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The difference between metal finishes in door hardware

If you've got imminent plans to refurbish or renovate your office or home, an important aspect of the job to consider are the metal finishes that are available. Looking online can be a little confusing with the sheer volume of choices.

Don't despair, however, as we're here to help provide some clarity on the range of metal finish options available to consumers in the UK.

A dazzling array of options are available

Head to the Hiatt Hardware online store and you'll find a dazzling array of metal finish options for your home or office improvement projects.

So, join us now, as we look at not just the metal finishes themselves, but the various processes and metal finishes techniques that are used to create them.

Metal Finish #1 - Antique Brass

antique brass door handle

Designed to offer a timeless aesthetic that exudes class, antique brass door knobs, door handles, and keyhole escutcheons feature a brushed metal look that lends more than a touch of sophistication to the room they're in.

Looking equally delightful on coat hooks, cabinet handles, and door hinges, antique brass metal finishes provide russet hues for an alluring appeal that's understated while also being impactful.

What metal finishing techniques are used?

This kind of metal surface is created by first using an oxidising chemical process (to darken the colour) and brushing it away then by hand.

This partially reveals the brass colouring underneath for a truly unique look that will complement both modern and established buildings.

Metal Finish #2 - Satin Brass

satin brass door handle

Another attractive option that's often found on cabinet handles, door stops and door hinges is satin brass. With the same brushed metal feel, this satin finish represents another modern alternative to standard polished brass.

Offering warming and inviting tones, satin brass offers all the appeal of antique brass, but with more of a rose gold feel. This satin effect can also be found in satin chrome and satin nickel door products.

What's the metal finishing process used?

This low maintenance option has a metal surface that's created - as with antique brass - by first brushing brass with a satin wheel to give it the stunning look it offers.

Moreover, this is another of the brushed metal finishes that are typically completed by hand, before lacquering the metal to give it both stain and corrosion resistance.

Metal Finish #3 - Polished Brass

polished brass door handle

Obviously, we couldn't look at brass hardware without including polished brass door handles, cabinet handles, and door hinges. It offers a timeless look that's made quite a resurgence in recent years.

Also found widely on door stops, door chains, and even straight door bolts, polished brass remains one of the most popular polished metal finishes and it's been around for hundreds of years.

How is brass door hardware with a polished finish created?

The shiny appearance you get with polished brass is because it's essentially brass that hasn't been treated, allowing all those lovely golden tones to come through.

Generally speaking, the highest quality polished brass door knobs, letterboxes, coat hooks, and door hinges are forged from solid brass.

Those of lesser quality are created using metal plating, which results in the same look. However, when metal plating is compared to a metal alloy that's forged and solid, it's naturally going to last longer.

Metal Finish #4 - Brushed Nickel

brushed nickel door handle

Another of the great-looking brushed finish options available on the market is brushed nickel, which offers many of the same qualities as antique brass and satin finishes.

Resistant to fingerprint marks and water spots, brushed nickel cabinet handles and door handles are a great addition to any modern home.

What process creates silver matte finish?

The dull silver finish that's applied to the metallic components of door hardware with a similar manufacturing process as other brushed metals.

Again, it's one of the easiest metal surfaces to clean and maintain, even when talking about high-use areas, such as the living room or bathroom door.

Metal Finish #5 - Polished Chrome

chrome door handle

The next of our metal finishes is polished chrome which offers a bold contemporary look for your renovation projects. Like polished brass, this is one of the metal finishes that delivers a highly-reflective surface.

Able to complement a wide range of styles of decor, it's an option that looks great with just a small amount of maintenance. Just by giving your polished chrome door handles, door hinges, and coat hooks a regular spot of metal polishing, they'll stay looking great.

Does the metal finishing process offer corrosion resistance?

Absolutely, as with all of the products we mention in this article, rust and other types of corrosion are prevented using electro-plating. This deposits the finish onto the surface, with an electric current being passed through a chemical solution.

Metal Finish #6 - Hammered Metal

hammered metal door handle

Another popular option with the door hardware-buying public is hammered metal that provides an inimitable look that's also smooth to the touch.

Coming in a few different options like hammered polished brass, black nickel, and hammered antique brass, it's a different take on brass with its own unique qualities.

How is hammered metal finishing done?

This is one of the metal finishing techniques that involves the highest levels of craftsmanship. Using a planishing hammer, a distinctive pattern is created while simultaneously hardening the metal.

Providing all the same corrosion protection and ease of maintenance, it's not the most popular choice with customers, but the finish does have many fans.

Metal Finish #7 - Powder Coated Metal

powder coated door handle

Our next choice of hardware metal finish that is perhaps not as widely known as some are door handles and door knobs with a powder coating.

This powder coating allows hardware to feature bold and bright colours, while also offering high levels of corrosion and fatigue resistance. Rust is also something that's kept at bay with this kind of metal finish.

What does the powder coating process involve?

Typically applied to steel door hardware, powder coating is performed by super-heating dry colour powder to the metal's surface.

It's literally baked onto the metal, with the powder being applied electrostatically with a compressed air gun. As the powder is sprayed onto the metal ions are positively charged, attracting to bond firmly to the surface.

An Array of Types of Metal Finishes to Choose From

As is clear, anyone wanting to improve the look and feel of their home or office would do well to consider the importance of door hardware and what it provides.

The options we've looked at here are as beautiful as they are numerous. The good news is that knowing which choices are available is half the problem!

How you choose to adorn your home in terms of door accessories, but we hope that our blog helps you to find the ideal products for your needs.

That's it from us for this occasion. We'll see you again soon when we'll be back with more interesting tips, advice and guidance from the home of high quality door hardware.

Until next time!