The choice of finish for a tap is an aspect that should not be overlooked: not only does it affect the aesthetic appearance of the tap, the kitchen and the bathroom in general, but it can also have consequences on durability and ease of cleaning.

There are many stainless steel finishes, but not all are suitable for the bathroom: brushed and polished stainless steel are generally preferred.

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Stainless steel finishes: what they are and what characteristics they have

Stainless steel differs from steel in that it contains a high content of chromium and other materials that form a film on the surface of the material, thus providing high protection against oxidation and rust.

With taps, which remain in constant contact with water, it is very important to use the right material, to prevent them from rusting or forming an aesthetically unattractive patina. The chromium in steel, in fact, combines with the oxygen in the air to create a protective film that increases its resistance.

In addition, different finishes can be obtained on stainless steels to meet various aesthetic requirements and, at the same time, guarantee high performance.

Polished stainless steel finish

The polished finish of stainless steel is a smooth, shiny finish that is achieved by a process of grinding and polishing the surface of the steel. This process consists of removing the surface imperfections of the steel with a series of mechanical abrasives, characterised by an increasingly fine grain. Afterwards, a final polishing is done with a cotton brush to give the surface a smooth and shiny appearance.

The high-gloss finish is the most popular finish for bathroom and kitchen accessories as it is the only one that can guarantee an excellent level of hygiene as well as being extremely easy to clean and maintain.

It is precisely this aspect that makes the high-gloss finish also suitable for outdoor products, as well as for beauty centres, swimming pools and other such environments. In fact, weathering not only does not ruin the steel but also does not leave marks, as impurities brought by wind and rain or water deposits can easily slide off. For these reasons, it also finds perfect application in the nautical environment.

Brushed stainless steel finish

The brushed finish of stainless steel is achieved through a process of minimal abrasion of the metal surface, resulting in objects that are extremely smooth to the touch.

Proper brushing of stainless steel also ensures that a refined brilliance is achieved without falling into the excesses of shine.

This technique consists of creating slight surface lines that make the steel shiny and particularly elegant.

This type of finish is considered valuable and is chosen by many interior designers to give the bathroom a refined and elegant look. It can also be chosen for kitchens, especially for a certain type of environment with a designer décor.

These finishes should not be confused with the ‘brushed steel’ and ‘satin steel’ finishes of brass accessories: these materials, in fact, although they attempt to imitate stainless steel, have criticalities linked to their specific characteristics that have nothing to do with those of steel and tend to deteriorate very quickly. Even the aesthetic appearance, although it can initially be confused with real stainless steel, tends to deteriorate over time and can no longer be restored to its original condition.

How to choose the finish for your tap

Due to their functional characteristics and aesthetic appearance, the most recommended finishes for faucets are undoubtedly polished and brushed.

Durable, resistant to corrosion and oxidation, these two stainless steel finishes allow the faucet to maintain a perfect aesthetic appearance at all times and fit very easily into modern as well as classic environments.

Moreover, even in the case of dulling or slight aesthetic imperfections due to the passage of time, they can be restored, quickly returning to their former glory. After all, it is well known that stainless steel is eternal, and if it is of excellent quality, as in the case of Super Inox fittings, there is no risk.

Often, therefore, the difference between a polished and a brushed finish is played out on the aesthetic choice, as well as on the functional one: the shine of the polished finish can find a perfect fit in classic environments as well as in the most elegant ones, and can be appreciated by those who love this kind of refined aesthetics. The brushed finish, on the other hand, gives an extra touch of personality and is perfectly suited to elegant yet understated design environments.