Replacing hardware is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to refresh the look of any home. While it may seem like a minor detail, the right hardware finish can change the feel of an entire room. Imagine you’re renovating 2 standard white kitchens with checkerboard flooring; Client #1 wants something classic and charming, while Client #2 is hoping for a trendy contemporary look. The otherwise identical kitchens can gain a style all their own simply by selecting Polished Brass hardware for the first and Satin Nickel for the second. Whether you’re working from the floorboards up on a new build or remodeling an existing installation, take hardware finish into careful consideration; it could make or break the room! Here’s a quick rundown of some popular hardware finishes.

Polished finishes offer a shiny, bright look and a budget-friendly price. This type of finish has a sparklingly clean appearance, but requires regular care to maintain the look. Depending on the tone of the finish and profile of the hardware, Polished finishes make great accents in both contemporary and classic design.
Brushed finishes carry a heftier price tag, but have the benefit of concealing water spots and fingerprints. These finishes are popular in residential projects for their upscale look and pleasant texture. Brushed finishes are applied by literally brushing the metal with a tool, creating small abrasions on the surface and giving the metal its softened appearance.
Brushed and Satin finishes are similar in appearance and are sometimes referred to interchangeably, but the difference is in how these finishes are applied. Satin finishes are typically applied through electrolysis and then treated with a lacquer. The lacquer further dulls the metal’s shine and helps preserve the finish. Satin finishes conceal fingerprints and water spots like Brushed finishes, but are more resilient to scratches.
Some manufacturers offer finishes that are designed to age and weather over time. These are called Living finishes. Hardware treated with a Living finish will gradually change and gain a natural patina. Living finishes are ideal for restored historical buildings, new construction featuring traditional architecture, and any homeowner who appreciates the beauty of a well-loved vintage piece.
Polished Brass is a perennially popular finish with vintage charm, and it’s currently experiencing a revival in bathroom design. Its beautiful reflective surface and warm, bright tones give this finish its classic appeal.
The older, less flashy cousin of Polished Brass. Antique Brass blends rich brown hues with a soft golden glow; its understated warmth is ideal for rooms with traditional styling.
When designing for a more contemporary space, Satin Nickel is all the rage. Satin Nickel has a certain luxurious quality, balancing its calm, cool luster with subtle warm undertones. It harmonizes well with Stainless Steel appliances, making it a great choice for kitchens.
Whether polished or satin, hardware in a Chrome finish has a sleek and modern look. Chrome is a favorite in bathrooms for its bright, clean appearance. Hardware with this finish is moderately priced and widely available in a variety of products.
Sometimes called Antique Bronze, this finish is perfect for adding a touch of rustic charm. The rich, burnt color is particularly at home in Old World or Tuscan-inspired designs.
Always striking yet surprisingly versatile, Matte Black meets in the middle between traditional and modern design. Its resemblance to wrought iron is perfect for Southwestern or Farmhouse styles.

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