Over the past ten years, bronze has become one of the most popular finishes for kitchen faucets as well as bathroom sink and tub faucets. In plumbing, bronze is a faux, often powder coat, finish applied over solid brass faucets. Where as once oil rubbed bronze was the only widely available bronze finish option, there are now numerous variations and product names given to the bronze finish. Although more options to choose from is always a good thing, variety can also create confusion for the consumer. This is especially true when it comes to bronze finishes. Color and other aesthetic qualities of bronze finishes can vary among manufacturers.
Most manufactures offer kitchen and bathroom faucets in oil rubbed bronze. Today's oil rubbed bronze faucets is typically black in color, however, this was not always the case. When oil rubbed bronze finishes were first introduced, many manufacturers’ oil rubbed bronze finishes were a very dark chocolate brown. This is still the case with some hardware and lighting manufacturers. Consumers should still be aware of the variations in oil rubbed bronze finishes among faucet manufactures that exist today. They must take added care if they wish to closely match their faucet’s finish with other plumbing or hardware items within their kitchen or bathroom.
Antique bronze is another popular variation of the bronze finish. Generally speaking, antique bronze finishes feature darker shades of brown in recessed areas and lighter shades on raised and flat surfaces. There is, however, even much more variety in antique bronze finishes than oil rubbed bronze finishes. Faucet manufacturers have added to the complexity by creating unique marketing names for their antique bronze finish. For example, Sunrise Specialty’s Old Bronze bathroom faucet finish features light and dark shades of chocolate brown and therefore fits the commonly thought of definition of antique bronze finish. Cheviot’s Antique Bronze faucet finish includes brushed surfaces exposing copper undertones in addition to antiquing. Some manufacturers refer to Cheviot's type of brushed bronze with copper undertones finish as a Venetian bronze finish.
A less common variation of the bronze finish is burnished or tumbled bronze. Faux tumbled bronze finishes feature rich brown surfaces flecked with contrasting copper tone light brown speckles resulting in a burnished appearance. Belle Foret tumbled bronze kitchen faucets feature a unique and slightly rustic look.
Shop 4 Classics makes shopping for the right faucet finish more clear with its “Help Me Choose” link on its faucet product pages. The Help Me Choose feature provides a detailed image and description of each of the manufacturer’s available finishes. Shop 4 Classics also provides more general guidelines in selecting the right finish for your faucet on its Finish Tips page.