Understanding our four finishes

Kingston Brass makes every effort in offering kitchen and bath products that are both functional and glamorous.

The type of finish you choose is significant based on how you want your kitchen/bathroom to appear. When purchasing a Kingston Brass product, the finish is mandatory especially when coordinating tones and styles with other home décor. The information on our four main finishes (polished chrome, polished brass, oil rubbed bronze and satin nickel) will provide you the help you need before making your decision.


This finish is by far the most popular sold today in plumbing and door hardware products—especially in Europe, Asia and South America.

Part of the reason might be its durability—after all, it was not long ago when automotive bumpers and trim pieces were chrome-plated.

Polished chrome is an electroplated finish (part of the reason why it is durable roots from the plating the bumpers initially withy nickel and coating them with chrome).

Chrome is considered a cold color, that is, a stark silver color.

Many designers admire the finish because it is easy to work with and fits into most décor items depending on the style of the faucet or the accessory.

The biggest complaint reported is fingerprint smudge and the appearance of water spots.

When we talk about satin chrome (or brushed chrome), we see this finish as a safe compromise in some cases.

The color is originally polished chrome but is either wire-brushed or ‘satinized’ through the use of different techniques.

Satin chrome tends to look more industrial and is used mostly in commercial door hardware.

The finish is very easy to maintain due to its absence of water spots or fingerprints.

When we talk about polished nickel, some consider it as an alteration of the polished chrome finish (In reality it is a totally separate finish).

The color appears like chrome but with a slight yellow tint, making it a warmer option to your décor.

Although it gives a much richer look to your kitchen/bathroom, it is NOT categorized in the top five finishes.

The satin chrome finish is priced at 25-50% higher than chrome and unfortunately, most end-users do not see the value of paying a substantial up-charge for a finish that looks very close to chrome.


Satin nickel is one of the most popular finishes today, second to chrome.

It gained its popularity possibly due to its practicality.

The finish is easy to maintain as it does not show fingerprints or water spots easily (like the polished chrome).

From the designer’s point of view, it is easy to coordinate with most granite or marble colors.

You may still have the risk of tarnishing but if you follow common sense maintenance guidelines, you should be able to maintain it for many years.


This finish is by far the most problematic finish for most manufacturers because it is considered a ‘living’ finish.

‘Living’ is a code word for “forever changes.”

The ideal scenario is that it will mature with age and give the room a rustic feel.

In reality, the finishes doesn’t always mature the way you want It to.

If the end-user is aware of the characteristics of the finish and knows what they’re getting into, then it’s fine.

The problem originates when designers fail to educate the client and not give enough “Caveat emptor” information.


After the development of the PVD technologies in the 90s, the durability of the polished brass finish has ceased to be a problem or an issue.

PVD or physical vapor deposition is a metal finishing process that greatly increases the durability and wear resistance of standard brass finishes on plumbing fixtures. Independent test
laboratories have determined PVD to be up to 23 times more abrasion-resistant than chrome plating, the previous industry standard.

The finish was popular in the 80s and 90s, but because of the availability of so many finishes in the market, polished brass has recently lost its acclaim.

Despite the effects of its popularity (by geographic trends), the finish still has a great standing, especially in the northeast and Midwest. Polished brass will add a touch of rich elegance to any bathroom unsurpassed by any other finish.

For more questions regarding our finishes, send e-mail to info@kingstonbrass.com.