Modern Guide To Bathroom Finishes

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Sunday, 29 April 2018 05:56

Hate the faucets in your bathroom? It's amazing how something so small can make such a difference - for better and for worse.

"For something you touch several times a day, why not pick a finish for your faucet that will make you feel good? People will notice if you put in an unimpressive faucet," Peter LaBau, a Charlottesville, Va.-based architect, told HGTV.

If you're in need of a finish update, you have options. Lots of them. There are some major trends in this area, but there are also classic and tried-and-true looks that can give your loo a lift. We're breaking them down.


"This finish being the most common, and probably the most popular, it works well with all styles of homes," said Crawford Supply. "It is inexpensive and very easy to maintain. The only downside of this finish is that it shows water spots and fingerprints. If this bothers you, simply keep a microfiber towel near the faucet, and you have solved any of these issues."

Satin Nickel

"Finish-wise, satin nickel still reigns,"  Leah Peterson, executive VP of SEN Design Group dealer buying and business development group, told Kitchen & Bath Design News.

Satin nickel is sometimes referred to as brushed nickel, but take care if you're mixing both to make sure the finishes match precisely. The specific difference between the two finishes is in the way they are achieved: "A brushed finish is just that - brushed with a tool to give the metal a matte finish with the abrasions (or brush marks) all following the same direction," said Portals Luxury Hardware. "You can see those brush marks on the finish. "Satin is another matte finish, but it's achieved by chemical process, not brushing. You can tell satin from nickel by checking for brush marks - satin doesn't have them."

The great thing about both satin and brushed nickel is that they are easy to maintain and clean and are less likely to show water spots.


"Copper is unmistakable and bold. It gives the bathroom a rich feeling, especially when mixed with a subtler material, such as marble on a countertop," said Houzz. It also has "natural antibacterial properties" and develops a beautiful patina over time. The disadvantages: "A shiny copper finish might require a little more maintenance than brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and chrome. It's harder to match accessories and other fixtures to copper, and it's not as durable as other finishes."

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

"A great aesthetic alternative to standard chrome and brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze gives the bathroom a more traditional look and feel," said Houzz.


Brass is back, but not in the shiny ‘80s finish you probably just got a mental picture of. Satin brass has a fresh, modern feel.

Mixed metals

Who says you have to choose just one? New trends are supporting multiple finishes in one space. "It used to be considered a design no-no to mix metals in a bathroom," said Making Joy and Pretty Things. "You had to have polished chrome or nickel everything. Well, gone are the days where every single finish on everything at to be matchy matchy. And boy does it feel good to see that trend dying. Combining different metal finishes creates depth and adds visual interest in any room. And, it makes the room feel collected and made over time instead of builder-grade (not that there's anything wrong with builder grade, necessarily)."

Matte black

"Matte black stands out against a stark white backsplash, complements charcoal veins in a marble countertop and is cohesive with other black accessories," said Delta Faucet. "But this look isn't just for the kitchen. If you're ready to expand your love of matte black to new spaces, look no further than the bathroom. Delta's faucets and shower fixtures add a dramatic finish to your bathroom. Use them to turn heads and create a strong impression in your contemporary and transitional spaces that leave people raving about your style."

A mélange of trending options

If you really want to be on the forefront of change, consider rose gold. Or maybe gunmetal.

"You're going to see even more finish options for faucets and handles in both kitchen and bath. We've already seen gold and bronze make a comeback in recent years, but now we are seeing the growing rose-gold and bronze tones as more manufacturers are hopping on this train, and some are going in a direction that's a

little warmer or less shiny," said Gerhard's. "In addition to these hues, there's a rise in gunmetal and matte-black finishes."

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