Brass: While brass also has antimicrobial properties, it isn't as fast acting against as copper in killing germs and bacteria. Brass doesn't corrode easily and is a valuable recyclable metal. Many brass bathroom fixtures are fashioned from recycled brass. The highly polished look of the 80s brass bathroom fixtures has given over to an antiqued finish. Stainless steel: The antimicrobial property of stainless steel is much less than brass and copper. This metal is a great look for a contemporary or contemporary bathroom. It is a harder metal than brass and is often combined with nickel for bathroom faucets. Bronze: ORB (Oil Rubbed Bronze) is ageless and very popular. It can go with almost any bathroom style. Nickel: The fifth common element on Earth with 65% of mine nickel used to make stainless steel and 9% used for plating. Nickel bathroom fixtures come in polished, satin, or brushed finishes. Chrome: The chrome is a finish applied to a metal or plastic. The most popular choice is polished chrome. Porcelain and vitreous china: Porcelain is used in many bathroom fixtures and most have a vitreous china coating to give it a sheen finish. Many of these are used in combination with other materials like a chrome faucet set with porcelain handles.
If the product isn't certified, then you put yourself and your family in danger. Be sure to check for this certification and guarantee that the faucet is lead-free. Look for NSF Seal of Certification. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) oversees the "certification of plumbing products and materials". It also "helps confirm that they meet applicable American or international standards for a particular use". The NSF states, "Faucets and plumbing products intended for contact with drinking water should be tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components." The American National Standard ensures that these products have a limited amount of impurities. Look for the certification mark on the product, such as "NSF 61" (drinking water components) or "NSF pw" (drinking water components and others).
Fixture Metals and Finishes. It's best to stick with the same type of finish for all the bathroom hardware. Most people also choose to go with the same style. These two factors ensure your bathroom has a designer look and a cohesive design. However, some people prefer a more eclectic look and often go with a mix of styles in the same finish. This is a purely personal choice. If you decide this is your personal style, be sure to keep the style mix balanced. Otherwise, the eclectic look will elude your design leaving only a hodgepodge look that doesn't work. Popular Fixture/Hardware Metal and Finishes. Most metal finishes used in bathroom fixtures are available in brushed, satin, polished, antiqued and satin. The metal finishes can be high-end expensive solid metals or plated metals known as PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating of thin layers of metals, such as aluminum, chromium, titanium, and other metals. Copper: Copper is used in many hand-crafted sinks and tubs. The hammered finish is a popular style for this metal. If you want a unique metal that's also antimicrobial and resists mildew and mold, common problems with bathroom, this is it.
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