Home » Decor Tips / Ideas » Is Brushed Nickel Out of Style?

Is Brushed Nickel Out of Style?

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Finding the right finish for your bathroom or kitchen hardware can be challenging. It’s essential to find a style that fits today’s trends but also stands the test of time. Brushed nickel is a finish that you’ve likely seen and loved. But is it out of style for 2023?

Is brushed nickel on your home accessories going out of style? As a general rule, brushed nickel is a classic finish that is an excellent choice for either kitchen or bathroom hardware. While brushed nickel may not be one of the top finishes for 2023, it is certainly a safe option that will not require updating any time soon.

Brushed nickel bathroom faucet.

Get more home decor tips here.

Is Chrome or Brushed Nickel More Modern?

Chrome tends to be considered more a more modern look, more contemporary than brushed nickel. On the flip side, brushed nickel is typically categorized as more traditional when comparing it to chrome.

As with all things design, it comes down to personal preference!

Both nickel finishes are good options if they fit the other decor in your space, including coordinating with the light fixtures.

The idea is to find something you love and will continue to love for years.

What is the Difference Between Chrome vs Brushed Nickel?

If you are beginning your search for the perfect hardware finish, you may even be confused by the differences between brushed nickel and chrome.

A few key differences between chrome and brushed nickel might help you decide what is best for you.

Brushed Nickel

So what does brushed nickel look like? Brushed nickel has a more muted, warmer tone and appearance in nature than chrome.

A brushed nickel finish has a more muted texture as it is treated with a wire brush to make it matte. It tends not to show fingerprints and smudges as easily, so it is considered easier to keep clean. 

Brushed nickel faucets are a great option in homes with busy families and young children, as the brushed finish is a great way to hide fingerprints.


Chrome faucets and hardware have a shiny finish.

As mentioned, chrome fixtures will show scratches, watermarks, abrasions, and fingerprints. This can make chrome finishes a bit finicky to keep clean for a busy family.

But smudges can easily be wiped away with a soft cloth.

If you love this classic look, don’t let a few streaks steer you away from this particular finish.

Brushed Nickel vs Chrome

Nickel vs. chrome? Chrome vs. brushed nickel?

Either type of finish is a popular choice.

Collage of brushed nickel vs appearance of chrome bathroom faucets.

It does come down to your taste and style when considering chrome vs. brushed nickel.

Both have proven to be a finish that has stayed popular over time and coordinate well with most bathroom and kitchen sinks and paint color choices.

Related: Can You Hang a Heavy Mirror with Command Strips?

Is Brushed Nickel the Same as Stainless Steel?

Brushed nickel and stainless steel are not the same but are similar. Delta Faucets describes stainless steel as a glossy, silver finish with an icy cast.

Brushed nickel has more of a semi-satin finish. But they are often thought to coordinate quite well with one another.

So if you decide to get a faucet in stainless steel, know that brushed nickel hardware (knobs or pulls) should go with it quite nicely (or vice versa).

What is Polished Nickel?

Polished nickel has a warm tone and glowing hue due to its polished nature.

It is typically nickel plating on brass, polished to a high shine. Nickel does not tarnish, so polished nickel should hold up well over time, with good durability.

Polished Nickel vs Brushed Nickel

Polished and brushed nickel are popular finishes used in various home fixtures, from faucets to cabinet hardware. 

While they may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences between the two that can significantly impact the overall aesthetic of a space. 

Polished nickel has a highly reflective surface that exudes elegance and sophistication.

It undergoes an intensive polishing process that removes imperfections, resulting in a mirror-like finish. This finish is perfect for homeowners who want their fixtures to stand out and make a statement in their bathroom or kitchen. 

However, it must be noted that polished nickel requires regular maintenance as fingerprints and water spots are more visible on its shiny surface.

On the other hand, brushed nickel offers a more subtle and understated look.

The brushing technique creates tiny parallel lines on the metal’s surface, giving it a soft matte appearance with minimal reflection.

Related: How to Paint Cabinet Hardware

Is Polished Nickel in Style?

This metal finish is thought to fit most decor styles.

Is polished nickel in style? Polished nickel, known for its sleek and shiny appearance, has gained popularity recently as a stylish alternative to other finishes like chrome or brass.

Its timeless elegance and versatility make it an excellent choice for modern and traditional interiors.

With its mirror-like surface, polished nickel adds a touch of sophistication to any space. 

Whether used for faucets, light fixtures, or cabinet hardware, this finish instantly elevates the overall aesthetic of a room.

Moreover, polished nickel complements various color palettes effortlessly, blending seamlessly with neutral tones or providing a striking contrast against bold hues.

Is Oil Rubbed Bronze Out of Style 2023?

If you are searching for the perfect finish for your bathroom or kitchen faucet and cabinet pulls, chances are good you have eyed oil-rubbed bronze.​

Is oil rubbed bronze out of style? Oil rubbed bronze (just like brushed nickel) is timeless. It is a finish you will likely see for many years in bathroom and kitchen faucets and with cabinet hardware.

However, I am finding many homeowners that love a dark finish are opting for black hardware, typically in a flat or matte finish.

Brushed Nickel vs Matte Black

When choosing the perfect finish for your fixtures and hardware, brushed nickel and black matte are two popular options that can create a stunning visual impact. 

Brushed nickel is known for its timeless appeal and versatility, making it a classic choice for many homeowners. 

This finish features a warm silver tone with subtle brush marks that add depth and texture to any space. It complements various design styles, from traditional to modern, blending seamlessly with different color palettes.

On the other hand, black matte finishes have gained popularity in recent years due to their bold and edgy aesthetic. 

This finish offers a sleek appearance with a velvety smooth texture that exudes contemporary elegance. 

Matte black faucets and fixtures can make a dramatic statement in any room, creating an eye-catching focal point against lighter backgrounds or enhancing the overall ambiance of darker spaces.

This leads me to what are the kitchen hardware trends for 2023? 

I went down a rabbit hole searching for the latest kitchen hardware trends.

There are LOTS of different opinions in the design world about what is on trend this year. 

The following is the consensus from my research:

Black matte or flat finishes

Black matte hardware, as well as kitchen faucets, is on the rise this year. It is a look that makes a definite statement and works well in many different home styles, from farmhouse to contemporary.

Flat or matte black looks fantastic with contrast, such as in white kitchens or cabinets.

white cabinet with black drawer pulls and butcher block countertops.

Bar Pulls in Various Finishes

Bar pulls have become quite popular in the past several years. 

This trend should last for years if you find a classic finish you love. If you are trading out old hardware, consider whether you need new holes to install your new pulls.

Sandiegohardware has a great guide to help you decide the perfect positioning of your kitchen cabinet hardware.

Brass or Gold Hardware

Brass or gold hardware is a trend I have seen come and go over the years.

As with all things design, if you love a particular style, go with it regardless of what is considered trendy.

However, if reselling is a factor, I would be cautious in selecting brass hardware.

As a general rule, nickel faucets – brushed nickel OR chrome, are the most popular finishes for bathroom fixtures, including faucets and bathroom cabinet hardware.

It is common to see fixtures of the ‘silver’ family, such as chrome, brushed nickel, and stainless steel.

Is Brushed Nickel Out of Style?

Brushed nickel is a style that will stand the test of time.

Nickel fixtures can coordinate with many different design styles, so rest assured, brushed nickel is a great idea for a new home or if you are installing a new kitchen faucet.

If you are still trying to decide, go to a big box store such as Home Depot for inspiration from different manufacturers.

You’ll see a variety of different metals which will help you decide between each different finish.

Browsing Pinterest is also a great way to see a variety of finishes and if you prefer modern kitchens, the farmhouse look, or a more traditional look. Different rooms in your home can have a unique look while still flowing nicely from room to room. 

It can be overwhelming when addressing finishes for all the hardware in a home.

Some things to consider include the following:

  • Do you intend to have stainless steel appliances?
  • Do you want to match metal finishes with towel bars, door knobs, shower heads, etc.?
  • Color scheme preferences: do you prefer earth tones and a warmer color for paints or cool tones?

What Does Brushed Nickel Look Like?

Brushed nickel resembles a matte surface with visible linear brush strokes. 

Brushed nickel is more subdued and subtle than shiny or polished metals. The texture created by the brushing process adds depth to the metal’s surface, giving it an attractive visual appeal. 

Its soft silver color with warm undertones makes it versatile enough to complement both cool and warm color palettes.

Plus, it is a durable finish that works well for families.


In conclusion, while brushed nickel may not be as trendy as it once was, it is far from out of style. 

Its timeless and versatile nature allows it to fit various design styles and themes. Additionally, the durability and ease of maintenance make it a practical choice for many homeowners. 

Personal preference should guide the decision-making process when choosing finishes for your home. 

So, whether you love the sleek modern look or prefer a more traditional aesthetic, don’t be afraid to incorporate brushed nickel into your design choices. 

Embrace what you love and create a space that reflects your unique style and personality.

If brushed nickel is at the top of your list when selecting new cabinet hardware or faucet finishes for your kitchen or bathroom, I think you can rest easy if you make this your selection as it is a great choice.

It is a timeless finish you will continue to love through the years, as many other trends come and go.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is brushed nickel good quality?

As with any product, the quality will be specific to the manufacturer. But as a general rule, brushed nickel is an excellent choice for cabinet hardware and fixtures and conceals fingerprints and water spots better than many other finishes.

Will brushed nickel match stainless steel?

Brushed nickel and stainless steel are very similar in appearance. They coordinate well together is you opt to mix finishes in your bathroom or kitchen. Brushed nickel has more of a semi-satin appearance while stainless steel is a bit more glossy.

Can you clean nickel faucets with vinegar?

Vinegar can be damaging to nickel, so if used to clean nickel faucets, be certain to dilute. It is always best to follow manufacturers instructions for proper cleaning and care.

Chrome vs brushed nickel?

Chrome vs Brushed Nickel: Chrome is also relatively easy to clean – a simple wipe with a soft cloth is usually all it takes to maintain its luster. However, keep in mind that fingerprints and water spots may be more visible on this shiny surface. Brushed nickel is known for its muted shine and warm undertones. It is also a highly practical and durable finish.

Similar Posts