Accessories: Chrome or Brushed Nickel?

Upgrading your bathroom accessories is one of the easiest ways to tie the room together and trend toward a more contemporary look. What’s more, showerheads and sink faucets from Kohler are among the most beautiful, longest-lasting and most functional you’ll find anywhere. Your showers will be more luxurious than ever before, while allowing you to save water and even water-heating costs thanks to technology that aerates the water stream, increasing the size of water droplets and making the spray feel significantly fuller and warmer than with other showerheads. The Kohler 22169-G-CP Forte even won a shootout in the New York Times Wirecutter, who said it had the “best rainshower spray of any showerhead” they reviewed.

While selecting Kohler products is a no-brainer for the best quality accessories on the market, you will still need to choose between a number of finishes. While each finish has its best application in terms of the ultimate cosmetic style of your new bathroom, it’s important to note a few differences between them. One of the common places where people have trouble deciding is in the difference between chrome and brushed nickel finishes. While they are similar in color, they will each bring a different atmosphere to your bathroom.


Shiny vs Muted

Both chrome and brushed nickel are “classic” finishes, and they will work with traditional and modern design styles equally well. Chrome is reflective and bright, while brushed nickel is more muted and will absorb light rather than shine it back into the room. Kohler’s manufacturing processes are of the highest quality, and while chrome involves an electroplating process while nickel is scrubbed to a matte finish with a wire brush, neither finish will affect the durability of the product when selecting Kohler.


Warmer vs Cooler

Brushed nickel tends to shine more yellow and white, while chrome tints a little more blue in its reflective qualities. If your overall bathroom scheme includes more blue, green, or light purple, chrome might be the more complementary choice. Bathrooms that include more yellow, red, and orange might benefit from the warmer tone of brushed nickel.

If you’re trying to decide whether to go cool or warm, try thinking about how you want your bathroom to work for you. Cooler colors can soothe and refresh, while warmer ones will feel cozier. If you’re planning to use your bathroom for more relaxing and longer routines, warm might be the way to go. If you’re working on a guest bathroom or planning to use your new bathroom to clean up and get “up & at ‘em,” a cooler scheme may be the better way to go.


Similar Cost

While chrome used to be the less-expensive option, in contemporary manufacturing there is not a significant difference between the two finishes. It’s worth noting that both finishes tend to be less costly than brass or bronze.



We know that many people are as concerned about the difficulty of cleaning surfaces as they are about how they look. In the humid environment of a bathroom, over time nickel tends to develop a milky white tarnish. A soft cloth and a mixture of white vinegar and water will remove this.

While chrome is less susceptible to tarnish, it must be cleaned properly to avoid scratching its surface and exposing the metal underneath. Once chrome is scratched through, the metal can rust and the fixture will not last long from that point. Kohler’s chrome plating process is second-to-none, and with proper cleaning this should never happen, but they also offer a lifetime guarantee in case it does.

With any metal accessories, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations in order to keep products looking and functioning their best.


Brushed Nickel Hides Better Than Chrome

The reflective, shiny chrome surface will show fingerprints and water marks more readily than brushed nickel. Chrome really needs to be towel-dried after cleaning in order to show its full shine, where brushed nickel will be less revealing of any surface contamination due to its less-reflective nature.


Home Forever Baths

Home Forever Baths is the #1 dealer of fine Kohler accessories in northern Illinois. Our expert installers have hundreds of years of combined experience in the business and can perform your bathroom remodel with friendly, guaranteed service in one or two days. Kohler products also have a lifetime guarantee. Whether you want us to perform a full remodel or install some new bathroom accessories to spruce up an otherwise-appealing bathroom design, we’re confident that a bathroom remodel from Home Forever Baths will be the last one you’ll ever need! Call today for a free consultation to see what Home Forever Baths can do to make your new northern Illinois bathroom a reality.

Get A Project Quote

Start Your Project Today With $0 Down and No Payments for 16 Months.

Main Form
– Explore Our Inspiration Gallery –