For a long time now, chrome has been the go-to, default finish for kitchen faucets. But this trend is changing in a big way – not only have chrome faucets fallen out of favor, but they’re being overwhelmingly replaced by less reflective finishes, especially in the kitchen. Interestingly, though, the trend is mostly anti-chrome, rather than favoring any other particular finish. Whether you’re planning a major kitchen remodel or not, if you currently have a chrome faucet, upgrading to a new one with one of these matte finishes is a great, easy, affordable way to update the look and feel of your kitchen.
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These days, satin nickel is probably the most common finish you’ll find on a kitchen faucet. That said, the actual color of the finish varies a little bit from brand to brand. On the one end, some satin nickel faucets are maybe half a shade away from a brushed stainless steel. This is a very cool, clear, slightly blue-tinted metal finish with a sleek, very lightly textured finish, as though the bright metal were blurred out by the swipe of a paintbrush (hence the name).
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On the other end of the spectrum are satin nickel faucets with a warmer undertone, with hints of peach or pink that make for a slightly warmer finish. Depending on the manufacturer, a “satin nickel” can mean either a warm or cool finish, or anywhere in between. This is an important distinction to pay attention to, because you want the underlying color to match the base tone of your kitchen. As a rule of thumb, warmer toned faucets will work better with a traditional style, while cooler colors are a better pair for a more modern kitchen, but really the “right” color for a faucet depends mostly on the colors of the surrounding area, especially your kitchen sink and the surrounding counter and tile.
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Oil rubbed bronze kitchen faucets have become equally popular, though they have a very, very different look. Oil rubbed bronze faucets (also known as antique bronze, tumbled bronze, etc.) are very dark, ranging from a deep, lustrous brown to a brown so dark it’s almost black. This color is a little bit more common in faucets with a more traditional style – like cross handle or bridge faucets – and makes a really nice pair for a French country kitchen, especially when used to contrast white cabinets.
You can also find very dark finished kitchen faucets that have a sort of pewter tone to them, though they’re rarely labeled as such. Usually either a particular brand’s version of brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze, these have a very dark blue-black finish with silvery highlights and have a lovely, weathered antique appearance that’s perfect for a cool-toned traditional kitchen.
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While different shades of satin nickel and oil rubbed bronze are the big, popular colors right now, copper finished faucets come in at a comfy third place. That said, the no-shine rule still applies, which means you should forgo polished, new-penny colored copper fixtures in favor of a brushed or antiqued copper. These are much warmer, brighter, and more colorful than even the lightest oil rubbed bronze, and work especially well in a traditional kitchen with lots of wood finishes and other copper accents.
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If you want a more modern look, consider opting for a stainless steel kitchen faucet. These generally have a sleek, industrial or restaurant style flair and often come with commercial features, like hose style pull down sprayers or multiple faucet heads. If you go this route, though, be sure to look for steel faucets with a satin rather than mirror finish. Mirrored steel is the next best thing to chrome, and will make your kitchen look just as dated, no matter how modern the style of the faucet.
Which of these finishes appeals to you?Are you planning a full kitchen remodel, or just looking to give your sink area a quick facelift? Let me know in the comments!
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