Which Is Better Nickel Or Brass?

Deciding which is better, nickel or brass, is like deciding if black is a better color than white; both black and white are valuable colors.

Nickel and Brass are both excellent metal choices to use. Brass has a golden yellow color, and Nickel has a silver or almost grey color. Both metals can be plated onto another metal or material, and brass can also be solid brass.

Nickel Finish Vs. Brass Finish Explained

Both Nickel and Brass finishes are classic finishes for the home furnishing and decor industry. They are excellent finishes, but here are some differences:

The Nickel Finish Explained

The Nickel finish is the silver finish that can often be confused with chrome. The reason is that Chrome and Nickel are both a silver color finish and can look quite similar.

The Nickel finish is always plated or uses the electroplating process to put the metal finish onto the base metal. The base metal is many times steel or rod iron. In some cases, someone may even use a solid brass.

Nickel plating is applied to the base metal and finished to whatever color or look is required. One way to tell the nickel finish from the chrome finish is that a nickel finish will have a bit more yellow and a more deep and richer tone than a polished chrome finish.

As the Nickel finish has a silver tone, sometimes it is also confused with silver, but to be an authentic silver finish, the finish would require using silver and not a nickel. Because it can look like silver, this is also a reason why many people like and appreciate the nickel finish.

Here are the basic Nickel finishes usually available on different kinds of products. We use all these finishes on home decor and home furnishing items:

Different Finishes of Nickel
  • Polished Nickel – This is a trendy and shiny metal finish as it has a very timeless look and appeals. The polished Nickel is used on door and cabinet hardware and bathroom fixtures. This finish is often left unlacquered so that the finish will go from being shiny to a soft look and feel.
  • Brushed Nickel – Brushed Nickel is when a brush tool is used to goes in one direction to add some soft lines to the nickel finish. A lacquer topcoat is often sprayed on this to retain its look and feel.
  • Brushed Antique Nickel – Brushed antique nickel is a brushed nickel, but the finish will have an antique finish such as dark accents.
  • Pewter Nickel – Pewter nickel is when a plating technique is used so that the nickel will have a kind of pewter color. This can be used a lot on light fixtures and other decorative elements.
  • Black Nickel – The black nickel finish has a black appearance that gives the nickel a black color. The application of the black on the nickel is perfect for corrosion resistance, so this is used a lot of lighting and plumbing fixtures.

The Brass Finish Explained

Brass has a golden yellow color that can sometimes be a brown or even a weathered green color (verdigris finish). The brass finish can go from shiny golden yellows to deep brown tones.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is a very hard yet malleable metal. It is a metal that has been used for centuries to make various objects, from furniture pieces to home decor and home accessory items.

Brass is a preferred metal for many people to work with as it is very malleable. But the malleability of the brass depends a lot upon the zinc content of the brass. The higher the zinc content, the less malleable the brass is.

Brass is usually made in two different ways as solid brass and brass plated, which are each described below:

  • Solid Brass – Solid brass is, as the name implies, brass that is solid and no other metals were used in production. You can do some simple tests to see if brass is solid or not by placing a magnet on it. If the magnet does not work, then it is solid brass. If the magnet attaches, then it is not.
  • Brass Plated – Brass plated is another popular way that brass is used a lot. Brass plated is similar to the nickel-plated, but it would have a brass finish instead of a nickel finish. The magnet will attach if you place a magnet on a brass-plated item.

Solid brass and brass plated are quite popular finishes, but solid brass is more expensive than brass plated as brass is a valuable metal.

Like the Nickel finish, brass can also have a variety of finishes. Here are some of the significant finishes of the brass colors:

  • High Polished Or High Shine Brass – The high polished or high shine brass is a very traditional finish where the brass is made to look very shiny. This is seen in lighting fixtures, hardware, and decorative items.
  • Stain Finish Or Matte Brass – The satin or matte brass is similar to high polished brass, except the finish will look dull or matte. We find this is a popular finish for many of our higher-end lighting and hardware.
  • Brushed Brass – Brushed brass is brass that is brushed with a unique tool so that the marks all go in a direction. Sometimes the brush has antiquing added to make the brush look old.
  • Oiled Brass Or Hand Rubbed Brass – The oiled brass or hand-rubbed is when oil is placed on the brass to give it a soft yet darker feel.
  • Antique Brass – Antique brass is also very popular in that the brass is finished to look very old. Sometimes, this color will be created to look old so that the brass will even have a dark chocolate brown color
  • Weathered Brass Or Verdigris Finish – Weathered or verdigris finish is when the brass is treated so that the piece will have a very green-looking color to it so that it looks old. I have seen this on some statues where the brass is purposely made to look old.

Using Brass And Nickel Finishes

The main difference when using brass or nickel finishes for home decor or home furnishing is what color you prefer to have. If you want to have a golden yellow color, you should consider a brass color.

If you want to have a silver color, then Nickel is probably the right choice. Both Nickel and Brass are excellent metals for home decor and home furnishing products.

Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and home furniture products – in nickel or brass – don’t hesitate to contact me, AnitaCheck out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

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What is the Brass and Bronze Material Used In Home Decor Products?

Brass and bronze are both copper alloys, but brass is copper and zinc, and the bronze material is copper and tin. They both look similar but have different properties and uses. When brass or bronze is made into home decor products, they will often be sand cast or use a lost wax or investment mold technique. Each of these production methods has different uses and prices that can affect the overall production.

You can discover more by reading What is the Brass and Bronze Material Used In Home Decor Products? by clicking here.

Are Brass And Nickel The Same?

Both Brass and Nickel are metal finishes that can be electroplated or plated. They contain some copper and can be made into various unique and exciting looks and finishes. Because of their versatility, they remain popular metals and finishes for various products and uses.

You can find out more by reading our blog Are Brass And Nickel The Same? by clicking here.

Brass Plated Vs. Chrome Plated Metals Explained

Both Brass and Chrome are plated on metal in the same electroplating method, but the look and finish are not the same. Brass will have a warm golden color, whereas Chrome will look like shiny silver metal. Both are excellent electroplated treatments, and which one you choose can also depend on the look you want for a specific product.

You can discover more by reading Brass Plated Vs. Chrome Plated Metals Explained by clicking here.

Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I am the President of Mondoro. I am passionate about helping you CREATE, DEVELOP, and MANUFACTURE home decor and home furnishing products. I am also an avid blogger with a love of travel and riding my motorcycle around the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Which Is Better Nickel Or Brass?