The Pros and Cons of Polished Chrome vs Brushed Nickel Towel Bars

The Pros and Cons of Polished Chrome vs Brushed Nickel Towel Bars

Two of the most common finishes used in bathroom fixtures and items are polished chrome and brushed nickel. Both of these finishes are very versatile. They are used bathroom faucets, towel bars and other similar items found in bathrooms. It is often difficult to choose between the two. There are many questions around which of the two finishes are better for various situations, especially when it comes to towel bars. These finishes are so common in towel bars. It is important to know the benefits and drawbacks of each one. This guide will go over the pros and cons of both polished chrome towel bars and brushed nickel towel bars.

What is Polished Chrome?

Polished chrome is a common finish that is mainly used in various bathroom accessories. At its root, polished chrome is a plating that is typically used on brass or steel. It is then polished to give it a beautiful shine. Polished chrome has a silver color to it as well. This makes it very recognizable and versatile when used with other materials. Polished chrome does not tarnish. This makes it very easy to maintain and keep in your bathroom design for years to come. As one of the most versatile finishes a bathroom can utilize, polished chrome is a solid option for essentially any bathroom design.

What is Brushed Nickel?

Brushed nickel is another incredibly versatile finish. It is similar to polished chrome in many ways. However, there are several key differences to note. For starters, brushed nickel is much softer than chrome in terms of the shine. Brushed nickel offers a subtle metallic sheen. This makes it look a bit more like stainless steel than polished chrome. Because of this, it can pair exceptionally well with other stainless steel bathroom accessories. Brushed nickel is also a durable finish that will serve as a beautiful vintage looking aesthetic.

Pros of Polished Chrome Towel Bars

Pros of Polished Chrome Towel Bars - Pura Pros of Polished Chrome Towel Bars - Rondo


As one of the most common finishes used in bathroom fixtures and bathroom accessories, polished chrome is also one of the most versatile. Polished chrome towel bars pair very well with many different materials and finishes. This is a great aspect of chrome towel bars. Especially when it comes to replacing a current towel bar. Polished chrome towel bars fit incredibly well with white bathroom sinks.

Elegant Shine

If you are looking to make a bold statement in your bathroom design, consider a polished chrome towel bar as a focal point. Polished chrome is a great finish in various areas of a bathroom design in order to bring an elevated level of elegance to the area. The shine of a polished chrome towel bar can also break up a monotonous monotone bathroom design. It brings in a great new element of style. The shine of polished chrome can also pair well with neutral or flat tones. This makes it incredibly effective in almost any bathroom design.

Ease of Access

One of the best aspects of a polished chrome towel bar is how available it is. Every supplier of bathroom products will feature some type of polished chrome towel bar. These will mostly come in the form of bathroom faucets, towel bars and other similar bathroom accessories. Polished chrome bathroom fixtures and accessories can be found essentially anywhere you look. The selection is quite vast.


In a bathroom environment, it is important to have durable bathroom accessories. Because polished chrome is non-corrosive, it is the perfect finish for essentially any bathroom design. Polished chrome is commonly used in towel bars due to this reason. In addition, because bathrooms are wet due to steam and running water, it is also very useful in all of your other bathroom accessories as well. Hanging wet towels on a polished chrome towel bar is one of the safest ways to protect your bathroom accessories.


Perhaps one of the most important elements of polished chrome to some people, polished chrome towel bars are quite affordable. With that being said, that does not mean that it is cheaply made. Polished chrome is a sturdy finish that is made to survive for years in a bathroom design while being easy to maintain.

Pros of Brushed Nickel Towel Bars

Subtle Design

For a softer design and a little less shine, brushed nickel towel bars will be exactly what you are looking for. Brushed nickel takes a step back from the shinier finishes and sports an elegant soft and classic look that goes well with many different designs and themes. This design element is very appealing for vintage bathroom design as well as modern designs that focus on simple yet beautiful elements of design. The subtlety is perfect for any type of residential or commercial design.

Easy to Match

Because brushed nickel has such a versatile nature, it is easy to match brushed nickel towel bars with other brushed nickel bathroom accessories as well as other finishes and materials. Consider purchasing a set of brushed nickel bathroom accessories in order to create a complete and cohesive bathroom design. You can also match brushed nickel towel bars with other neutral colors such as black, white and gray. For example, a brushed nickel bathroom faucet pairs incredibly well with a white bathroom sink.

Different Tones are Available

Brushed nickel towel bars are available in some different variations as well, making it easy to choose the exact variation that you are looking for. Different manufacturers will have different processing standards for their brushed nickel finishes, making each one slightly different. Brushed nickel finishes are generally very similar however, so the differences will typically be quite subtle.

Historic Look

Another amazing element of design to brushed nickel towel bars is the vintage historic look that it brilliantly radiates. The classic nature of a brushed nickel towel bar makes it perfect for any bathroom that focuses on high quality and a vintage design. Although brushed nickel does work incredibly well in these types of designs, it also works well in various other bathroom designs as well. Use brushed nickel where you see fit, and you can almost never go wrong.

Easy to Maintain

Maintenance is always important for high quality bathroom fixtures and accessories, and brushed nickel towel bars are very easy to maintain if done correctly. The brushed nickel finish is extremely durable, making it easy to wipe away fingerprints or smudges.

Cons of Polished Chrome

Fingerprints Show Easily

>Polished chrome is a very elegant finish, but it does show fingerprints easily. Although this may not be a huge problem for many people, this is an issue that can make your bathroom feel a bit messy. To fix this problem, regularly wipe down your polished chrome towel bars with a microfiber cloth or similar cleaning materials. This will prevent any long term issues with fingerprints if done on a regular basis. In addition, it will make your bathroom feel much cleaner and orderly, which is especially important for your master bathroom or guest bathroom.

Frequent Water Spots

Along with fingerprints, water spots can easily show up on your polished chrome towel bars as well. This can be prevented the same way as fingerprints can be prevented. First, always keep some type of finish friendly cloth nearby so that it is easy to wipe down your bathroom accessories or fixtures on a regular basis. You can also try to be a bit more careful in terms of water splashing in your bathroom and getting on your polished chrome items. In general, try to be diligent in maintaining your polished chrome accessories and fixtures to keep your bathroom looking clean and beautiful.

Common Design

Yes, polished chrome is a very beautiful finish to incorporate in your bathroom design, but it is also one of the most common for towel bars. Because polished chrome is so versatile in terms of both design and price, it will be found in many bathroom designs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you are looking for a unique style element that is not very common, polished chrome will not be the finish you are looking for.

Cons of Brushed Nickel Towel Bars

Tarnishes Faster Than Chrome

One of the key differences between brushed nickel and polished chrome is that brushed nickel will tarnish faster. It does not tarnish easily, but unless you maintain your brushed nickel bathroom accessories or fixtures, you could run into some issues. It is important to keep up with your brushed nickel bathroom items in order to keep your bathroom design healthy and clean.

More Expensive Than Chrome

Although brushed nickel towel bars and polished chrome towel bars are not very different in terms of price, brushed nickel costs a bit more on average. This is only really important if you are on a strict budget. In general, the finish of the towel bar is not what determines price, but the actual build quality and design of the towel bar. Typically brushed nickel towel bars may be more expensive, but the difference is very small.

No Universal Design

Brushed Nickel is a finish that can slightly vary depending on the manufacturer. Different manufacturers produce brushed brushed nickel slightly different from each other, making each brand a little different. The differences can be very slight most of the time, so it is not a big issue. However, sometimes the differences can be enough to break up the consistency of the bathroom design. Keep this in mind when purchasing your brushed nickel towel bars, bathroom accessories and fixtures.

Which One Should You Choose?

Which One Should You Choose? - Baketo Which One Should You Choose? - Rondo Double

The choice between brushed nickel and polished chrome towel bars will ultimately come down to your personal preferences. There are some key differences between the two finishes, so compare the pros and cons of each one and decide which one will be the best for your specific bathroom design. Both of these finishes are elegant additions to various different bathroom designs, especially designs that focus on high quality and comfort. It is important to choose the finish that fits the best in your bathroom while meeting all of the standards you want and need.

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