The sleek, luxurious look of bronze in kitchens and bathrooms has been a popular choice for designer and "do-it-yourselfers" for generations. The high-end finish choice doesn't seem to ever go out of date. Color variations for different finishes of bronze range from warm and light to rich and dark. Whether you are choosing all new fixtures or attempting to blend bronze fixtures in one space, knowing the differences among the many types of bronze can make the process easier.
Bronze comes in a variety of finishes with a range of styles, all of which are relatively easy to care for.
Benefits of Brushed Bronze
It's chic and easier to clean than oil-rubbed bronze and it keeps its luxurious look through decades of decor trends. Brushed bronze is a good choice for your kitchens and bathrooms for many reasons.
Brushed bronze has a more contemporary style than the darker sheen of oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. They instantly bring up the aesthetic of the room and create a high-end flair. Brushed bronze works better for busy households, because brushed bronze bathroom and kitchen fixtures are easier to clean than oil-rubbed bronze faucets.
Venetian Bronze Vs. Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Venetian bronze and oil-rubbed bronze are very similar in look and style. they are both beautiful and offer a high-end look to bathrooms and kitchens. An oil-rubbed bronze bathroom faucet can require just a bit more care to keep its sheen compared with a Venetian bronze fixture, but both hold a certain charm.
The lighter colors of Venetian bronze lean more toward a pewter style. The brushed bronze counterpart has a matte, powder-coated finish and reflects more light than the oil-rubbed bronze. It is smooth to the touch and costs slightly more than the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures.
The dark brownish-black matte finish on the oil-rubbed bronze is slightly slick with an oily surface. The finish is commonly made from brass, then plated with copper and treated with a slick, dark solution. It comes in much darker finishes than other bronze varieties and can make a dramatic impact as a kitchen or bathroom fixture.
Cleaning Oil-Rubbed Bronze Fixtures
Cleaning an oil-rubbed fixture regularly and with the correct techniques and detergents will keep it shiny and bright while removing minerals and corrosive materials that can collect on the spout. Not all cleaning solutions are the same for oil-rubbed bronze. Steel wool or abrasive cleaners can scratch the surface of oil-rubbed bronze or brushed bronze fixtures.
Rubbing alcohol or vinegar, which are typically harmless, can cause damage and corrosion over time if left on the finish and if used daily. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water sprayed onto the faucet and quickly wiped off and rinsed thoroughly can remove mineral deposits and stubborn stains and won't create scratches on the surface. The oil-rubbed bronze color can be damaged if these solutions are allowed to sit on the finish.
Oil-rubbed bronze requires extra care to protect the finish. Most homes have hard water and can create unsightly spots and a ring of crust around the fixture's base. Overstock suggests that you use a clean soft cloth dipped in liquid furniture wax, not polish, to clean the fixture and protect the surface about once a month.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.