Chrome Vs Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet: Which Is Better?
No matter what your reason for going to the store is to pick out a new faucet, you will be faced with a choice. Choosing a finish for your faucet can be tricky given a large number of options on the market. With chrome vs stainless steel being listed as the most popular faucet finishes, the choice has definitely become more challenging.
Chrome and Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Chrome and stainless steel are two stylish choices as faucet finishes. Many people have these finishes in their homes. Both are great choices when it comes to choosing the perfect finish to complete your kitchen sink.
There are three main types of chrome finishes: polished, satin and brushed. Polished chrome exudes a high-gloss, glossy, eye-catching appearance, while satin-chrome is a slightly softer, shiny look. Brushed chrome tends to be similar to satin chrome in that it has a more matte appearance.
Chrome finishes consist of a layer of nickel, which is then chrome plated using an electroplating process. The brass parts are polished to a mirror finish or brushed to a stripe effect.
Next, the parts undergo a multi-stage operation on a conductive rack where they are cleaned, nickel-plated and chromium-plated. During the plating process, the parts are immersed in an electrolytic solution and the current is delivered to the brass parts and the anode.
The chrome finish is very simple to care for. All you need to do is wipe the faucet and handle with a soft, dry cloth after each use. This will prevent mineral buildup and water damage. You can also apply a thin layer of wax to help protect the surface.
Another top finish option is stainless steel. There are several common subcategories within this finish, including Arctic Stainless and Steel Optik.
Stainless steel (as opposed to chrome) is an alloy of steel that has at least 10.5% chromium. Due to its composition and the finishing process involving polishing and grinding, it is extremely durable. The final stage of the process gives stainless steel a satin-smooth appearance.
Chromium pales in comparison to the durability of stainless steel. Stainless steel can withstand heavy use and high water velocities without suffering any wear and tear. Care for this material is just like chrome: wipe the surface and handle of the faucet with a soft, dry cloth after each use.
Are Stainless Steel And Chrome The Same?
Stainless steel and chrome are not the same. Although they have a similar appearance, they are made up of different materials. Stainless steel tends to be more durable than chrome and can last a long time.
Because of its plating process, chrome is usually more expensive than stainless steel, which can accommodate a variety of budget options.
Are Chrome Faucets Obsolete?
Chrome faucets are not obsolete. In fact, they continue to hold their place as one of the most popular finishes. Chrome-plated faucets offer an effortlessly elegant touch with their shiny and reflective luster.
Will Stainless Steel Ever Go Out Of Style?
No, stainless steel is not going out of style. If anything, stainless steel is becoming more and more popular. From kitchen and bathroom appliances to sinks to faucets, it is a popular choice.
How Can I Tell If Chrome Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel and chrome are close in appearance, but there are significant differences. An easy way to find out is to research your faucet. The box should have the material used on it, but it’s okay if you don’t have a box.
You can use the model number or serial number to research the faucet, which should help you determine the correct material. The serial number or model number may be located on the base of the faucet body, the back of the spout, or other similar location, but it varies depending on the manufacturer.
If you’re not sure if your faucet is chrome, there are a few other methods to try.
How Can I Tell The Difference Between Chrome And Stainless Steel?
Determining whether your faucet is chrome or stainless steel is easy. A quick and easy test to try on your stainless steel is to use a magnet.
If the magnet sticks, the faucet is not stainless steel because it is not magnetic. While chrome is not magnetic, the metal substrate is usually magnetic, so if the magnet sticks, you may have a chrome finish.
Stainless steel is a different color than chrome, which is another way to tell the difference. Chrome tends to be bright and shiny, while stainless steel is usually satin. This method is not foolproof, however, as some stainless steel faucets are shiny, like a mirror.
Do Stainless Steel Faucets Show Water Stains?
Stainless steel faucets do a great job of hiding water stains and finger smudges, making them ideal for high-traffic areas, such as homes with children. They are very easy to maintain and only require a quick wipe with a soft, dry cloth to restore their shiny appearance.
When it comes to the care of stainless steel faucets, the only thing to keep in mind is to avoid using abrasive cleaning techniques. Do not use rough cleaning products or hard bristle brushes on stainless steel as they can scratch.
The regular cleaning method for stainless steel is very simple and straightforward. There are countless cleaning products that are tailored for stainless steel care. Many of these products contain chlorides, so be sure to rinse your faucets thoroughly after cleaning to maintain the natural shine of the surface.
DIY cleaning options include baking soda and seltzer, both of which work well to improve the shine of steel. If you use baking soda, mix it with a little water to make a paste and scrub your faucet. Rinse with vinegar, which works to disinfect and remove hard, hard water stains at the same time. Remember to dry the faucet with a clean cloth after cleaning.
Do Chrome Faucets Show Water?
Unfortunately, chrome faucets tend to show any imperfections in the surface. This includes water stains, fingerprints, dirt, etc. It is relatively easy to clean and should be wiped down with a clean, dry cloth.
If you find that the faucet needs more cleaning, there is no need to use harsh chemicals. To remove water stains, soap scum and other debris, use a solution of equal parts distilled white vinegar and water.
Take a clean cloth and soak it in that solution. Wrap the saturated cloth around the offending area of the faucet and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Once it has soaked for a period of time, remove the cloth and wipe the area clean with a dry cloth to remove any remaining residue.
For hard-to-reach areas, use an old toothbrush and vinegar solution. Scrub hard-to-reach areas, such as the bottom of a faucet. Be careful not to scrub too hard, however, as you may cause scratches. Wipe the area clean with a dry cloth.
Which Faucet Finish Should I Choose?
Choosing a faucet finish that best suits you and your home doesn’t have to be complicated. It is important to understand the key differences between the two, including care, price and durability.
To make your decision a little easier, use the list below to weigh the pros and cons of each.
- Very durable, often lasts longer
- Excellent resistance to corrosion
- Has good resistance to high and low temperatures
- Does not require as much maintenance as chrome
- Easy to clean
- Large selection of models available
- May scratch easily
- Water stains and fingerprints are visible, though less so than chrome
- Shiny, mirror-like appearance
- Many modern styles of faucets to choose from
- Easy to clean
- Requires more extensive maintenance to maintain a shiny appearance
- May scratch easily
- Fingerprints and dirt are obvious
- May be expensive
The final decision on chrome, stainless steel, or any other type of finish is up to you as the buyer. There are a large number of different faucets available in both finish options, and they will all provide an eye-catching surface for your kitchen.
While stainless steel is more affordable, more durable and easier to maintain, chrome offers a shiny and elegant look that you can easily match with the other fixtures in your kitchen. Ultimately, however, the decision comes down to your preferences and what you need for your home.