Chrome has been the star of the show for many years, holding its place as a traditional finish for faucets and fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens alike. However, despite its previous prowess, chrome has been upstaged by other finishes.
So, is chrome for bathroom faucets and fixtures out of style? Or does it remain a timeless staple? We’re here to discuss the latest and greatest bathroom finish trends, so keep reading to learn more!
Types Of Fixture Finishes
In today’s day and age, fixtures come in dozens of different finishes. Whether you prefer traditional colors or modern and contemporary themes, there’s something out there to match your preferences. Whether you’re looking for kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, hardware, or something similar, the options are plentiful.
Most major brands offer many different finishes to accommodate varying aesthetic preferences, although some brands offer more than others. A few popular fixture finishes include:
- Stainless steel
- Matte black
- Polished nickel
- Brushed chrome
- Satin brass
- Oil-rubbed bronze
What Is Chrome?
Chrome has been a trendy finish for many years, offering classic, reflective looks for any space. Manufacturers apply a layer of nickel, then chrome through an electroplating process to create the finish.
Brass parts are brushed to create the striation effect, characteristic of a brushed chrome finish. If the product will be a polished chrome finish, the brass parts will be polished to a mirror finish. Next, the parts are put on a conductive rack, where they begin a multi-stage operation.
They move through several liquid tanks to be cleaned, nickel-plated and chrome-plated. They’re rinsed and cleaned between each dip in the liquid tanks. Throughout the electroplating process, an electrical current passes between the brass part and an anode while it’s submerged in an electrolyte bath.
The electrical flow between the two deposits a layer of metallic atoms on the part. The result? A beautiful, glossy finish.
Pros And Cons Of Chrome Fixtures
Chrome fixtures feature a unique set of pros and cons, both of which are helpful in deciding whether chrome is a good choice for your home. A few of the benefits of chrome finishes include:
- Shiny finish
- Elegant appearance
- Modern looking
On the flip side, a few of the drawbacks of chrome includes:
- Scratches easily
- Requires more maintenance to preserve the shiny appearance
- Fingerprints and dirt are easily visible
How To Maintain Chrome Fixtures
Given the high-shine surface of chrome faucets and fixtures, regular maintenance is imperative to preserve its looks. Thankfully, cleaning the glossy surface is quick and easy, even if there are mineral deposits or hard water spots.
General maintenance is simple: wipe the fixture dry after each use with a soft microfiber cloth. This prevents water from drying on the faucet, leaving behind water spots.
Mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid with distilled water for weekly maintenance. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution, then wipe down your chrome faucets and fixtures. Follow up with a dry microfiber cloth to clean up any residual solution and buff out streaks.
If you have hard water in your home, your chrome fixtures will put mineral deposits on full display. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy ways to clean them. One cleaning method involves lemons, which are great for cleaning various items. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Two or three lemons, halved
- A clean microfiber cloth
Start by scrubbing the chrome with the pith of the lemon. Switch to a fresh lemon as necessary. If there is a considerable amount of hard water stains or buildup, let the lemon juice sit on the fixtures for about five minutes.
Then, wipe away the excess juice or pith left behind with a microfiber cloth. You might need to repeat the process a few times to achieve the desired result.
If you don’t have lemons on hand, use baking soda to clean the faucets and fixtures. Or, if lemon juice simply didn’t cut it, use baking soda to get the job done. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- Distilled water
- Microfiber cloth
- Plastic spatula
- Rubber band
Mix baking soda with about a teaspoon of distilled water to form a thick paste. If the paste is clumpy or powdery, add a few more drops of water. On the other hand, if the paste is runny, add baking soda to create a thicker paste.
Spread the paste on the fixtures. Using a microfiber cloth, buff the paste gently into the finish. For tougher stains, wrap the cloth around a plastic spatula and secure it with a rubber band. Use it to scrub the stains, applying enough pressure to get the job done, but not so much that you damage the finish.
Using distilled water, rinse away the excess baking soda finish. Don’t use tap water, as this will leave behind new mineral deposits. Use a dry microfiber cloth to buff the fixtures dry.
Or, if you’d prefer to avoid baking soda altogether, use white vinegar. It works wonders on chrome finishes, leaving the surface ultra-shiny and clean. Simply mix white vinegar and water in a 1-to-1 ratio in a spray bottle for daily cleaning. Spray the fixture with the solution, then dry it with a microfiber cloth.
For tougher areas, use undiluted vinegar and a microfiber cloth. Remember to buff the fixture dry after cleaning to remove residue.
Is Chrome In Style In 2022?
As of 2022, chrome falls short of making the most sought-after finishes list. Leading the pack, you’ll find an elegant gold finish, beautiful brushed nickel finishes, and rich, black matte finishes. Bathroom trends have shifted away from pure white themes, where chrome finishes were incredibly popular.
Instead, bathroom themes today lean towards a more visually calm theme. Darker color palettes with striking fixtures and soft, neutral hues are in. Trends indicate an influx in comfortable atmospheres with a touch of drama as opposed to the clean, white, almost sterile feel of all-white palettes.
Is Chrome Timeless?
As we mentioned, chrome isn’t exactly the most trending finish this year. That said, chrome has its place in recent bathroom trends. Chrome pairs well with nearly any color scheme, offering an elegant touch of silver to the space.
Many folks argue that chrome is a timeless finish – it finds its place in almost every trending theme. The truth is, they’re right. Although chrome may not be at the forefront of the limelight, it remains a popular pick for many homeowners.
There’s no reason chrome can’t pair beautifully with themes other than the out-of-date, all-white, hospital-esque theme. Many homeowners appreciate the high-shine surface of chrome and choose to incorporate the finish into varying color schemes.
Chrome is a fairly adaptable finish, meaning you can make it work with almost anything. So, whether you’re going for a darker color palette with a touch of drama or neutral, softer-hued space, chrome might be the perfect finish.
Ultimately, it’s your choice what you put in your home. If you like chrome fixtures, then, by all means, incorporate them into your design. Just because bathroom design trends lean away from your preferences doesn’t mean you need to change them to accommodate the latest and greatest.
So, whether you absolutely love chrome fixtures or vehemently despise them, it’s your choice. If chrome’s shiny, reflective surface isn’t your thing, you have dozens of different finishes to choose from. Most faucet and fixture brands offer a wide range of finishes to accommodate the personal preferences and aesthetic tastes of nearly everyone.