0

Your Cart is Empty

Complete Guide to Stainless Steel Finish Fixtures for Your Kitchen and Bath

April 17, 2019 12 min read

Complete Guide to Stainless Steel Finish Fixtures for Your Kitchen and Bath

Complete Guide to Stainless Steel Finish Fixtures for Your Kitchen and Bath

Intro to Stainless Steel Finish Faucets and Fixtures

From appliances to faucets and cabinet handles, Stainless Steel is one of the most used finishes in home fixtures and hardware. With styles like Arctic Stainless, Brushed Nickel, and Spotshield Stainless, there is a Stainless Steel finish that suits any home design. Stainless Steel fixtures and hardware look great in both luxury and minimalist spaces. In this article, we will compare the different styles of Stainless Steel, answer your most asked questions, and share our best care and cleaning tips. We will even be sharing some of our favorite home designs that feature Stainless Steel fixtures!

Stainless Steel Finish Fixture Categories

Bathroom Faucets
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Bathroom Sink Faucets
Kitchen Faucets
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Kitchen Sink Faucets
Shower Systems
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Full Custom Shower Systems
Shower Faucets
Complete Stainless Steel Finish Delta Shower Faucets
Roman Tub Faucets
Complete Stainless Steel Finish Delta Roman Tub Filler Faucets
Bathroom Accessories
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Bathroom Accessories

Types of Stainless Steel Finish

As you begin shopping for plumbing fixtures, you will quickly find that there are a wide range of finish terms used to describe the color of stainless steel. These terms often describe basically the same thing but there can be subtle differences. Terms like Brushed Nickel, Satin Nickel, Stainless Steel, and Brilliance Stainless seem similar, but are they the same? It can be confusing, especially when shopping online, to know exactly what you are going to be getting. Your individual screen settings plus lighting conditions at the time the product image was taken can make it difficult to know exactly how a finish will look in reality. Below we have provided a brief comparison of the most common terms used to describe stainless steel finish. We hope this will help make your hunt for the perfect faucet a little bit easier!

Stainless Steel Finish Terms

Stainless Steel
Delta Victorian Stainless Steel Finish Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet

Traditional Stainless Steel has a lustrous finish that could be described as warm gray with yellow undertones. Because it is highly polished, Stainless Steel finishes offer a muted but elegant shine. Stainless Steel finishes feature the classic brushed over look similar to true stainless steel metal. This finish is great for hiding water spots and looks super clean and modern.

Arctic Stainless
Delta Esque Collection Arctic Stainless Steel Finish Single-Handle Pull-Down Electronic Kitchen Sink Faucet with Touch2O Technology D9181TARDST

Arctic Stainless is very similar to traditional Stainless Steel, but has a more matte look. It could also be described as more of a cool gray with blue undertones, slightly contrasting the normal Stainless Steel's warmer color palette. The matte look is less shiny than other stainless steel finishes. The Matte blue-gray hue makes Arctic Stainless fixtures feel very modern.

Brushed Nickel
HansGrohe Metris Single Hole 1-Handle Low-Arc Bathroom Faucet in Brushed Nickel 575531

Brushed Nickel is essentially the same as traditional Stainless Steel. Delta sometimes uses the term Brushed Nickel to distinguish bathroom fixtures from Stainless Steel kitchen fixtures. Other companies, opt to use the term Brushed Nickel for both Kitchen and Bathroom fixtures. One reason is that Stainless Steel Finish and Stainless Steel metal are not the same thing. To avoid confusion, terms like Brushed Nickel were created.

Brilliance Stainless
Delta Vero Stainless Steel Finish Thermostatic Shower Control with Valve D809V

Delta's Brilliance technology is a PVD finishing process that actually binds the finish color to the fixture, rather than just coating it like other dipped finishes. This unique process yields an ultra durable finish that resists tarnish, corrosion, and scratching. Delta products that feature brilliance finishes, resist abrasions and discoloration better than traditional brass or even chrome. Delta offers Brilliance in many different finishes, including traditional Stainless Steel, Brushed Nickel, and Polished Nickel.

Satin Nickel
Kingston Satin Nickel Georgian 4-inch Bathroom centerset faucet w/ pop-up KB1408GL

Satin Nickel is probably the most matte option in the Stainless family. Most manufacturers achieve this milky look by brushing the finish. Satin Nickel and Brushed Nickel are usually almost identical. If you are shopping for faucets, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware, it can be difficult to find products with the exact same finish name. If you see Satin Nickel in the item name, it will likely match well with Brushed Nickel or Stainless Steel finish fixtures.

Spotshield Stainless
Delta Dryden Collection Stainless Steel Finish Roman Tub Filler Faucet with Side Hand Sprayer Includes Trim Kit and Rough-in Valve D2078V

Spotshield Stainless looks just like normal Stainless Steel but features some added benefits. Spotshield technology is a clear coating that is applied over the metal and is designed to help keep fixtures looking cleaner longer. It protects the fixture from water spots, fingerprints, and microbial growth. Delta currently only has a limited selection of kitchen and bathroom fixtures available in Spotshield Stainless Steel finish but in the future the offering may be expanded.

How does Stainless Steel Finish Differ From Polished Nickel Finish?

POLISHED NICKEL FINISH

Delta Tesla Polished Nickel Finish Shower System with Dual Control Handle, 3-Setting Diverter, Showerhead, and Hand Shower with Slidebar SS17252PN2

STAINLESS STEEL FINISH

Delta Tesla Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Dual Control Handle, 3-Setting Diverter, Showerhead, and Hand Shower with Slidebar SS17252SS4

Another finish in the nickel/stainless steel family you may encounter is "Polished Nickel". Polished Nickel is quite significantly different from all of the finishes mentioned above. Polished Nickel really deserves to be in a category of it's own, but often it gets grouped in with other nickel/stainless steel finishes due to its name. We have included this section to help explain the difference.

Polished Nickel fixtures are much less gray than Stainless Steel. They are also typically shiner, more reflective, and are not at all brushed over and matte looking like stainless steel. Delta Polished Nickel Fixtures have the traditional energy and timeless look of Chrome but with a warmer tone and, for many people, a more exclusive pedigree. Featuring a high gloss and a pale gold finish, Polished Nickel provides a lively contrast and striking contemporary sophistication to your kitchen or bathroom. Although Polished Nickel fixtures are very nice, they are really not similar at all to what you might think of as stainless steel color. If you are trying to exactly match other stainless steel finish fixtures in your bathroom, Polished Nickel products will probably not going to be what you want.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Stainless Steel Finish Fixtures

Will Stainless Steel rust if scratched?

Stainless Steel finishes are very durable but are still at risk for scratching and rust. If you purchase a Delta faucet your fixture will include a lifetime warranty on both parts and finish. So if you treat your fixture with care it will look great as long as you own your home!

What is the lifespan of a Stainless Steel fixture?

Most Stainless Steel finish fixtures and hardware have a durable brass base. With proper care and cleaning, these fixtures can be expected to last roughly 50 years. If you choose a brand like Delta, your faucets and fixtures will all include a lifetime guarantee.

What is the difference between Stainless Steel and Chrome finishes?

Stainless Steel and Chrome are both popular finishes. Chrome is much shinier than Stainless Steel, Chrome is more of a mirror-like finish whereas stainless steel is a grayish, brushed finish. Typically Stainless Steel is more durable than Chrome. Stainless Steel finish also tends to do a better job hiding water spots and provides a stylish modern look. Chrome offers a timeless, always classic appeal.

What is the difference between Nickel and Stainless Steel?

For brands like Delta, Stainless Steel and Nickel are generally the same. The different finish names are used to differentiate between kitchen (Stainless Steel) and bathroom (Brushed Nickel) fixtures. These two finishes will complement each other, but it is recommended to use the same brand throughout your design wherever possible if you want your fixtures to match each other perfectly.

What metals are in Stainless Steel?

The common confusion that we must differentiate is between Stainless Steel the metal alloy and Stainless Steel Finish. When we are talking about plumbing fixtures, typically we are talking about Stainless Steel finish (with rare exceptions such as faucets for use on boats). Stainless Steel finishes are generally dipped on brass fixtures or applied using a PVD method. Stainless Steel metal, for those who are curious, is an alloy made of steel mixed with elements such as chromium, nickel, molybdenum, silicon, aluminum, and carbon.

How does a Stainless Steel finish compare to actual Stainless Steel?

Actual Stainless Steel is an alloy metal made with Chromium (not to be confused with Chrome!) The use of Chromium makes Stainless Steel resistant to corrosion, rust, and scratching. Stainless Steel finishes are design to mimic the look of this durable metal. Finishing technology in the plumbing industry these days has advanced to a point where we can have a faucet with a Stainless Steel finish (normally applied to brass metal) that looks every bit as good as real Stainless Steel and is also highly durable.

Which Delta faucet finish is most durable?

Delta Faucet has many different Stainless Steel finishes. The most durable finish in their collection is Delta's Brilliance Stainless. Brilliance finishes are a PVD type finish that is embedded in the metal rather than overlaid, making it part of the fixture. This finishing method ensures your Stainless Steel finish faucet will look great for many years!

Delta Tesla Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Dual Control Handle, 3-Setting Diverter, Showerhead, and Hand Shower with Slidebar SS17252SS4

For more information about Delta's Brilliance finishes, click here: https://www.deltafaucet.com/design-innovation/innovations/kitchen/brilliance-finishes

How do you clean Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel is best cleaned with water and a microfiber cloth. White vinegar may be used to clean hard water spots or mineral buildup. For stubborn food or grease removal on kitchen appliances and fixtures, it is recommended to use a water and baking soda mixture. Glass cleaner may also be used to remove finger prints and keep stainless steel fixtures shiny.

Stainless Steel Finish Bathroom Faucets

Product: D3551LFSP
Delta Dryden Collection Stainless Steel Finish Two Handle Contemporary Widespread Bathroom Lavatory Sink Faucet with Drain D3551LFSP
Product: D1772V
Delta Cassidy Collection Stainless Steel Finish Widespread Lavatory Bathroom Sink Faucet INCLUDES Two Lever Handles and Metal Pop-Up Drain D1772V
Product: 572931
Delta Lahara 4-16-inch Stainless Finish Mini-Widespread Bathroom Faucet 572931
Product: D3555SSMPUDST
Delta Victorian Collection Stainless Steel Finish Traditional Style Two Handle Widespread Lavatory Bathroom Sink Faucet with Drain D3555SSMPUDST

Designs We Love

Delta PIVOTAL Single Handle Pull Down Kitchen Faucet in Black Stainless angle 1
Delta PIVOTAL Single Handle Pull Down Kitchen Faucet in Black Stainless angle 2

Source: https://www.deltafaucet.com/kitchen/product/9193-KS-DST

Black Stainless Steel Finish Pull Out Kitchen Faucets!

One of the coolest new things on the market right now is Delta's Black Stainless Steel faucet! This new contemporary finish adds depth to the traditional Stainless Steel faucet design. Here we see just how seamlessly this Black Stainless Steel faucet pairs with a Stainless Steel sink. A Black Stainless Steel faucet is a great way to add warmth to your kitchen design without compromising the durability and timelessness that you know you can reply on with traditional Stainless Steel. Delta's new black finish also comes with their lifetime warranty, making this new design a no-brainer!

Modern Bathroom Design with Stainless Steel Fixtures and Pedestal Tub

Modern Bathroom Design with Stainless Steel finish Freestanding Tub Filler, Pedestal Tub, and Single Hole Sink Faucet

Modern bathroom designs are typically synonymous with Stainless Steel or Brushed Nickel faucets and shower systems. We love this modern design because it showcases the versatility of Delta's Stainless Steel faucets and accessories. This bathroom flaunts a neutral color scheme, eliminating any one focal point. The designer's use of a Stainless Steel single mount faucet gives the room a luxurious and modern look without taking away from the dramatic black vanity and stone accent wall. The gorgeous Stainless Steel free standing tub filler and accessories really complete this bold bathroom look!

Stainless Steel Finish Freestanding Tub Filler Faucets

Product: D1065V
Delta Traditional Stainless Steel Finish Floor Mount Tub Filler Faucet with Hand Shower Spray INCLUDES Valve and Porcelain Lever Handle D1065V
Product: D2072V
Delta Ara Collection Stainless Steel Finish Floor Mount Freestanding Tub Filler Faucet with Hand Shower Includes Trim Kit and Rough-in Valve D2072V
Product: D934V
Delta Trinsic Stainless Steel Floor Mount Freestanding Tub Filler w/Valve D934V
Product: D2572V
Delta Tesla 1-Handle Floor-Mount Roman Tub Faucet with Handshower in Stainless Steel Finish Includes Rough-in Valve D2572V
Contemporary Bathroom with Stainless Steel Finish Shower Faucet, Freestanding Tub Filler, and Sink Faucet

Contemporary Bathroom with Stainless Steel Finish Shower Faucet, Freestanding Tub Filler, and Sink Faucet

Contemporary bathrooms often feature different elements of many design styles. This design pairs a modern, square shaped free standing tub with more warm pieces like the dark vanity and wood tiled shower stall. Installing a Stainless Steel free standing tub filler, Stainless Steel shower faucet, and matching accessories bring these different design elements together to form one cohesive space. These gorgeous Stainless Steel fixtures will also stand the test of time, and will suit the home owner through any updates they make to the bathroom style over time.

Stainless Steel Finish Shower Faucets

Product: D834V
Delta Dryden Stainless Steel Finish Modern Thermostatic Shower with Valve D834V
Product: D1526V
Delta Cassidy Collection Stainless Steel Finish Monitor 14 Shower only Faucet INCLUDES Single Cross Handle and Rough-Valve without Stops D1526V
Product: D642V
Delta Vero Stainless Steel Finish Large Square Shower Only Faucet w/ Valve D642V
Product: D646V
Delta Trinsic Stainless Steel Finish Modern Shower Only Faucet with Valve D646V

Delta Brilliance Stainless Steel Finish Ara Custom Shower System with Freestanding Tub Faucet and Wall Mount Sink Faucets

Delta Brilliance Stainless Steel Finish Ara Custom Shower System with Freestanding Tub Faucet and Wall Mount Sink Faucets

If you are looking for something even more durable, check out Delta's Brilliance Stainless Steel! This innovative coating is embedded into the regular finish, reinforcing it against scratching and any outside damage, leaving these fixtures looking brand new for the duration of their use! Delta even guarantees that their Brilliance finishes can stand up against scouring with steel wool! Brilliance coated fixtures are highly polished and reflective, and have been tested for up to 100 different household cleaners. A Delta Brilliance Stainless Steel faucet or shower system will look amazing in any design, and will look brand new for years to come!

Stainless Steel Finish Shower Systems

Product: SS27997SS8
Delta Cassidy Dual Control Handle Stainless Steel Finish Shower System, Showerhead, Ceiling Showerhead, Grab Bar Hand Spray SS27997SS8
Product: SS17T2591SS2
Delta Trinsic Dual Thermostatic Control Stainless Steel Finish Shower System, Diverter, Showerhead, 3 Body Sprays, Grab Bar Hand Spray SS17T2591SS2
Product: SS17T5384SS
Delta Vero Stainless Steel Shower System with Thermostatic Shower Handle, 3-setting Diverter, Large Square Rain Showerhead, and Modern Handheld Shower SS17T5384SS
Product: SS17T5185SS
Delta Dryden Stainless Steel Shower System with Thermostatic Shower Handle, 3-setting Diverter, Modern Square Showerhead, and Handheld Shower SS17T5185SS

Dark Wood and White Subway Tile Bathroom with Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Hand Shower

Dark Wood and White Subway Tile Bathroom with Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Hand Shower

The farmhouse design trend is a classic style for your kitchen and bath. This combination of exposed wooden beams and white subway tile is gorgeous and timeless. Installing a Stainless Steel shower system is an easy way to update your farmhouse bathroom and give it a somewhat modern feel! This Delta Stainless Steel system complements the farmhouse style with its large shower head and circular design. Having a hand shower installed on a slide bar allows for more flexibility in use. Delta products also include a lifetime warranty that covers both function and finish, ensuring that this system will look its best for the long haul!

Stainless Steel Finish Shower Systems

Product: SS1759SS4
Delta Trinsic Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Dual Control Handle, 3-Setting Diverter, Showerhead, and Hand Shower with Grab Bar SS1759SS4
Product: SS17T2511SS5
Delta Dryden Dual Thermostatic Control Handle Stainless Steel Finish Shower System, Diverter, Showerhead, and Ceiling Mount Showerhead SS17T2511SS5
Product: SS24859SS12
Delta Trinsic Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Control Handle, Integrated Diverter, Dual Showerhead, and Hand Shower SS24859SS12
Product: SS14973SS1
Delta Cassidy Stainless Steel Finish Shower System with Control Handle, 3-Setting Diverter, Showerhead, and Hand Shower with Grab Bar SS14973SS1

Modern Kitchen Design with Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet, Pot Filler, and Appliances

Modern Kitchen Design with Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet, Pot Filler, and Appliances

I love a kitchen that features a Stainless Steel double kitchen sink and appliances, but sometimes it's hard to find a faucet in a finish that truly complements a design like this. Luckily, Delta has solved this issue with their beautiful Arctic Stainless finish! This highly polished finish adds an extra luxurious element to the traditional Stainless Steel, while still being incredibly durable and spot resistant. Like in the kitchen above, an Arctic Stainless faucet keeps the design bright and modern. With high ceilings and large windows, the clean white walls and countertops look super sharp. Pair that with an Arctic Stainless pot filler and cabinet hardware, and you have one gorgeous kitchen design!

Stainless Steel Finish Kitchen Faucets

Product: 579593
Delta Cassidy Touch2O Arctic Stainless Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet 579593
Product: 555816
Delta Arctic Stainless High Arch Spout Widespread Kitchen Faucet w/ Spray 555816
Product: 739276
Delta Trinsic Collection Arctic Stainless Steel Finish One Handle Pull-Down Spring Spout Electronic Kitchen Sink Faucet with Touch2O Technology 739276
Product: 556046
Delta Victorian Stainless Steel Finish Widespread Kitchen Faucet w/ Spray 556046

Modern Kitchen Design with Hammered Stainless Steel Countertop

Hammered Stainless Steel Countertop Close-up

Photo Source: https://www.countertopspecialty.com/stainless-steel-countertops-guide.html

Modern Kitchen with Hammered Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless Steel counter tops are typically found in restaurants and other industrial environments, but I think they look amazing when installed in a home kitchen! Because of their neutral tone, Stainless Steel counters look great in a modern contemporary setting. In the kitchen above, the designer opted for a textured counter on the island. This design feature is not available with any other counter top material, making these textured counters unique and eye catching. Although Stainless Steel is very durable, these counter tops will scratch from time to time. Choosing a textured style is a great way to blend the effects of normal wear and tear without compromising your design. Unlike wood or marble counters, these Stainless Steel beauties will not stain or chip, and are non-porous which means liquids and bacteria are unable to penetrate their surface. For indoor or outdoor kitchens, Stainless Steel counter tops are a smart choice for a unique and long lasting design.

Light Blue Kitchen Cabinets with Stainless Steel Finish Faucet and Appliances

Stainless Steel Finish Faucet and Appliances paired with Pale Blue Cabinets

The pairing of these modern pale blue kitchen cabinets with the sleek stainless steel finish fixtures and appliances gives this house an airy, beachy feel. Stainless Steel appliances have long been the standard choice for luxury kitchens. In some kitchen designs, it's nearly impossible to choose a faucet finish to complement these beautiful appliances. Delta's Arctic Stainless faucet finish is designed to match Stainless Steel appliances perfectly. With its blue undertones, this Arctic Stainless single mount kitchen faucet seamlessly complements both the Stainless Steel appliances as well as the beautiful cabinetry! The somewhat matte finish also brings a modern touch to this gorgeous contemporary kitchen design.

Care of Stainless Steel Fixtures

Like its name implies, Stainless Steel is naturally more spot resistant. Caring for a Brushed Nickel or Stainless Steel fixture is as simple as wiping it down with a soft cloth in most cases. High use fixtures like Stainless Steel kitchen faucets, or Brushed Nickel shower heads, may need to be soaked with white vinegar from time to time to clean any mineral buildup. This may be done easily by tying a plastic bag filled with white vinegar to the end of the faucet or shower head, and letting it soak for about 20 minutes. Once you have soaked the fixture, follow it up with a quick water rinse and wipe down with a soft cloth. Depending on your water type, you may need to do this every few months to keep your fixture looking shiny and new.

It is recommended to use soft materials like microfiber on your Stainless Steel fixtures and hardware. In the event that you need something a little tougher to scrub a fixture, in the case of stubborn food residue for instance, it is recommended to use a wet sponge. Although Stainless Steel is very durable, tough materials like steel wool may damage your fixture, unless you have a Delta Brilliance finish. If you have Stainless Steel counter tops and sinks installed in your home or outside cooking space, it is recommended to wipe down these surfaces with a soft cloth after each use to prevent buildup of hard water and other environmental substances as these fixtures tend to get a lot of use. With proper care, your Stainless Steel fixtures and hardware will last a lifetime!

Stainless Steel Finish Fixture Categories

Bathroom Faucets
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Bathroom Sink Faucets
Kitchen Faucets
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Kitchen Sink Faucets
Shower Systems
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Full Custom Shower Systems
Shower Faucets
Complete Stainless Steel Finish Delta Shower Faucets
Roman Tub Faucets
Complete Stainless Steel Finish Delta Roman Tub Filler Faucets
Bathroom Accessories
Delta Stainless Steel Finish Bathroom Accessories

Stainless Steel Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures Conclusion

From Arctic Stainless to Brushed Nickel, Stainless Steel fixtures have many faces. This versatile finish looks great in nearly every kitchen and bath design style, and will stand the test of time! 2019 is a great year to update your kitchen or bathroom with this timeless classic finish! Be sure to share these design ideas, and leave us a comment with a picture of how you incorporated your favorite Stainless Steel fixture into your home design!

Please Like us on Facebook!

If you found this guide helpful please "like" us on Facebook. We are pretty new to the whole social media thing and would appreciate your support!

Please subscribe to our Newsletter for more design tips and ideas by entering your email address in the field below the comments section. Thanks!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Buying Guides

The Ultimate Guide to Bronze Finish Fixtures for Your Kitchen and Bath

March 05, 2019 13 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Bronze Finish Fixtures for Your Kitchen and Bath

Styling your home with bronze kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower systems, and accessories not only adds a unique touch to each room, but these durable pieces are easy to care for and look great for ages! In this all-inclusive guide to bronze fixtures for the home, you will find all the answers to your most asked questions, a quick guide on how to care for your bronze fixtures, and a few design ideas we really love. Read More Now!

Read More
Installing a Shower System with Showerhead and Hand Shower Sprayer

January 18, 2019 32 min read 2 Comments

Installing a Shower System with Showerhead and Hand Shower Sprayer

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing bathroom, a Delta Shower System with Hand Shower will help you create the shower of your dreams! Why choose a normal Delta shower faucet with a single showerhead when you can make your shower experience more enjoyable and add tons of functionality with the addition of a handheld sprayer? Learn How to plan and Install a Delta Shower System with Hand Shower!

Read More
Modern Brushed Gold Finishes for Your 2019 Kitchen & Bath

January 09, 2019 12 min read 1 Comment

Modern Brushed Gold Finishes for Your 2019 Kitchen & Bath

Champagne bronze and Brushed Gold fixtures are ushering in a new "Golden Age" in home decor. Modern Brushed Gold Finishes like Champagne Bronze represent the hottest kitchen and bath design trend in 2019. No longer are we stuck with the boring, old polished brass! This article explains the best way to incorporate this stylish new finish into your home. Check out the Best Brushed Gold Designs for 2019!

Read More