A Quick and Dirty Guide for Types of Hardware Finishes

When it comes to a kitchen or bathroom remodel, there are a wide range of design elements to select. From flooring to lighting and everything in between, the level of customizability means that you as a homeowner can make it look just the way you want. Have you thought much about the finishes on your hardware though?

You’re most likely to find hardware with a polished finish in bathrooms. This type of finish is characterized by its shiny surface. When it’s clean, it reflects light wonderfully, which helps brighten a room. Of course, because of its reflective and polished surface, it tends to pick up fingerprints and water spots. That means that in order to keep it looking nice you’ll need to clean it more regularly than hardware with other types of finishes. The good news is that cleaning polished hardware so it shines can instantly make a room look cleaner just by itself.

Brushed and Satin
Hardware with a brushed or satin finish looks very similar. They have a more textured, softer look than polished hardware. Hardware with these finishes tends to not pick up fingerprints or water spots as easily, so it can be a good option for pieces that see heavier use. The biggest difference between the two is the application process for the finish. If the hardware has a brushed finish, it was brushed by a tool to create the texture you see. Satin finishes are made using electrolysis and lacquer.

Some finishes change in appearance somewhat over time. These types of finishes are considered living finishes. Most of what you’ll experience with these finishes within your home is a change in color, usually darkening over time. That said, high touch surfaces may lighten in some areas as well. This usually happens when there isn’t a lacquer over the surface of the hardware, leaving the metal exposed to the air and oils from hands. Hardware with living finishes are great options for vintage or traditional looks.

Choosing the right finish for a room, whether it’s in your kitchen or bathroom, is a lot easier when you understand the different options available. Whether you want a polished, brushed, satin, or living finish, there are plenty of options to choose from for metals and styles in each. Make sure you choose the right finish for your hardware to get the room that much closer to how you want it.

When it comes to bathroom remodels, there are a lot of design decisions to make. Check out some of the bathroom remodels we’ve done for inspiration to take back to your own.