Satin Chrome Vs. Chrome

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Some bath fixtures are chrome plated.
Some bath fixtures are chrome plated. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Manufacturers produce a variety of bathroom fixtures, kitchen fixtures and automotive components from chrome. This type of strong metal is silver, shiny and resists tarnish. Chrome is available in different variations, including satin chrome. Both types of chrome require frequent cleaning to keep their shine.

Chrome

Chrome is short for chromium. It is an element and is not useful in its pure state. Nothing is made purely from chrome; items made with chrome have a thin chrome layer on the surface, or chrome plating. Some chrome-plated materials include steel, copper, plastic, aluminum and stainless steel. Chrome is bright, has a bluer tone, rarely distorts images and looks similar to a mirror.

Satin Chrome

Satin chrome has a hard, bright, semi-lustrous finish, and it encases satin nickel. Additionally, it exemplifies the grainy appearance caused by the polishing equipment prior to and after the plating of the nickel. Some people refer to satin chrome as "brushed chrome." Some industries that use satin chrome in products include lighting, plumbing and furniture.

Polished Chrome

Polished chrome is plated over steel or brass; in the final stages, manufacturers polish the material. This type of chrome displays a silver hue similar to nickel. Some makers place a lacquer finish on top of the chrome.

Velour Chrome

Velour chrome and pearl chrome are the same type of material. Unlike like satin chrome, velour chrome is matte nickel with chrome plating. Both satin chrome and velour chrome offer a semi-lustrous finish. Velour chrome is not as bright as satin chrome, and it does not have a grainy surface. Some manufacturers opt for velour chrome in automotive parts, optical components, lighting and plumbing fixtures.

Black Chrome

Black chrome is not lustrous as satin chrome. Additionally, satin chrome is stronger than black chrome and offers more resistant to wear and tear. Black chrome absorbs solar energy and offers low emissions. This type of metal works well in constructing solar panels, plumbing fixtures, car parts and lighting fixtures.

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