Choosing Your Faucet Finish

Many interior designers believe that choosing the right finish for your kitchen faucets is almost as important as the fixtures themselves.

While shiny chrome may still be the industry standard, specialty finishes such as brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze are rapidly rising in popularity. Here are some tips for finding the perfect finish for your kitchen.

Why not finish first?

Most major faucet manufacturers offer their entire line in a wide range of finishes, so there’s no need to compromise. Determining your ideal faucet finish ahead of time helps you focus on each product’s individual design features.

Use your fingers

How a finish feels is just as important as how it looks. Head to the showroom and take a hands-on (quite literally) approach to determining which finish feels right to your fingertips.

Think wear and tear

Some finishes are more durable than others. Familiarize yourself with the maintenance requirements for each type of finish and choose one that looks good, feels good and is built for the type of usage you expect.

Match the countertop

When matching your faucet finish to your countertop, style is more relevant than color. Think about your overall design theme—country rustic? industrial? chic modern? old-fashioned?—and choose a finish to match.

Vintage: polished brass

Classy, upscale: satin brass

Traditional: oil-rubbed bronze

Farmhouse or Tuscan: copper

Mediterranean: satin bronze

Modern and chic: smooth chrome

Modern and eclectic: matte black

Country modern: white

Don’t be afraid to ask. A reputable plumbing supply store will know which fauceet finishes work best with each kitchen style.

To the paint store

When splashing your kitchen with bold, bright colors, stick with finishes that are more contemporary than traditional. The more futuristic your color choices, the shinier the finish should be.

Black matte fixtures work exceptionally well with vibrant greens or bright yellows. Oil-rubbed finishes get along better with a subtler palette. For copper, consider adorning at least part of the room with wallpaper.

The wild card

When you just can’t decide, you can fall back on the finish that matches with just about any color palette or theme – polished nickel.

Polished nickel easily blends in wherever it lands. Polished nickel is an excellent choice when you’d like your fixtures to fade into the background and divert visitors’ eyes to alternative design elements.

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