The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Faucet Finishes: How to Choose

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Determining the best faucet finishes for your kitchen is often a difficult task. There are a lot of finishes to choose from, and many of them look similar. Chances are you have envisioned a certain look, and you want to be certain that the finish you choose adds just the right styling touch.

Choosing the correct faucet finish is crucial to your kitchen design.

The faucet finish characterizes the aesthetics of the room. Choosing a faucet finish is no longer just about color choice. The maintenance required varies by finish, and some kitchen faucet finishes are more durable than others.

This handy guide will help you choose the faucet finish that is best for your kitchen and lifestyle.

What Is a Kitchen Faucet Finish?

Although once overlooked, faucet finish is a vital part of the design. Every sink in the home is a chance to work in a fresh design element.

The finish is the appearance of the fixture, usually a metal name, or a solid color with a description like “matte” meaning “without a shine.”

A wide variety of finishes, including chrome, brass, textured, gold plated, nickel, matte black, white, or copper, are available in every price range. Customized kitchen faucet finishes are a growing trend.

Special finishes like oil-rubbed bronze and brushed nickel are especially popular for do-it-yourself projects and remodels. Regardless of your finish choice, you must consider several things.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Finish?

When choosing your faucet finish, it is important to consider other aspects of the space you are designing. Think about the overall design and style of the room.

You will want a finish that complements your other interior design elements. Consider also elements such as lighting fixtures and other finishes throughout the room.
Trust yourself. Choose a finish that not only complements the room but suits your taste.

Design and Style

Some finishes complement certain styles better than others.For instance, if you wish to achieve an elegant, rich look, nickel is an excellent choice.

An oil-rubbed finish, with its burnt brown shade, is the perfect complement to a Tuscan or Old World style. This finish also suits a cottage or cabin setting.For Scandinavian style, the all-popular chrome is the best choice.

Uniformity of Finishes

Study the overall design of your room. Notice the shape and style of your sink, the style of the door, lighting fixtures, etc. Consider whether the faucet finish will complement the entire room.

Aim for uniformity with the finish you choose.

You can do the entire room in the same finish, or it can be a series of disconnected elements, as long as the result appears as a purposeful design. You want to avoid a finish that appears out of place.

To accomplish this task, choose a finish that blends with other elements of the room. It is okay to mix and match finishes so long as they blend well.

Visual Appeal

Let your senses lead the way. You know what appeals to you. If you like texture, an oil-rubbed faucet may be right for you.

However, if shiny and smooth is your taste, a chrome finish is probably better.

For continuing aesthetics, without intensive daily polishing, matte finishes are great for hiding water spots.

You can also seek faucets sporting physical vapor deposition (PVD), a method of bonding a finish to a standard brass faucet. Faucets with PVD resist scratches, corrosion, and tarnish.

Types of Kitchen Faucet Finishes

There are several types of kitchen faucet finishes available. Each finish has its own look and attributes. The right finish for your kitchen is the one that not only complements the room but satisfies your taste preferences and suits your lifestyle.

Below is a detailed description of different finishes.


Kraus KPF-1680CH Sellette Single Handle Pull Down Kitchen Faucet with Dual Function...

Chrome is the most widely used and popular finish. This finish is known for its shine and reflective surface. It sports corrosion resistance and will not tarnish. It is the highest-selling finish among kitchen and bathroom fixtures, which may be partially due to the fact that it is also the lowest in price.

If you are on a tight budget, or you just want to save a few dollars, consider chrome finish for your faucets. It is durable (though not as durable as Stainless), universal, and inexpensive.

The chrome finish goes well with practically any style and can make a statement. (Looking for how to clean a chrome fixture?

Stainless Steel

Moen 7185SRS Brantford One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet Featuring Power Boost and...

A stainless steel finish (like the above faucet) is a sleek metallic shade that perfectly matches modern stainless steel appliances. In contrast to the chrome finish, spots are not readily visible on stainless steel.

Therefore, its luster is more durable than that of the chrome finish.

Since they resist water spots, stainless steel faucets require little maintenance. This finish is easy to clean and looks nice for a long time. Stainless steel costs more than chrome but also has higher durability.

Polished Nickel

KOHLER 77515-SN Tournant Kitchen Sink Faucet, Standard, Polished Nickel

Polished nickel offers a shiny, smooth finish that is highly durable. This finish is easy to clean and wears well throughout time. It looks good on a broad variety of design aesthetics.

Different lighting effects can cause this finish to take on different hues.This is an especially useful feature if you enjoy changing up your accent colors or accessories regularly because it easily adapts. This finish goes well with traditional, contemporary, eclectic, and modern styles.

Brushed Nickel

Comllen Kitchen Faucet with Pull Down Sprayer Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet, Modern Pull...

This finish is similar to polished nickel, however, it has a warmer hue. It is among the most durable of kitchen faucet finishes and it maintains its sleek, metallic finish longer than oil-rubbed metal or chrome.

Matching this finish with other accessories and fixtures is easy. It is also easy to clean and fairly inexpensive. This finish looks great with most styles. It is perfect if you are redoing your kitchen with timeless, classic fixtures.

Matte Black

OWOFAN Kitchen Faucets Commercial Solid Brass Single Handle Single Lever Pull Down Sprayer...

A matte black finish makes a classic statement. This versatile finish goes well with other accessories, metals, and vanities. If you are looking to make a few subtle changes, but do not want to redo the entire room, installing a matte black faucet is a simple update.

This finish does not readily show fingerprints or water spots and it is easy to clean. This finish works well with industrial, modern, contemporary, and eclectic styles.


Delta Faucet 141-WH-DST, White

A white faucet finish provides a clean, fresh look that blends flawlessly with an all-white scheme or makes a striking statement against a bold and colorful design.

Like the matte black, white finishes do not readily show fingerprints or water spots. White fixtures maintain a bright, fresh, and timeless appearance. This finish is frequently used with a modern or farmhouse style.

Champagne Bronze

Delta Faucet Trinsic Gold Bar Faucet with Pull Down Sprayer, Bar Sink Faucet Single Hole,...

This smooth finish is a cross between oil-rubbed bronze and copper. It has a subtle gold color (like the above faucet), which makes for a flexible finish. This finish is easy to maintain and incredibly durable.

It provides a unique look but is more budget-friendly than oil-rubbed bronze or copper. This finish works well with Mediterranean and traditional styles.

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Moen 7594ORB Arbor One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet Featuring Power Boost and Reflex,...

If you would prefer something other than brushed nickel or chrome, but still want something that works great with traditional style, oil-rubbed bronze just might be the finish you are looking for. This finish is readily available and easy to clean.

The oil-rubbed bronze surface is perfect for hiding fingerprints and water spots. It matches well with other oil-rubbed bronze accessories. This finish is best suited to Tuscan, Mediterranean, and traditional styles.


Copper 8-3/8 Inch High Arc Two-Handles Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Side Spray - Five Years...

This bold, rich finish is the perfect accent for marble countertops. Copper finish is readily available and makes a bold statement. This metal has antibacterial properties.

If it gets scratched, the imperfection heals itself over time and blends with the surface. This finish works best with Tuscan or farmhouse style. However, it is also a great complement to traditional design.

Satin Brass

Newport Brass 943/04 Chesterfield Double Handle Widespread Kitchen Faucet with Side Spray...

This gold-brushed finish looks classy and bold but is not too flashy. It is a matte shade, which is great for hiding water spots and fingerprints.

It’s durable and adds a subtle hue to dark countertops or a refreshing pop to light-colored ones. This finish looks best in traditional, modern, or contemporary design spaces.

Polished Brass

If you want a finish that provides a vintage look, polished brass is for you. This finish is readily available and easy to maintain. It is also durable and easy to match with other accessories.

Polished brass has become increasingly popular of late. It works well with a variety of designs including modern and traditional.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, there is a lot to consider when choosing between kitchen faucet finishes.Each finish requires a different amount of maintenance and level of care. Chrome is the most popular finish because it is easy to care for and is priced significantly lower than other finishes.

The bronze finishes are used mainly for decoration and are priced the highest. They also require the most care of any finish. The longest-lasting and most durable of all finishes is nickel.

Before you purchase a new faucet for your kitchen, remember that your faucet finish is probably the single most important design element in the room. Make sure you choose the right one.

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