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How to Choose the Right Metal for Bathroom Fittings

Stumped on selecting the best metal for bathroom fixtures? Here’s the lowdown on how to choose bathroom hardware.

Faye deGavre

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Jun 09, 2021

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4 min read

How to Choose the Right Metal for Bathroom Fittings

Choosing the metal finish for bathroom hardware and plumbing products should be an easy, enjoyable step in the remodelling process, right? As it turns out, it trips up more homeowners than you think. With so many options for taps, handles, towel racks, and showerheads on the market, how do you find the right fit for your aesthetic? We’ll run you through different metal finishes for bathroom fittings to help you land on the right material and complete your perfect bathroom look.

Choosing the perfect taps for your bathroom’s basin and tub is as much about practicality as it is about style. These fittings need to be easy to use, low maintenance and stay looking good for years to come. When making your decision, remember to consider how the finish complements or contrasts with the colour of the walls or tiles and the large bathroom fixtures (sink, toilet, tub and shower).

What’s the best metal for bathroom fixtures?

While it’s hard to say which one is the star of the show, we’ll run you through a few of the top choices for bathroom fittings.

Chrome

- Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

By far the most popular choice for plumbing fixtures, chrome is durable and has an inexpensive price point. The silvery shine works well in a variety of styles and can work for a range of budgets. Chrome taps require very little maintenance and polish up nicely thanks to their great light-reflecting properties. This material resists corrosion and rust, making it a practical choice that will last several years. But, if visible water spots and fingerprints are pet peeves of yours, there may be a better option for you.

If you’re after a contemporary look, opt for taps with clean, sharp lines or waterfall spouts in chrome.

Brass

- Image credit: Bann

If you’re looking for that gold shine, brass is the finish for you. Brass can take on that warm, yellowy hue that perfectly complements a vintage aesthetic but can also offer high-end glamour at a reasonable price. Equally effective in dark and moody spaces as it is in brighter schemes, it adds a standout finish to any bathroom.

- Image credit: An Artful Life

Brass can be polished, brushed or left unlacquered. There are many options to achieve the look you want, whether you want shiny and golden, a wire-metal texture, or a living finish that will age over time.

Bronze

- Image credit: Blenheim Bathrooms

If you’re after something truly custom, bronze may be the way to go. From brushed to oil-rubbed to polished bronze, there is something for every style of bathroom.

- Image credit: Meraki Design

Dark, oil-rubbed bronze is great for bathrooms with an old-world feel. Various manufacturers will have their own unique options that will vary in colour. Oil-rubbed bronze is the perfect choice to achieve a rustic feel that plays well with Mediterranean or Tuscan palettes.

Matte black

Image credit: Honeybee Interior

Although matte black hardware is contemporary, we think it’s a classic. Truly diverse, it works in period properties, new-builds and everything in between. Matte black is usually created by powder coating another metal. It results in a very durable finish that won’t show fingerprints (great news for anyone in a constant battle to keep their taps spotless). 

If you’re refreshing the bathroom and aren’t looking to replace every element, matte black finishes may be just the ticket. It works with light palettes as well as dark greens, blues and greys.

Copper

- Image credit: Archimode Architects

Classically industrial, copper makes a bold statement. It’s a fantastic choice to add a warmer finishing touch to your bathroom improvement project. When paired with subtler materials, like marble, it gives the space a rich, luxurious feel. The real benefit of this naturally antibacterial material is that it ages naturally, developing a deep and unique patina.  

Does bathroom hardware have to match?

- Image credit: Amok

The wonderful thing about metals is that you can mix and match hardware, playing off the warm and cool tones to create a unique look. Cool chrome and warm brass. Fiery copper and grounded black. Brushed brass and sleek chrome. Choose your dominant metal but be sure to repeat each finish at least twice to achieve a cohesive look.

Cool metals include chrome, nickel and (to a lesser extent) black. Warmer metals include brass, bronze, gold and copper. Create a medley of metals for a harmonised finish – we recommend pairing two metals, and no more than three.

In short, don’t be afraid to mix the metal finishes in your bathroom; it gives the space depth and prevents your design from feeling too matchy-matchy.

Your bathroom design

While we’ve summarised some of the more popular bathroom fittings finishes, there still remains a wide variety of options to choose from. If you’re feeling stuck, source your bathroom inspiration on Property Playground. Seek out new ideas, connect with local professionals and purchase products to make your bathroom remodel a sanctuary you can sink into.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer