For a touch of class and luxury for your bathroom at an affordable price, you can't go wrong with some nice, well-fitted taps and fittings. A wide range of metals are suitable for use in bathroom fittings and are available in an array of styles and finishes; however, you have other concerns when choosing a metal besides looks. Different metals and bathroom hardware can withstand different levels of wear and tear, and prices can vary wildly. You should also take the pH and salinity of your local water supply into account, as some metals will be vulnerable to their tarnishing effects. With this in mind, here are two of the best materials for bathroom fittings.
A classic choice, brass is versatile, long-lasting and widely available. The subtle golden tones of brass complement a wide variety of bathroom styles, and it is also available in a wide variety of finishes. Polished brass adds class and charm to a traditional bathroom, while brushed 'satin' brass is a more subdued and elegant look suitable for modern styles.
Regarding price, brass can be remarkably cheap, especially if choosing a simple, classical style or finish. More modern styles can cost considerably more, and certain brass finishes, such as oil rubbed brass, can add a significant premium to the cost of your fittings.
Brass is a fairly durable metal when it comes to everyday wear and tear and is also highly resistant to corrosion and rust caused by high-salinity tap water. However, brass can quickly accumulate unsightly deposits of limescale and other mineral deposits in hard water areas and should be cleaned regularly to prevent tarnishing of the finish. Be aware that cheap brass fittings will often have steel components in areas hidden during everyday use, which are much more vulnerable to corrosion.
Stainless steel is a common choice in modern bathrooms, but you shouldn't discount it for its ubiquity. The huge availability of stainless steel bathroom fittings means that you can find them in every conceivable style or finish, from classic polished chrome finishes to eye-catching hammered nickel surfaces, so you're certain to find a set that perfectly matches your bathroom.
Another reason you may be attracted to stainless steel is its price, and even high-end fittings with intricate finishes can cost less than some standard brass or copper finishes. However, the very cheapest models are neither durable nor reliable, so it's worth dropping as much as your bathroom budget allows on a truly robust set of fittings.
Stainless steel's real drawback is its vulnerability to hard water, which tends to leave large limescale deposits and unsightly water spots on your fittings. Low-grade stainless steels also have a nasty tendency of holding stains caused by excessive limescale build-up, so it's important to keep stainless steel taps well cleaned and maintained. As with brass fittings, beware of hidden steel components that can quickly rust.
For more information on choosing builders hardware for your bathroom, contact your local contractors today.