Chrome versus Nickel. Cabinet knobs and handles, door knobs, levers, hinges and various other types of decorative and architectural door hardware require finishes that complement the colours found in the paints, tiles, stone, wood and glass frames.
Often we are mistakenly asked at ADH Fine Hardware to provide houses with polished or satin (brushed) chrome for homes requiring hardware with warm finishes. Home owners sometimes confuse the two terms chrome and nickel.
Chrome appears cool in appearance; nickel appears warm. ADH’s chromes have an electroplated finish over brass or steel (and sometimes zinc) that has a very slightly blue-coloured finish created from a complex mixture of hues produced during the electroplating process.
Cool chrome is ideal for modernist homes that are, for example, painted with the crisp and cool undertones of Benjamin Moore’s OC-64 “Pure White”. ADH ‘s nickels have an electroplated finish over brass or steel (and sometimes zinc) that has a slightly yellow coloured finish created from a complex mixture of hues produced during the electroplating process.
Warm nickel is ideal for traditional homes that are, for example, painted with the warm and soft undertones of Benjamin Moore’s CC-40 “Cloud White”. Installing chrome hardware incorrectly in a home with warm-painted interiors may result in the walls appearing tired. Installing nickel hardware incorrectly in a home with cool-painted interiors may result in the hardware finish appearing tired.
Stainless steel hardware is an alloy with both chrome and nickel added to its ferrous base. Consequently, the neutral appearance of both polished and brushed stainless steels allows it to be used in both modern and traditional homes, although its association with the Bauhaus movement of the early 20th century typically has it appear only in modernist homes.