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Difference Between Chrome and Nickel

Chrome vs Nickel

In deciding what finish you will choose for your home and business, it is always essential to be sure about what outcome you want to achieve. It is because, like clothing and shoes, finishes get out of fashion as well. Lately, finishes like chrome and nickel have been very popular among households and even among businesses. They are two kinds of finishes that can easily adapt to modern appliances and hardware whether it’s in the kitchen, bathrooms, or in rooms. They give out an elegant and clean finish. Both chrome and nickel are in a silver tone. So before choosing what you want to use for a finish, it is always wise to look at how they are different from each other first.

A chrome finish is very shiny, reflective, and has a mirror-like finish. Some people also prefer it because it looks timeless and classy. It is popular not only in household fixtures but also in other uses like fishing lures and in the automotive industry. Not only it is attractive because of its silver hue, it is also very durable. It doesn’t corrode and can endure intense temperature and weather. There is no such thing as solid chrome, but it is actually materials like metal, copper, or steel that is covered with a chrome plating. There is a little downside about a chrome finish. Because of its smooth, mirror-like finish, they easily show marks to the naked eye like fingerprints, water spots, and even scratches. Even so, chrome does not tarnish over time unlike nickel that tends to have a slightly cloudy tarnish.

Not like a chrome finish that has a cooler tone, nickel finishes have a warm and silver tone. During the 1900s to the 1930s, it was the standard finish in household kitchens and bathrooms. It is not shiny like chrome but has a rather dull or matte finish. Nickel also gives an antique-like finish. The upside in choosing a nickel finish is that because of its matte or dull finish, showing marks and scratches will not be a problem. It does not show fingerprints or watermarks unlike finishes that are shiny. In addition, nickel does not wear easily but it does tarnish over time. Despite this, it is very durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and humidity. Compared to chrome, nickel is also less expensive.

Both chrome and nickel have their own advantages and disadvantages. A good way to decide what to use between the two is to start and see want finish do you already have in the house. You should also keep in mind that chrome is a little bit more expensive than nickel, but a little more cost would not hurt if you want to achieve that shiny finish. You should also take into consideration whether you are too keen to details because shiny surfaces like chrome may be a little bit of high maintenance due to the visibility of flaws compared to nickel’s dull finish. The nickel finish also has the tendency to tarnish over time. Nonetheless, they are both durable and do not wear out easily.


1. Chrome has a mirror-like finish while nickel has a dull matte finish.
2. Both are durable and can endure extreme temperatures.
3. Nickel can tarnish over time while chrome does not.
4. Because of the shiny finish of chrome, it can easily show flaws like fingerprints and scratches. Nickel, however, does not show these kinds of marks.
5. Chrome is a little more expensive compared to nickel.
6. Due to the visibility of fingerprints or water marks on chrome, it needs a little more maintenance.

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