Home-How » Satin Nickel vs. Brushed Nickel Finish: What’s the difference?

Satin Nickel vs. Brushed Nickel Finish: What’s the difference?

When you’re looking for a new home, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is what type of finish to choose. While it might seem like a simple question to ask, there’s quite a bit more involved than just picking between two possible finishes—and finding the right one for your home and choosing between satin nickel and brushed nickel finish isn’t always easy.

We will take a look at what both options have to offer and how they differ from each other, so next time you think about your knobs or bathroom faucet, you already have your perfect pick in mind.

What is brushed nickel?

Brushed nickel is one of the most popular finishes used in today’s home design. It can be found on everything from hardware to appliances, and it’s also used for bathroom fixtures, kitchen counters, and more. Brushed nickel is a type of finish that is applied to metal by brushing the surface with an abrasive agent.

It can resemble chrome, but it’s a different material with a different undertone. It can be spray-painted or sprayed onto a substrate in one coat, which means it requires less work than other finishes.

What is brushed nickel

The abrasive agent removes the roughness from the surface, leaving behind a smooth and shiny finish. This process can be used on furniture, appliances, and other metal objects.

Brushed nickel is often mistaken for satin nickel, but they are very different. Brushed nickel is a finish that has been used in many homes since the early 1900s. It was created by American nickel plater Henry and Frank Daniel.

The finish was first used on furniture and hardware, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the finish was used on the doors of cars.

What is satin nickel?

Satin Nickel, on the other hand, is a satin nickel finish that has been designed to give off more of a warm glow than anything else with no visible abrasions.

It’s a great option if you’re looking for something more elegant or sophisticated than Brush Nickel—that’s why it’s so popular with homeowners who want their homes to look like they belong in an art gallery.

What is satin nickel

Satin nickel is a common option for nickel fans, but there are some differences between the two types of finishes. Satin Nickel is a type of metal finish that’s been used in kitchens and bathrooms for years. It’s a semi-glossy finish that looks like a brushed nickel but offers more durability and resistance to tarnish than traditional brushed nickel.

The satin finish has a more reflective appearance than brushed nickel and is more of a gray color than the light silver color of brushed nickel. This is because it has been refined using a dry powder polishing treatment, giving it its smooth, lustrous finish. In addition, satin nickel lacks any brush markings on its surface, which makes it appear less polished than brushed nickel.

Satin vs Brushed: which nickel fixtures should you choose?

Most of the sinks in the past were made of stainless steel and chrome. Satin nickel and other finishes were used on a small number of sinks, although they were uncommon. Nowadays, stainless steel predominates, but satin nickel is still beloved.

Stainless steel is practical and aesthetically pleasing due to its mechanical qualities and endurance.

But a distinctive mix of corrosion and wear resistance is offered by nickel plating. It can increase attractiveness, luster, and brightness. Nickel is frequently used as an “undercoat” for other coatings because it has strong adhesive capabilities for following coating layers.

1. The Making Process

The satin nickel finish has the same base material as the brushed finish: copper and nickel plating on steel. It’s applied by dipping the metal in chemicals that cause it to develop a shiny, smooth appearance.

It is made from a thin layer of nickel that has been electroplated onto the surface of other metals, such as copper. This process creates a micro-thin layer of metal on top of the base metal, making it look like polished or satin chrome. The satin finish produces a smooth surface that has a silky appearance and an almost mirror-like texture and quality.

Brushed nickel is made from an alloy of nickel and copper, which makes its coloration more even than other types of finishes. A brushed nickel finish is made by an electroplating process. First, the nickel is plated onto the surface of a metal object (zinc or brass) by using a soluble salt solution. This solution is then heated until it reaches the boiling point.

The molten salt is poured onto the surface of the object being plated, then allowed to cool and solidify. The molten salt leaves behind tiny particles of pure nickel that are evenly distributed throughout the surface of the object. Because the particles are so fine, they blend together seamlessly into a smooth, even layer coated with nickel.

2. The costs

The costs

If you’re looking for a new home, you probably have a budget. Satin nickel and brushed nickel are two different types of finishes that can be applied to metal furniture. Each finish has its advantages and disadvantages, but generally, satin nickel is more expensive than brushed nickel.

As a rule of thumb, satin nickel is more expensive because it’s harder to work with, and it can be difficult to match the sheen of satin nickel. Brushed nickel is a more affordable option, but it has a more dull appearance than a satin nickel. Satin nickel’s high polish gives it a glossy look that reflects light while the brushed finish does not, making it duller.

3. Range of colors

There are several finishes available for brushed nickel fittings. Silver, gold, and copper are the most frequent hues utilized in brushed nickel finishes. If you want to add a special touch, it is possible to have a distinct color for each product.

A mirror or mirror-like finish, which is often offered in black or white, is another option. Warm gray, satin nickel has a very faint golden sheen and obvious brush traces on the surface of the product. Because it is softer and less harsh than satin chrome, architects and designers like satin nickel.

4. Satin vs brushed nickel over time

Nickel is a great metal for use in household fixtures because of its natural ability to be

corrosion resistant; it won’t rust or break down over time. But satin nickel lasts longer than brushed nickel because it doesn’t tarnish as easily.

Satin vs brushed nickel over time

Regarding style, satin nickel can be considered more modern, while brushed nickel is more old-style. Even if satin nickel and brushed nickel are still in trend, you get to decide what goes in your home in the end. So go for them if you like the way something that isn’t “in style” looks. These two finishes, which provide classic, upscale looks for every application, are still in the limelight

5. Which one is better?

Both satin and brushed nickel have the same basic properties: they’re both shiny and reflective, but satin has more texture than brushed nickel. Satin also looks more like real metal, while brushed looks more like plastic.

Satin nickel has many benefits over brushed nickel such as being more durable than its counterpart and having lower maintenance costs due to its lack of brush marks on its surface which makes it easier to clean. However, satin nickel may not be suitable for all applications such as kitchens where there could be grease stains caused by food spills or other liquids that could damage.

When choosing between these two styles, consider who will be using the house—will it be for the family? If so, then satin may be better for smudges. Because of its texture and dull finish, it is a finish that can easily hide fingerprints, water spots, and scratches, so you don’t have to worry about constantly cleaning and polishing it for it to look good.

But if you are going for a fancier look, even if it’s harder to maintain, brushed nickel fixtures should be your choice.


After laying out the differences between Brush Nickel and Satin Nickel finishes, we can now see that each one of them has some advantages and disadvantages, but both are great materials for your home.

Depending on your preference and environment, one of them will be a better pick for you than the other. Satin nickel is smoother, but more expensive, perfect against smudges, while brushed nickel is less expensive but more old-style.

Talk to manufacturers and designers to see what fits your life best, and decide which option will work best for your home.

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