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  • This Year’s Hardware Finish Trend May Surprise You

This Year’s Hardware Finish Trend May Surprise You

3 min read
  • Design Trends

Let’s talk finishes: faucet finishes, hardware finishes, showerhead and door finishes. Even the accessories you choose will have finish options. These small choices add up to be a big decision that can affect the overall aesthetic of your bathroom as greatly as your paint color.

Read on to review the basics of finish options, as well as tips on how to nail the upcoming mix and match trend.

Traditionally: Finishes take last place

In the past, finishes have taken a back seat in the design process. At the end of a design process, after selecting the perfect wall color, tub or shower, and light fixtures, homeowners would consider what faucet finish would best match.

Traditionally, there have been three popular finishes: Polished Chrome, Brushed Nickel, and Oil-Rubbed Bronze.

  • Polished Chrome is the most popular finish on the market, and it’s affordable. This finish has a reflective, shiny appearance and a silver color.Polished Chrome showerhead spraying
  • A Vibrant® Brushed Nickel finish adds a grayish color and a matte look to the faucet or hardware, which hides water spots better than Polished Chrome.brushed nickel showerhead
  • Oil-Rubbed Bronze is a two-toned option. A warm, brown tone is coated over bronze, then some of this top layer is rubbed off so copper tones shine through.

These faucet finishes are still go-tos for many homeowners. If you decide to use one of these finishes for all the hardware in your bathroom, be sure to purchase all items from the same brand, as the finishes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, some Oil-Rubbed Bronze finishes are much lighter than others.

Today: Start with the finish

Today’s approach to choosing a finish is different. We are seeing finishes utilized as an important design element to create a distinct character.

The number of finishes available has also greatly expanded. In addition to Polished Chrome, Vibrant® Brushed Nickel, and Oil-Rubbed Bronze, you’ll find options like White, Matte Black, Antique Copper, and Champagne Bronze.

Trend Watch: Mix and match finishes

With so many options, luckily you don’t have to pick just one! One of the top bathroom trends of 2019 is to mix and match finishes in one space. The mixing and matching trend adds contrast and interest.

Your towel bars, mirror, knobs, light fixtures, faucets, and showerheads all offer opportunities to try this trend for yourself. Pick one or two places to bring in a new finish. You could also mix a more traditional finish with a modern faucet shape or light fixture.

Pro Tip:

As you begin your bathroom project, start thinking about finishes first. Your favorite finish can help you build out the design of the rest of the room.

How do I mix and match finishes?

We recommend starting with your shower. If you are planning your bathroom around a KOHLER® LuxStone shower, you’ll select a finish for your showerhead, shower door, and shower accessories.

Most LuxStone showerheads are available in Polished Chrome, Vibrant Brushed Nickel, and Oil-Rubbed Bronze. The LuxStone shower door, as well as accessories like the shower barre and floating shelf, are available in Bright Polished Silver, Matte Nickel, or Anodized Brushed Bronze.

Once you’ve selected from these classic finish options, it’s time to add your own flair.

Posh Pairings

Try these pairings for a unique look that can help you visualize a direction for the rest of your bathroom design.

What looks good with…

  • Polished Chrome? The shiny, contemporary look of Polished Chrome pairs well with Matte Black or White. This combination can push your look in a clean, modern direction.
  • Brushed Nickel? Because this finish offers a cool look with an underlying warmth, you have a lot of options. Try experimenting with another brushed finish like Champagne Bronze to create intentional variety within the same finish family.
  • Oil-Rubbed Bronze? Remember that an Oil-Rubbed Bronze allows for the bronze to peek through the rubbed areas. Experiment with coppers, golds and other warm colors that play off the bronze.

Get into the mix

Armed with these style tips, you’re ready to take your bathroom update to the next level. Which finishes will you choose?

Turn to your local Kohler shower specialist for a free in-home estimate and helpful style consultation, then build your perfect custom shower. From design to installation, the KOHLER® LuxStone shower delivers the quality you expect from the brand you trust.


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A Kohler shower specialist can help you design a shower you will love today.