Chrome or Stainless faucet

09 October 2013

When people get a new faucet, they generally have three options: chrome, stainless, or nickel. Below, we will explore some of the pros and cons of a chrome finish versus a stainless faucet.

First, let us look at how they are different. A chrome faucet is generally made of a lower quality steel which is then coated with a veneer of chrome. A stainless faucet is usually made of stainless steel all the way through. In terms of functionality, there is virtually no difference between the two.


Generally speaking, a chrome faucet will be less expensive than a stainless version of the same item. Made mostly of a lesser quality material, it is easy to understand why.


This one is pure taste. Most chrome faucets are very shiny. The finish is much like a mirror that when clean and polished, shines beautifully. The run of the mill stainless faucet has a brushed finish that is more of a matte finish than a really shiny one. The shiny chrome finish tends to collect fingerprints more readily than the matte stainless, so more cleaning may be required.

Another aspect of appearance that is worth considering is how well the faucet fits the room. For decades, virtually all faucets were chrome finish. Because of this, assuming its shape is appropriate, to most, a chrome faucet will not look out of place in any building from hovel to castle. Stainless faucets, on the other hand, have a more modern appearance to most people. Some may find stainless a jarring contrast in a more traditional setting.


In pure terms, stainless is definitely more durable than chrome finished faucets. The steel of which it is comprised is harder than the steel that usually comprises chrome faucets. In practical terms, though, there is really no difference. With normal use, there is no way anyone is actually going to break either type. The mechanisms that control the water flow are almost always the problem when a faucet actually fails and that is a function of how high the quality of manufacture is, not the material of the faucet itself.

The difference in cost between chrome and stainless faucets is small enough to consider negligible when dealing with a product that will often last decades. Every other aspect is a matter of taste. Neither is inherently better, so getting the right fit is simply a matter of choosing what looks best.

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