Updating your kitchen’s look can feel like a daunting (and expensive) task. Doubly so if you don’t know what will make the most impact. But before you retile your entire backsplash or tear out your cabinets, consider replacing your kitchen faucet. It’s a simple piece of hardware, but with multiple finishes available in just about every price range, you can change the overall look and feel of your kitchen on any budget you have.
Bare Basics: A Simple Chrome Finish
Chrome is a common finish on introductory faucets in a new house or apartment. A chrome finish is shiny and bright, close to stainless steel and nickel in appearance. It looks clean and is easy to keep clean. This finish is very modern style and fits contemporary kitchens, but not traditional or vintage ones. These used to be very popular, but have fallen out of favor. With a wider variety of affordable options available and a strong trend toward warmer metals, chrome faucets have become a lot less common. Chrome is eye-catching and affordable, but isn’t your most standout option.
A Reliable Workhorse: Stainless Steel
Like the brightness of chrome but want something more distinguished and durable? Stainless steel is your best bet. Steel finishes can be polished or brushed, depending on the look you’re going for. Polished stainless steel gives your sink a more industrial look, like it’s a part of a commercial kitchen. You can emphasize this with features like a pull-down sprayer hose and a pot filler extension. Brushed stainless steel looks more subtle and matte. That’s a good choice for a kitchen where you don’t want the faucet to be the defining hardware.
A Go-To Classic: Nickel
Nickel finishes are a good choice if you want a slightly warmer tone than chrome or steel, but still keep that silver look. Polished nickel is the closest to the other finishes as it’s also shiny and bright, but with a darker base that can change color depending on the level of lighting for a more unique expression. Brushed nickel has a textured, painted feel and a duller color that will blend in better with your kitchen. Satin nickel is a good in-between, as it’s more matte than polished but not textured like brushed.
Trendy Warm-Toned Brass And Gold
If you’re looking for something strikingly different from the cool tones of your silvery options, consider a warm metal. Brass is golden but not gold-plated, and has a classy feel that doesn’t edge on being obnoxious. Warm metals have become a trendy alternative and popular choice for white kitchens in particular. Changing your faucet and hardware from cool metals to warm ones is a quick and affordable way to create a dramatic change and add warmth to a space that feels too-white and washed out. Better still, it’s a quick, affordable, and DIY friendly change you can pull off yourself as a weekend project.
Turn To The Dark Side: Oil Rubbed Bronze and Matte Black
If you don’t like the look of bright, polished brass, consider a matte black or oil rubbed bronze finish. Oil rubbed bronze is warm-toned yet much darker than brass. It ranges in color from a rich brown to almost black. Lighter bronze tones can have a rustic feel, while a darker or black finish is strikingly modern. Darker faucets are popular as accents because they’re more neutral than other types of metals. Though they have a warm base-color, you can mix and match them with either warm or cool tones. Like brass, they’re also good for providing a contrast to white cabinets and counters, but are a little less in-your-face. Darker faucets also typically come in a wider range of styles. That makes it easier to fit more kitchens than their counterparts.
If you’ve been wanting to upgrade your kitchen’s look on a smaller budget than a full remodel calls for (or just need a new faucet), changing your faucet finish is the way to go to make a dramatic difference.