Monday, November 23, 2009

More Choices in Faucet Finishes

Brass has long been the metal of choice for faucet construction. Early brass faucets were not plated and or coated with a protective finish. As a result, these unprotected brass faucets required a lot of effort in the way of cleaning and frequent polishing in order to maintain a shiny finish. Because nickel was far less susceptible to tarnishing, nickel became the preferred finish from the late 1800’s until the 1930’s. Chrome plating was introduced in the 1930’s and soon chrome plated faucets became the finish of choice. With the introduction of protective coatings, brass became popular once more. Today’s sophisticated coatings are much more scratch and corrosion resistant insuring a lasting polished brass appearance. For decades chrome and brass were essentially the consumers’ two options when choosing plumbing. Today, however, choice in finish is one of the major considerations when selecting a faucet. In addition to chrome and brass, manufacturers now typically offer their faucets in polished nickel as well as satin nickel. Polished nickel appears much as it did at the turn of the century and is generally considered to have a warmer appearance than that of chrome. Satin nickel is a nickel finish that has been brushed to create a softer and less lustrous finish. No discussion of modern finish options would be complete without discussing the popularity and options of the oil rubbed finish. Although the tone varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, oil rubbed bronze faucets are typically flat black in appearance. Some manufacturers offer bronze finished faucets that are more brown than black. Therefore, care should be taken when pairing faucets, plumbing, or bath accessories from different manufacturers.

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