Oil rubbed bronze is one of the most popular hardware and plumbing finishes today. As noted in a recent blog entry, there is a wide variety of bronze finishes on the market. Understanding different types of oil rubbed bronze finishes is particularly important when you are shopping for bronze floor registers. There are three basic types of floor registers marketed as being oil rubbed bronze. As we discuss below, there are important advantages and disadvantage of each type of oil rubbed bronze floor register:
Floor registers with solid cast bronze grilles usually have dark brown or black patina finish that has been treated, or rubbed, with a special type or oil or wax. A patina is a chemical that penetrates and reacts to the bronze surface of the grille and darkens its surface. Oil or wax is then applied to protect the patina surface. Wax or oil treated patina finish is the truest form of oil rubbed bronze. Oil rubbed bronze floor registers with solid bronze grilles are more expensive than registers with brass or steel grilles but they are heavier and durable. Bronze grilles' patina finish is considered a living finish because its color can change over time and exposure to the elements. Living finishes have an advantage over faux bronze finishes. The finish can scratch but scratch marks will fade over time as the exposed bronze darkens through bronze’s natural
A less expensive alternative to solid bronze grille floor registers are floor registers with solid brass grilles that have faux oil rubbed bronze finishes. The faux oil rubbed bronze finishes used on brass grilles are often a baked-on powder coat finish. Floor registers with cast brass grilles with faux oil rubbed bronze finishes are usually heavier than floor registers with pressed steel grilles. Brass grilles, like bronze grilles, will not rust like most steel floor register’s grilles. It is possible, however, that the faux oil bronze finish will scratch and, unlike bronze, the exposed yellow brass will likely not patina dark enough to blend in with the surrounding faux
Steel floor registers with oil rubbed bronze finishes are the least expensive option. Their grilles are typically made of pressed steel and either have a painted or a baked-on powder coat oil rubbed bronze finish. Their grilles are much thinner than cast brass or bronze grilles. Their faux oil rubbed bronze finish can scratch or wear off. Scratches or wear marks will expose the steel grille to the elements and could rust. Because the faux oil rubbed finish on steel registers is less durable, oil rubbed bronze steel registers are less likely to retain the initial beauty present
Shop 4 Classics has chosen not to offer steel floor registers but does offer a wide variety of oil rubbed bronze floor registers with solid cast bronze and brass grilles. Shop 4 Classics offers solid bronze grilled floor registers from Hamilton Sinkler, Classic Grilles and Brass Elegans. Hamilton Sinkler’s bronze floor register collection includes registers with contemporary linear grilles and traditional scroll pattern grilles. Classic Grilles’ bronze floor register collection includes registers with their popular Craftsman and Arts & Crafts grilles, Renaissance scroll grille, Victorian grille, and a grape vine themed grille. Brass Elegans offers its Victorian and contemporary linear floor registers with both solid bronze and solid brass grille options. Brass Elegan floor registers with solid bronze grilles feature a dark brown patina while their registers with solid brass grilles have a near black powder coat finish.