The difference between satin nickel, brushed chrome & stainless steel
anngoldstein
September 13, 2013 in Photo Questions
My appliances and faucet are stainless steel-my cabinets are a dark cherry. I assumed I needed to use stainless steel pulls but so many only come in satin nickel or brushed chrome-does it matter?
I love these pulls but I'm not sure about the satin nickel? Thank you
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PRO
US Homeware/Doorware.com
It doesn't matter as much as you might think. In this case the nickel and chrome finishes are plated onto solid brass base metal, then polished or brushed and a thin coat of lacquer is applied. The first plating for both finishes is nickel, then the chrome is plated over top of the nickel giving it a whiter/brighter hue. Nickel finishes are slightly darker in color giving them a warmer appearance. Satin nickel matches satin stainless so closely you usually can't tell the difference even when they are side by side. Since most stainless steel architectural hardware is made from type 304 stainless that is composed of steel, chromium and nickel, they are all very close in color and appearance. Stainless steel isn't as soft and malleable as brass so hardware made from stainless steel is typically more modern or contemporary whereas brass hardware will have more detail. Ultimately satin nickel and satin stainless finishes match well so you shouldn't be concerned at all when mixing the two.
September 13, 2013 at 5:50am     
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anngoldstein
and brushed chrome would fall into the same answer? Thank so much for getting back to me!
September 13, 2013 at 6:14am   
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PRO
US Homeware/Doorware.com
It's my pleasure! I think satin chrome is a little too white. Satin nickel is really the best match.
September 13, 2013 at 6:21am   
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anngoldstein
Thanks again!
September 13, 2013 at 6:24am     
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PRO
US Homeware/Doorware.com
You're welcome - glad to help.
September 13, 2013 at 8:19am   
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shelleyuk
Aha I've just asked practically the same question but with taps. So brushed nickel will be fine next to stainless steel
February 4, 2014 at 2:55am     
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PRO
US Homeware/Doorware.com
Yes, it will. Gives you more options as well!
February 4, 2014 at 5:17am   
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brownworth
I can find the same style that I want in door pulls in either stainless steel or satin nickel, which is the strongest and will last the longest? I want the best. Thank you.
April 16, 2014 at 5:16am   
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PRO
US Homeware/Doorware.com
Stainless steel is the strongest. Virtually all stainless steel hardware is made from 304 stainless which WILL eventually rust in spots if not cared for properly. Satin nickel is plated on brass which is a soft metal, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Brass does not rust but if the finish is compromised it can pit. Either one is still a good choice. Keep in mind some of the cheaper satin nickel is plated on zinc (aka pot metal) which is brittle and breaks easily. That is one option you want to stay away from.
April 16, 2014 at 6:45am     
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lolosue
What is the difference between satin nickel and brushed nickel? This is a very informative thread! Thank you!
June 14, 2014 at 4:14am     
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PRO
US Homeware/Doorware.com
Theoretically the brushed nickel has more pronounced streaks from the "brush finishing" and the satin is more of a matte finish, but in reality there is very little difference. The terms are used interchangeably in the industry and the finish codes, US15 or 619, are the same for both. Hope this is helpful and I'm sorry for the delay - I've been on vacation :))
June 23, 2014 at 5:33am     
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