Chrome vs. Stainless Steel Faucets: What’s the Right Choice?
There are so many options out there, making the right choice can be a challenge. First and foremost, a faucet should fit your sink. It should also suit your needs and be easy to handle, because who wants complications while washing lettuce?
Then there’s the question of price and ease of installation. You also need to consider if the faucet complements the style of your kitchen. Would stainless steel or a chrome finish look better?
When picking the best kitchen faucet, there’s more to the finish than just how it looks. Here’s a short guide to help you decide which one to buy.
Kitchen faucets with a chrome finish may be an excellent choice for those who prefer shiny details in their kitchens. This type of finish became popular all over the U.S. when people started opting for modern kitchen styles.
Many manufacturers use chrome finishes for their kitchen faucets. They place a chrome layer on top to ensure the faucet’s durability and enhance its sturdiness. The faucet’s resistance also depends on the technology that a manufacturer uses to protect the surface from scratches, water stains, discoloration, and other issues that may appear over time.  However, the chrome finish is known to be corrosion- and rust-proof.
The appearance is another aspect of this finish that may draw your attention. It fits in with any design and color combination and makes a kitchen look elegant. The shiny surface isn’t your only choice if you decide to go with a chrome faucet – there are also matte and brushed variations.
Chrome finish is incredibly shiny, as it’s not a chromium alloy, but pure chromium.
- Nice, shiny finish
- Very affordable
- Matte and brushed variations available
- Fits in any interior
- Shows scratches easily
- Requires regular maintenance
Stainless Steel Finish
Stainless steel is another easy to clean finish. It’s prevalent in kitchens worldwide, and appreciated very much by people who lead busy lives and don’t want to spend too much time cleaning. Plus, there’s no need for special cleaning detergents and formulas to preserve its shine – a regular cleanser will do.
Some also choose this finish because it goes well with a wide variety of styles and color combinations. If it doesn’t have a matte option like chrome or nickel; only the brushed one, the mirror-like surface, and the black version. This enables the faucet to blend very well with your sink if it has the same finish. 
Having witnessed the growing popularity of black stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, you are now seeing this same trend in both sinks and faucets throughout the home.Greg Rohl, Vice-President of House of Rohl
This finish is typically very resistant to water stains and scratches and is almost as shiny as chrome finish. This is why stainless steel faucets can last for a significant amount of time if the faucet is of high-quality in terms of its functions and material.
- Very durable
- Low cost
- Plenty of models to choose from
- Low maintenance
- Easily matched
- Potential scratches are evident
What to Consider When Choosing Between Chrome and Stainless Steel
Different types of faucets require different levels of maintenance. Needless to say some materials and finishes require more attention than the others. Chrome finish requires a bit more attention than stainless steel. You need to wipe it with a soft cloth and avoid harsh cleansers. Some homemade cleaning recipes work well with the chrome finish. You can try using a solution of water and white vinegar. If you clean your chrome faucet regularly, you’ll prevent mineral buildups and keep it shiny for longer. 
Stainless steel requires almost no maintenance at all. You can use just about any cleanser and press gently with your hand to remove dirt from the surface. This way, you’ll keep the faucet free of scratches and water stains. Don’t apply too much pressure. Make sure you use a soft cloth when cleaning the spout. If you use a rough fabric and accidentally leave scratches, they’ll probably be quite noticeable.
Both chrome and stainless steel finishes are known to be durable.
However, stainless steel may be a bit more robust. When you have a chrome faucet, you need to take care of it more regularly to keep its shine and remove the buildup. Stainless steel faucets will survive if you occasionally skip the cleaning. These are also frequently used in hotels and restaurants because they have to tolerate a more abundant water flow and need to be exceptionally corrosion- and rust-resistant.
Not only are steel faucets very durable, but they can also be recycled because they don’t tend to tarnish. If you’re trying to be environmentally friendly, it’s good to know you can reuse them even after many years.
Both chrome and stainless steel faucets are relatively cheap options compared to other finishes available in the market, such as bronze or nickel. However, stainless steel may cost a bit more than chrome because of its low maintenance properties. Some brands also offer faucet models in different finishes in various price ranges.
Great Options for Great Kitchens
Both chrome and stainless steel are great options for classy and stylish kitchens. Especially if you don’t want to worry about how your new faucet will go with your appliances and kitchen furniture.
These faucets won’t require too much cleaning to stay shiny, and they’re pretty durable. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t afford a beautiful, high-quality faucet. In essence, chrome and stainless steel finishes guarantee a reliable spout that will last for a long time. If you want to get into details, stainless steel could be declared the winner as it’s easier to keep clean, and it’s more enduring.
The differences between these two finishes aren’t too noticeable, so it ultimately depends on your preferences. In case you’re interested, we also compared pull-down vs pull-out faucets here.
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- Heloise. (2001, November 8). Removing Spots on Chrome and Gold-toned Faucets. Retrieved from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a1975/remove-spot-faucet-oct01/