Maybe you’re decorating a newly-built home or replacing an old faucet with a new one. You decide you like the dark, aged look of oil-rubbed bronze, so you’re considering that for your new faucet. But after a bit of consideration, you begin to worry – does oil-rubbed bronze actually go with a stainless steel sink?
If that sounds about right, you’ve come to the right place. This article dives into the specifics of mixing and matching metals, so continue reading to learn more!
What Is Oil-Rubbed Bronze?
Oil-rubbed bronze faucets boast a rich, deep, amber brownish tone with hints of amber glowing through. This finish continues to deepen as time passes, creating a beautiful antique appearance. Since these fixtures feature a “live” finish, they can be somewhat finicky to maintain, but the stunning hue is well worth the extra effort.
How Are Oil-Rubbed Bronze Faucets Made?
To create an oil-rubbed bronze finish, manufacturers start with a copper-plated faucet. Generally, the base material consists of corrosion-resistant metal, like stainless steel or brass, but this may vary from one manufacturer to the next.
Once the plating is in place, they coat it with a dark oil solution, which creates a deep brown finish. The amber hue of the copper peeks through, giving the finish a coppery undertone. As mentioned, the color continues to deepen over time, so some oil-rubbed bronze products can appear almost black.
Can You Mix Oil-Rubbed Bronze With Stainless Steel?
Now that we’re familiar with oil-rubbed bronze and its “live” nature let’s see if it actually matches with stainless steel. For some folks, the two may seem to complement each other, but for others, it might not seem to match. However, before you toss your dreams of a stunning oil-rubbed bronze faucet, consider the following.
Many design experts recommend mixing cool tones with other cool tones. For example, you might mix stainless steel with other cold, silvery tones, like stainless steel or chrome. This creates a streamlined, coordinated appearance that creates consistency throughout the space.
The same advice applies to warm finishes – mix warm tones with other warm tones. For instance, let’s say you have a beautiful gold faucet but want a bit of contrast. So, to mix it up, you decide to use warm-toned nickel hardware throughout the space. While the finishes aren’t the same, they coordinate with each other due to the warm undertones.
So, if you prefer to follow the advice of design experts across the country, you can apply this to your faucet dilemma. Since oil-rubbed bronze is considered a warm finish due to its coppery undertone, it might correlate poorly with the cooler bluish-gray undertones of stainless steel.
While heeding expert advice is a good thing, it doesn’t always have to be their way or the highway with faucet finishes. You can mix metals if you appreciate the contrast in a space, which helps add diversity (instead of monochromatic appearances).
This includes oil-rubbed bronze and stainless steel. Although they have contrasting tones, one warm and one cool, they can work well together to create a beautiful, stark appearance. In many cases, oil-rubbed bronze faucets become nearly black or an intense brown with hints of amber, so they can complement the tones of a stainless steel sink.
On top of that, the sink sits lower than the faucet, and you’ll only see a small part of it when you’re standing away from the sink. So, the focus shifts to the tap, putting it in the spotlight with a small sprinkle of contrast from the sink.
It’s Your Home!
We can continue to talk about faucet finishes, sink colors, matching tones, contrasting palettes, and so on until we run out of breath. However, the choice is ultimately yours! It’s your house, so you can do whatever you like with the design. Choose your favorite colors, metals, and finishes, and mix or match them to your heart’s desire!
For example, let’s say you love the look of oil-rubbed bronze and don’t mind a sprinkle of contrasting tones. In this case, an oil-rubbed bronze faucet might be the perfect fit for your home!
On the other hand, you might prefer even tones and consistency throughout your home, so you might not appreciate the variation in your kitchen, and that’s okay! Do what works best for you because, at the end of the day, it’s your kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Oil-Rubbed Bronze Faucets Hard To Keep Clean?
Although oil-rubbed bronze faucets tend to require more maintenance than other finishes, these faucets aren’t hard to keep clean. In truth, water, mild dish soap, and a soft cloth are all you need for general cleaning. If mineral deposits take hold, a vinegar solution will rid them from your faucet.
The kicker with these faucets is to avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives, as they can damage the finish. So, as long as you steer clear of caustic chemicals and stick with mild cleaning solutions, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Do Oil-Rubbed Bronze Faucets Hide Fingerprints?
In a busy household full of kids (especially the littles), keeping faucets and fixtures throughout the home is tricky at best. Young children (sometimes the older ones, too!) often manage to leave fingerprints and grime all over the faucet, not to manage the water spots left behind due to excessive splashing.
So, if that sounds like your household (we get it!), an oil-rubbed bronze faucet might be a perfect fit. Although these faucets require a bit of extra maintenance, they hide dirt, grime, fingerprints, and water spots well. So, no worries if it’s been a few days or weeks since you cleaned – the faucet hides it well.
Are Oil-Rubbed Bronze Faucets Expensive?
Generally speaking, oil-rubbed bronze faucets tend to be somewhat pricier than other faucet finishes, like chrome or nickel. The added price stems from the manufacturing process, as these faucets require a bit more of a finishing process to create the final result.
Bathroom faucets tend to cost between $250 and $600+, depending on the brand, style, and design. For an oil-rubbed bronze kitchen sink faucet, you can expect to pay between $350 and $800+. Of course, the exact purchase price varies based on several factors, like the model, brand, and design. For example, adding a sprayer with varying spray patterns, a side spray, tech features, or similar additions will tack onto the final price.
So, these faucets might not be the best fit if you’re looking for a budget-minded price.