running water from satin nickel faucet

If you have recently checked out home decor offerings, you likely wonder about the different metal finishes for cabinetry hardware, lamps, and other decors.

Nickel is a popular metal because it is bright, strong, and affordable. Nickel comes in brushed and satin finishes, but what is the difference?

brushed nickel vs satin nickel pros and cons

What Is Satin Nickel?

Satin nickel is one of the most versatile finishes and works well in any homeroom. A satin finish creates an ultra-smooth, matte finish that pairs perfectly with other metals that contrast in texture. 

Manufacturers create satin nickel finishes with a plating process that uses chemicals or electrical equipment. Satin nickel is velvety and has no visible abrasion marks. 

satin nickel door knocker

What Is Brushed Nickel?

Brushed nickel is just as beautiful as satin but has more personality. Brushed nickel has a subtle texture that gives you the feeling of a cozy sweater design. Brushed nickel offers a classic look for any room. 

As the name suggests, brushed nickel is finished with a unique brushing process that leaves behind a beautiful texture. Some people mix brushed and satin nickel for a contrasting look. 

Brushed Nickel faucets on Marble Vanity
Brushed Nickel faucets on Marble Vanity

What Are the Differences Between Brushed Nickel and Satin Nickel?

Now that we have discussed how each is made, we can examine the differences between the two metal finishes. These differences help each finish remain unique. 

Differences in Appearance

One of the primary differences between satin and brushed nickel is appearance. Brushed nickel has a slight texture to the finish, while satin nickel is very smooth.

Those who want a more modern and sleek look should consider satin nickel. Brushed nickel offers a more rustic, industrial feel. Although some people think the appearances between the two are very similar. Putting them both into your decor shows how different the two look. 

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Differences in Durability

Both metal finishes are durable and should last for many years. However, satin nickel is more likely to show wear and tear because it is so smooth.

A minor scratch may not show on brushed nickel because of the brushed texture, but it will really stand out on a satin finish. 

brushed nickel faucet and taps

Differences in Maintenance

Both satin and brushed nickel are easy to maintain. They don’t need much upkeep and clean up easily. When comparing the two, brushed nickel is slightly more challenging to clean because of the texture.

Dirt and grime can get stuck inside the grooves. Never use anything other than water and soap to clean these metals. 

Differences in Costs

When comparing the cost between satin and brushed nickel, satin is a little more expensive. Creating a satin finish is more labor intensive, increasing the price.

Some people prefer brushed nickel because it is more affordable. 

Satin and Brushed Nickel Are Available in Multiple Colors

In addition to the texture differences, there are also differences in colors. Because it is so smooth, Satin nickel is available in a range of silver colors, from light to dark. 

With its subtle texture, Brushed nickel is available in many colors, such as copper, gold, and bronze. Some people prefer brushed nickel because of the diverse range of colors available. 

Types of Satin Nickel Finishes

 There are multiple types of satin nickel finishes available. The following are some options. 

PVD Satin Nickel Finish

PVD finishes(Physical Vapor Deposition)use chemical vapor to create a satin finish. This finish is the most durable.

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Antique Satin Nickel Finish

Antique satin finishes result from chemicals applied to the metal. These chemicals create an aged and distressed look. 

Polished Satin Nickel Finish

Polished satin is first coated with a satin material and then polished to a brilliant shine. As a result, polished satin finishes offer the most modern looks. 

satin nickel door handle on cabinet

Types of Brushed Nickel Finishes

Brushed nickel looks slightly distressed and does not show fingerprints or minor flaws. There are multiple brushed satin finishes available. 

Oil Rubbed Bronze Nickel Finish

After the manufacturer brushes the metal object, they apply a dark oil-based color to the finish and rub it into the brushed texture, allowing it to settle into the grooves. This dark oil offers an aged appearance. 

Antique Brushed Satin Nickel Finish

This type of finish is created using a metal brush that creates texture. After texturizing the metal, manufacturers apply a particular chemical to make the finish look old. 

Polished Brushed Nickel Finish

Manufacturers use wire brushes to create texture and then take the metal piece through an extensive polishing process to create a shiny surface. This type of finish has become very popular over the last decade. 

Brushed Nickel or Satin Nickel: Which Will You Choose?

Deciding between brushed or satin nickel is not easy. The one you select will depend on the look you desire. 

Both metal finishes are durable, but satin nickel finishes are more likely to show wear and tear. On the other hand, brushed nickel provides a beautiful antique look that lends itself nicely to any decor. If you cannot choose, why not use both for contrasting designs?

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