Courtesy of Brizo
Faucets with an antique bronze finish have been rising in popularity over the last several years.
In the U.S., the reigning king of the faucet finish world is nickel. A 2008 survey by the NKBA, which polled kitchen and bath dealers and designers on style trends, listed satin nickel as the most popular finish for bathroom faucets. Al DeGenova, director of marketing communications for Grohe America, Inc., and Ed Detgen, vice president of marketing for Danze, both agree that U.S. consumers prefer nickel, although they listed brush nickeled as the most popular choice.
(Note: certain manufacturers use different terminology to describe their nickel finishes, and there is little difference between satin and brushed nickel. However, the look of either satin or brushed nickel can vary slightly between manufacturers, so trying to match the nickel finish from company X with the nickel finish from company Y is usually discouraged.)
In Europe, the shininess of polished chrome is preferred to the softness of brushed or satin nickel. “Chrome is definitely more popular in Europe,” says DeGenova, who also notes that both nickel and chrome “are equally easy to maintain.”
Antique bronze is another popular finish cited in the NKBA survey, and it provides a look distinctly different than the silver-ish looks of nickel and chrome. As for what finish is on the decline in popularity, DeGenova listed polished brass.
“The popularity of polished brass has been dropping steadily for over five years,” he says. “We do not see any change in that trend.”