This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Thanks.
Whether you are remodeling or installing a brand new bathroom, you want it to be perfect – and to your liking. The best way to express your personal style is through the finishing touches – like your bathroom finishes for faucets and fixtures.
Understanding the pros and cons of some of the most popular bathroom faucet finishes can help you make an informed decision in terms of appearance, price, and durability.
With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about different bathroom fixture finishes. Once you know what you’re looking for, be sure to check out our epic review guides.
We’ve reviewed dozens of faucet brands and hundreds of individual faucets. We can help you find exactly what you need.
The 10 Best Bathroom Faucet Finishes
A bold and unmistakable choice, copper faucets and fixtures will elevate your bathroom to give it a rich and expensive look.
Copper gives your bathroom an elevated feel, especially when mixed with other materials like brass, chrome, nickel, and even gold. You could fit copper accessories with marble countertops for a luxurious finish.
- Easy to clean: One of the best things about copper is that it’s very easy to clean and maintain. It only needs to be cleaned with mild soap and warm water – there is no need for any harsh chemicals or environmental pollutants.
- Antibacterial: Copper is well known for its natural antibacterial properties. Bacteria on copper surfaces are shown to die within hours, and so these fixtures can help to ward off harmful microorganisms.
- Durable: One of the best aspects of copper finishes is their endless ability to regenerate their protective and beautiful patina, the acidic layer that the copper forms to protect itself. So if you scratch the side of a faucet, it will regenerate itself over time and look like new.
- Cost: Copper bathroom accessories can be more expensive than other materials because they look more aesthetically pleasing, and are much more durable.
- Sensitivity: Most copper bathroom faucets are extremely sensitive to acid, heat, and harsh cleaning agents. Extra care needs to be taken to keep them looking great with that typical shiny copper finish.
2. Polished Brass
If your bathroom vibe is more laidback and vintage, then polished brass bathroom fixtures will suit you best.
This all-time favorite finish is a great look for faucets if you are going for a more traditional style and works very well with other brass items in the space.
- Simple to clean: With a durable finish and a shiny finish, polished brass faucets are very easy to clean and maintain, keeping your bathroom looking great.
- Easy to match: Thanks to the beautiful gold color and vintage look of polished brass accent pieces, they are very easy to match with other accessories and features within your bathroom.
- More expensive: A drawback of polished brass is that it’s a more costly option compared to other finishes such as brushed nickel and chrome.
3. Satin Brass
A great alternative to polished brass, satin brass has a gold-brushed look which adds a touch of luxury to your bathroom.
With a beautiful champagne bronze color, satin brass fixtures have a muted finish that works with an array of bathroom styles, such as classic farmhouse and modern decor.
- Matte finish: Without the shine of a polished look, the matte finish does not show up any fingerprints and water spots on the faucets.
- Versatile: Satin brass has an elegant and warm tone that works very well with all other fixtures in both traditional bathrooms as well as more contemporary spaces.
- More expensive: Satin brass can be harder to find than other finishes, making it a more costly option. This may also mean that it is available in fewer styles, making it harder to find matching accessories for the rest of your space.
4. Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Oil-rubbed bronze offers greater aesthetic appeal and a more traditional feel and look than other bathroom faucet finishes. The color can vary from a deep chocolate brown to a dark gray to a matte black finish, making it a popular option for Mediterranean or traditional bathroom styles.
- Widely available: Oil-rubbed bronze faucets and fixtures are easy to find and available in a wide range of styles to best suit the aesthetic you’re going for.
- Easy to clean: Bathroom faucets with an oil-rubbed bronze finish don’t show water spots or fingerprints, making them easy to care for.
- Different appearances: Due to the variation in color of this finish, different manufacturers of oil-rubbed bronze may not look the same. You may wish to check ahead of time to ensure they all match, especially under the same lighting.
5. Gold Tones
Gold-toned faucet finishes offer warmth, elegance, and opulence to your bathroom.
Any faucet or fixture with gold tones may have finishes that vary in look, from matte to highly polished, depending on what vibe you are going for.
- Easy to keep clean: For daily maintenance, it is recommended to wipe down the faucet or fixture with a damp cloth, or for a more in-depth clean, a solution of warm water and soap is advised.
- Goes with many styles: The contemporary designs of bathroom faucets and fixtures with gold tones mean they go well in modern, rustic, or plain white bathrooms.
- Cannot be mixed with other metals: Gold-toned fixtures and features do not usually go well with other metals. This means if you do decide on gold tones for your space, you may have to purchase all faucet finishes in the same color to give a great overall look.
Read more: Best Modern Faucets for your Kitchen
6. Brushed Nickel
A brushed nickel finish offers a soft metallic look which works well against lighter colored and white sinks in bathrooms. It also coordinates well with certain bathroom looks, including country French, Tuscan, and more vintage styles.
- Durable: Brushed nickel offers one of the most durable finishes of all the metals, beating oil-rubbed bronze and chrome, and can really stand the test of time within your bathroom.
- Easy to clean: One of the great things about brushed nickel faucet finishes is that it rarely shows water spots, long-term wear and tear, or fingerprints.
We’ve got some helpful guides showing you the best way to clean your brushed nickel finishes and how to prevent water spots on brushed nickel faucets.
- Difficult to match: Brushed nickel fixtures are chosen to stand out and therefore do not work very well with other finishes, especially stainless steel.
Check out our brushed nickel vs stainless steel comparison before you make a final decision.
7. Brushed Bronze
Offering a great aesthetic alternative to chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze, brushed bronze gives your bathroom a more contemporary feel.
It has a matte finish and is smooth to the touch to add an essence of luxury to your space.
- Easy to clean: Brushed bronze is a great bathroom faucet finish for busy households where you want something easy to maintain while still looking classy.
- Luxurious look: A brushed bronze faucet or fixture in your bathroom will undoubtedly stand the test of time as it has kept its elegant look through decades of decor trends.
- Difficult to find: Brushed bronze is not as popular as oil-rubbed bronze, making it harder to source, especially if you are looking for a specific design.
8. Polished Nickel
A great alternative to chrome, polished nickel gives you a smooth and shiny faucet finish.
Polished nickel also can appear to change its color under different lighting to give your bathroom an exciting look depending on the type of light you choose.
- Durable: Polished nickel, much like chrome, is very durable and will last for a long time in your bathroom.
- Easy to clean: Very easy to maintain, polished nickel does not require any special chemicals to keep it clean. A simple solution of mild soap and warm water will do the trick to keep your bathroom faucet looking its best.
- More expensive: This finish is usually more costly than brushed nickel as it has a more luxurious feel.
- Does not match well with other accessories: Polished nickel likes to be the main feature and is very hard to match nicely with other metals and fixture finishes.
- Shows water stains: Unfortunately, this finish is also prone to showing fingerprints and water spots which means it requires more maintenance.
9. Polished Chrome
Polished chrome finishes are very popular for bathroom faucets and fixtures. As they go with nearly all bathroom styles, you can choose this finish if you’re looking for a classic look that also communicates a modern edge.
- Elegant shine: Polished chrome can make a beautiful stand-out feature in your bathroom, thanks to its beautiful shiny finish.
- Non-corrosive: Because bathrooms are wet due to steam and running water, having durable and non-corrosive fixtures is essential. Thankfully, polished chrome faucets won’t rust or corrode.
- Fingerprints and water spots show easily: This may not be such a big issue for some people, but it does mean that this finish requires more maintenance and can make your bathroom look messy if not cleaned regularly.
Check out our comparison of 8 and 9 in our polished nickel vs polished chrome finish guide.
10. Polished Brass
This finish has been around for a long time without going out of style. A firm favorite in the world of bathroom faucets and fixtures, polished brass goes with more vintage-style bathrooms but can also be added as a statement piece in contemporary bathrooms.
- Easy to match: Polished brass is very easy to match with different finishes and can be combined with other fixtures to create a modern, mixed-metal look.
- Durable: This finish won’t rust or corrode, meaning it will last a long time in your bathroom.
- Expensive: This is one of the more expensive bathroom faucet finishes, especially when compared to brushed nickel and chrome.
2 Bathroom Faucet Finishes to Avoid
1. Matte Black
An increasingly popular finish over the past few years, matte black bathroom faucets and fixtures offer a unique alternative to the metals.
Matte black finishes can add richness and a touch of mystery in both contemporary and traditional-styled bathrooms.
Personally, we don’t recommend the matte black finish because of the high price point and the look once it’s had some wear and tear. The fixtures can get scratched and dinged and it impact the look of the matte black.
- Versatile: Matte black bathroom faucet finishes are very versatile and match accessories from any other style or design.
- Easy to clean: This finish is gaining popularity very quickly, and one of the main reasons is that fixtures are easy to clean and don’t show fingerprints and water spots.
- Expensive: Due to its ability to work well with different lighting and its uniqueness compared to other mainstream metals, matte black fixtures are comparably more expensive than other finishes.
We know that Chrome finishes are one of the most popular bathroom faucet finishes. It is a finish that looks great in bathrooms that are going for a more traditional, contemporary, or industrial look.
However, we don’t recommend it.
- Inexpensive: Chrome bathroom fixtures are relatively cheap and easy to find in any store, thanks to their popularity.
- Versatile: One of the best things about chrome bathroom fixtures is that they work with nearly every style and make everything look clean and crisp because they have a more neutral color.
- Fingerprints: The biggest disadvantage to chrome finishes is that they show fingerprints or water spots very easily and so need regular cleaning.
- Corrosion: Chrome plating can corrode due to water damage and heat coming into contact with the faucet.
Chrome faucets tend to be cheaper, but it shows up in the quality and durability. It also may just be personal preference, but I think chrome faucet finishes end up looking cheap.
What Is The Most Popular Finish for Faucets?
With so many styles and aesthetics out there today, it is hard to say which specific type is the most popular. However, brushed nickel and chrome seem to be the most trending finishes in bathrooms this year.
Here are a few more bathroom faucet finish comparisons that could be helpful:
What Are The Upcoming Trends in Bathroom Faucet Finishes?
As much as trends love to come and go, this year, it looks like we are going to see a lot of modern updates to traditional classics that have withstood the test of time. This includes faucet finishes such as;
- Gold tones
- Matte black
- Brushed nickel
One trend that is starting to catch on is spray painting faucets. You can paint them whatever color they want and as long as you do it the right way, it’ll last a while!
Just as a faucet is a design element, so is its finish. Choose one that matches the style and decor of the rest of your bathroom to give a coherent space.
Not necessarily. As long as the finishes go well together, you can choose completely different styles of light fixtures and faucets.
Of course! Metal mixing is all the rage right now, so if you think that two different finishes complement each other well, go for it!
Final Thoughts: Picking the Right Bathroom Faucet Finish
It is no secret that we’ll be seeing more traditional options in the coming years and can, without a doubt, see that things are moving back toward the classics. With that being said, modern faucets and fixtures are also trendy finishes at the moment.
Mixing old and new to create a dynamic bathroom also works – just make sure to pick metals that match well together.
I hope you were able to find the right bathroom faucet finishes for your next home project or purchase!