Difference between Chrome and Nickel
Key difference: Chrome plating gives metal a slight blue shine. Nickel plating has a natural yellow or whitish appearance.
Chrome plating and nickel plating are two ways of treating metal. They give a textured finish to the metal and are quite popular today for decorative purposes. They differ in a number of ways including in the tinting of the metal. Chrome plating gives the metal a slight blue shine, while nickel plating has a natural yellow or whitish appearance. Chrome is considered to have a sophisticated and cool look and the nickel’s slight yellow hue is seen as a warmer color tone than chrome's.
Both nickel and chrome plating are available in various different finishes. Brushed metal finish refers to a look that has the appearance of a wire brush used on the metal. This gives the metal purposeful directional abrasion lines after polishing. There is also a "satin" or "velvety" finish. This finish is a smooth finish with no visible abrasions. The brushed metal finishes are quite popular as they tend to have a more handcrafted appearance.
Nickel plating is more commonly available; this is probably due to the fact that nickel plating is cheaper than chrome. Fixtures with brushed chrome finish usually have the same level of blue tint in every piece. However, fixtures with a nickel finish appear more or less yellow depending on the amount of plating and density of the nickel used. Still, both nickel and chrome are durable and non-corrosive.
Nickel plating has been historically used for metal finishing. So, fixtures with nickel plating are considered to have a more traditional, homey and antique look. While, fixtures with chrome plating are considered to have a more sophisticated and modern look. Chrome has a smooth, steely, mirror-like finish, which tends to easily show marks. Fingerprints, water spots, and scratches are more visible on the chrome plating than nickel. However, chrome is less prone to tarnish over time, unlike nickel that tends to have a slightly cloudy tarnish as it ages.
Fixtures with a chrome finish tend to look better in surroundings with cooler colors, such as gray, blue or white. Fixtures with a nickel finish, on the other hand, are better paired with warmer colors, such as tan or earth tones.
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