Chrome Vs. Brushed Nickel: Key Differences Explained

Are you planning to get some new faucets for your bathroom? Then, you will surely come across choosing between chrome vs. brushed nickel.

It’s a pretty common dilemma that many people face whenever buying new faucets.

So, what do you do then? Well, it’s very easy, you simply compare both the options and see which one suits your needs better.

It seems like too much work, right?

Don’t worry, I have got you covered. Here, I will go through a complete comparison between the two, so stick with me till the end.

Brushed Nickel Vs. Chrome In Bathroom

First, I will go through a quick comparison with a chart for both types of bathroom faucets. Then, I will dive deep into them individually.

Later on, you will get to see a detailed comparison to decide which one you should pick for your bathroom.

Let’s get it going then.

TypeBrushed NickelChrome
Corrosion resistanceYesYes
FinishSemi-satin with no shineVery Shiny

If you are short on time, you can decide based on this table. But if you have some time in hand, then I highly recommend going through the whole thing.

Let’s get started with each option individually, and then I will take you through the detailed comparison.

All About Brushed Nickel

Brushed Nickel faucet

I will be starting things off with the brushed nickel option for your bathroom faucet. It’s already a pretty popular choice amongst people.

Let’s go through each factor of brushed nickel.

  • Appearance

Brush nickel has that soft metal feel when you look at it. It’s brushed with a not-so-shiny finish. But it doesn’t have that matte feel to it either.

You can compare the look of this one with a stainless-steel finish with a bit of a foggier appearance.

When I say it’s not shiny, that doesn’t mean it’s wholly dull or gloomy. It still has some glimmer to it that makes it look quite good.

The whole thing is designed to create a calming look without any flashy vibe.

  • Build

The build of brushed nickel is usually pretty good. Even though it tarnishes very easily, it does a great job of keeping away its imperfection.

So, you don’t get to see the damages along the way with a brushed nickel finish.

These are nickel faucets with a finish that uses wire brushes made of metal. That’s why you end up getting a rough surface on the faucets.

These are great when you don’t want any sort of dirt or fingerprints on the faucets after you use them.

  • Maintenance

In continuation to the earlier fact, you don’t have to go through any hardy process to clean up this finish. They are pretty easy to clean and don’t require too much work.

Since they don’t get any kind of dirt or fingerprint marks on them, you don’t need to worry about that either.

As they don’t get dirty too often, you won’t have to bother about cleaning them too often either. This means there isn’t much maintenance involved with a brushed nickel faucet.

Here are some of the best brush nickel faucets that you can find out there. These come from renowned brands, and I didn’t consider the price as a factor here. S

o, you may get to see some expensive choices, but none of them are sacrificed at all in terms of quality.

  • SOKA Centerset Bathroom Sink Faucet

The finish has the classic appearance of any brushed nickel faucet you want to get. The base material is 304-stainless steel so that you can expect resistance to rust from this faucet.

It has an easy installation feature along with pretty durable construction. For convenience, you also get double handle operation.

On top of all this, you get great value for money on this faucet.

  • Moen 6172BN Centerset Bathroom Faucet

It’s the brushed nickel variant that comes with the warmth you would want to have in your bathroom.

The faucet comes with easy installation and easier water adjustments. You can rely on this one to last for quite a long time as well.

The only issue you may face with this faucet is the price. It’s a bit expensive, and some may not like that fact.

However, considering the premium aspect of the faucet, this is how they are priced in general.

But the quality is pretty similar to that. It comes with an appealing appearance if you want to get a smooth and warmer finish.

Altogether it’s a great option you can check out for your brushed nickel faucet needs.

All About Chrome

Chrome Faucet

Now, let’s talk a bit about the chrome faucets that you can go for as well. They are a bit different from the brushed nickel ones, and I will dive deep into that later.

For now, let’s focus on the Chrome finish on your faucets individually.

  • Appearance

The appearance of chrome faucets is all about a shiny exterior. They are glossy in terms of looks.

So, if you want to brighten up the look of your bathroom or kitchen, then going for chrome faucets is the way to go. They have that premium feel that is right in the face for anyone who sees them.

Now, some people may not like the gloss or shine, and it may be a bit too much for some. Because the shine you get on a chrome finish is truly unlike any shine, you get to see from other metals.

  • Build

Here you may come across some concerns with your chrome faucets. They aren’t very durable as a metal. They aren’t entirely resistant to rust.

This means there is always that possibility of rust building up on your chrome faucet. There are some other issues with chrome faucets as well.

For example, when you use very tough scrubbers or too many harsh chemicals to clean up the faucets, you may end up damaging them.

These things can easily remove the chrome plating you get on these faucets. Once the plating is gone, it will lose its shine, but more than that, it will be much more prone to getting rust or corrosion.

  • Maintenance

Well, the maintenance of this faucet is also quite tricky. Because of the shiny exterior, they are very much open to getting fingerprints or dirt.

Also, from the previous fact, they can easily go through rust and corrosion damage since they aren’t resistant to them.

So, you will have to take proper care of these faucets. You will need to maintain a high level of the cleaning process for this one. You can’t use whatever you wish to clean a chrome finish.

The best way to clean the chrome faucets is to use a solution of vinegar and water with a 1:1 ratio. Then, you can use a soft cloth and dampen it in the solution.

After that, you simply wipe the chrome faucets and clean them up.

As you can see, you will need to put in some work to maintain and keep the faucets properly cleaned. In short, you can consider this to be a high-maintenance faucet option.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the different chrome faucets options that you can check out. Once again, you don’t have to buy these in particular.

Going through these will give you a clear idea of the standard chrome faucets you can find out there.

  • Moen 6410 Eva Two-Handle Centerset Bathroom Sink Faucet

You can consider this one as the premium choice for your chrome faucet. It comes with an appearance that will surely give you a mirror-like vibe.

It’s so shiny you can see your face in the reflection just like a mirror.

Along with that appearance, it also comes with easy water adjustments with two levers. The installation of the faucet is also pretty straightforward.

You can expect good durability coming from this one as well.

  • Delta Faucet Arvo Centerset

Here is another high-quality option like the previous one but with a lower price. I wouldn’t say it’s the cheapest faucet out there, but it surely has a reasonable price.

But for the looks, there is no compromise to notice here, whatsoever.

It’s also very easy to install with a pretty standard design. A fantastic feature is called WaterSense, which uses less water than usual.

This is great for saving up on water waste. And you get good durability coming from this one as well.

  • SOKA Brass Bathroom Faucet Chrome

If you are looking for a faucet option within a budget, this is the pick for you. It doesn’t come with those fancy double handles, but if you don’t need one, this can be a great pick.

It comes at an affordable price, and the looks are as good as you would expect.

The shine on the faucet is just what you want from any chrome finish. But the material inside is stainless steel, which makes it a durable option. The faucet is pretty convenient, which is quite surprising for the price.

Apart from these, you can just about go with any kind of chrome faucet you want from any brand.

You can get some idea once you go through these to decide which one you should get. Also, you can set up your expectations of a faucet based on these.

Chrome Vs. Brushed Nickel Head-To-Head

brushed nickel vs. chrome in bathroom

Here is the real deal; that’s what this is all about. Now, I will go through the comparison between these two finishes on faucets.

I will compare various factors between them and see which one comes out on top.

So, when you are deciding between these two, you can simply go through those factors and see which one’s matters for you more than the other.

Let’s get it going.

  • Aesthetics

As you can tell by now, there is a clear difference between the aesthetics of both finishes. You can easily decide on one based on this factor.

If you want to get a glossy set up on your bathroom faucet, then a chrome finish is the way to go. It’s all about the shine in chrome. This is perfect for a setup that needs a colder tint to suit the surrounding.

But if you want to add warmth to the appearance, you should go for brushed nickel. They don’t have that shine that gives it that subtle look. It won’t be right in front of your eye, but it will still look good.

No clear winner is saying; one is more beautiful than the other. So, it comes down to what you prefer to see in your setup.

Whether you want the faucet to be shiny or you want it to be subtle. But if you can’t decide based on this, you can move on to the other differences.

  • Durability

Now, when it’s about durability, I have to say both are pretty similar.

While the decay or damage in the chrome is pretty evident, the damage on a brushed nickel won’t be right in front of your eye. This is the basic difference between them in terms of durability.

The chrome faucets generally don’t last that long, and the damages will be seen clearly. The brushed nickel will tarnish pretty early, but the longevity is still there.

Also, chrome faucets don’t have the rust or corrosion resistance that you would hope from them.

So, it isn’t easy to choose one based on this factor. However, the next factor will make this easier for you.

  • Ease of maintenance

Fortunately, there is a clear winner in this aspect of the two faucet types. The winner is brushed nickel. They don’t require too much maintenance at all. They don’t even catch too much dirt or fingerprints that you need to worry about.

On the other hand, you will always have to worry about these things with chrome faucets.

Along with that, you will have to follow proper cleaning methods to make sure that you are not damaging them. So, they are very high maintenance.

If you consider ease of maintenance, then brushed nickel is the clear choice for you.

  • Price

Typically, there isn’t much difference between their prices these days. But if you are getting deep into it, then I would say brushed nickel is comparatively more expensive than chrome faucets.

However, other things also come into play here. You can find huge differences between different brands.

So, in the price aspect, you may need to rely on the brands you choose rather than the types of faucets you get.

If we stay within the same brand, then most of the time, a chrome faucet will cost less than brushed nickel. But the difference won’t be too much and is easily negligible most of the time.

  • Purpose

Last but not least, the purpose of getting the faucet can also dictate the decision. If you plan to create a premium-looking bathroom or kitchen setup, then a glossier faucet can help a lot.

This means, in that kind of setup, you can use a chrome finish faucet.

Does that mean a brushed nickel would look bad there? Well, no, because they also have elegance, but it’s not as evident as chrome.

But if you install a faucet that will be used a lot and regularly, I would say stick with brushed nickel because it’s low maintenance.


All in all, choosing between brushed nickels vs. chrome isn’t that difficult at all when you know what you want. Now that you know the differences between these two, things become even easier for you.

The best way to decide between them is to focus on the aesthetics first. Because the difference there is huge and essentially what gives them that unique value.

But if you are not concerned about the aesthetics, you can dive deep into the other stuff. Regardless, both are good choices for bathroom faucets.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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