom people emphasized the importance of the handles and profile of the appliance (like the hood) matching. To me, it would only matter if one got a TOTALLY cool retro fridge in aqua or something with very shiny chrome handles, while everything else was oil-rubbed bronze (which I understand is not oil-rubbed nor bronze). Even then, not sure I'd care if the finishes all seemed like YOU.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:24PM
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drbeanie, I happen to agree with you. I think the chrome does emphasize elegance of the fixtures. I was simply trying to point out the factors people consider. Actually, in my own home, I am replacing faucets and have stainless appliances and sinks. Yet, most probably I will chose chrome because I too like the shiny look, its more economical and easier to maintain, as I stated above.
I am just having trouble finding the features I like on a faucet with the contemporary look I want.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:35AM
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avidchef - Oh I hope you didn't think I was criticizing you! And of course I should have said "some designers" not "Designers" so emphatically. I hadn't read the whole thread!

In any case, apologies!


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:46PM
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drbeanie2000 - No worries. I wasn't sure if you were upset with my comments, so I wanted to make clear that I personally I do like chrome. I was trying to present both sides. In my business I often go against trends because I am a cook and believe in doing what is most practical. That's why I can't find a faucet I really love. (I want a pulldown with a locking spray but my heart is set on the look of danze sirius which has not received great reviews and has neither feature. I may settle for a kohler simplice or although I like the look of the elate better but that is a pulldown.)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 2:18PM
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avidchef - glad no worries! I think I was reacting to my kitchen designer and the people at the main showrooms we looked at. But I don't mean to disparage them either. Our KD designed a magnificent space that I'm sure we will love, and paid close attention to the statements and tastes that we mentioned. I'm sure the showroom salespeople were just trying to point out the features that they were used to dealing with, like whether an appliance handle was a "professional" one and would that match the other appliance handles. I only felt, as is the case with some GW threads, that they had pointed out something I NEVER would have noticed but will now notice the rest of my life!

Anyway, what do you mean by a locking spray? Something that stays "spray" even when you turn it off? We had a doohickey attached to our oldish cheapish faucet that was easy to adjust from stream to spray and back again. It swiveled so that there was no pull-out NOR a pull-down. One of the faucets I admired in my search seemed to have a head that could screw off so that I could attach the doohickey to, but then ended up being $1200, and I just couldn't spend that. However, I realize that we used the spray MUCH more than the stream (unless perhaps we were filling a water bottle), and that lots of specs we've seen don't specify whether the faucet will stay the way you left them or default to stream again.

Good luck with your search!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:23PM
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By locking spray I mean the default is a stream, but when you push the button for spray, you don't have to hold the button down while spraying. It returns to stream mode when you turn the faucet off. Its just a convenience feature for when I am washing fruits and vegetables or cleaning the sink. I feel if I am spending $$$$, I should get the features I want. I want form and function and in this case, I realize I have to settle, just haven't decided which way to settle.
BTW, I know what you mean about the GW threads pointing out features and ideas to consider that one hadn't focused on prior to reading about here. That's what makes this website so wonderful, but at the same time the amount of information can be overwhelming.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:41PM
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we have chrome for both and it's good

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:16PM
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