Should Your Kitchen Faucets’ Material Match Your Other Hardware?

When designing or renovating your kitchen, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is what finish and material to use for your kitchen hardware – your faucets, cabinet pulls, light fixtures, and more. Many homeowners wonder if they should match all of their hardware, selecting the same material and finish throughout, or if it’s ok to mix metals and finishes for a more eclectic look. There are pros and cons to both approaches, so let’s explore them in more detail.

The Case for Matching Kitchen Hardware Finishes

Here are some of the benefits of selecting matching finishes for all your kitchen hardware:

Achieves a Cohesive, Unified Look

Choosing kitchen faucets, cabinet hardware, pendant lights, and other details in the same finish creates a polished, pulled-together look. Using the same metal finish, whether it’s brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or matte black, ensures all the hardware has visual harmony. This can make a kitchen feel tranquil and serene.

Matching hardware finishes also show that thought and care went into the kitchen design. It demonstrates an attention to detail that many homeowners find appealing.

Enhances Styles Like Traditional and Transitional

For traditional kitchens, as well as transitional spaces blending traditional and contemporary elements, matching hardware finishes helps reinforce the cohesive feel. The consistent look emphasizes classic, timeless design.

Kitchens featuring furniture-style cabinetry, elegant moldings, and other traditional details benefit from uniformly finished hardware in brushed nickel, antique brass, or other complementary metals. Matching finishes help the space flow beautifully.

Can Simplify Selection Process

Choosing all kitchen hardware in the same metal and finish streamlines the selection process. You don’t need to try to coordinate finishes across different pieces. Finding all hardware to match is straightforward.

This simplicity can be especially helpful for DIYers or those without much design experience. It removes the potential stress of coordinating different metal finishes.

Easier Long-Term Maintenance

When all kitchen hardware finishes match, it’s simpler to maintain that cohesive look over time. As pieces need replacement, you can easily find replacements in the same finish.

If your kitchen has a mix of finishes that you later want to match, it likely means replacing some existing hardware so everything coordinates. Maintaining a matching look from the start saves time and money down the road.

Reasons to Mix Kitchen Hardware Finishes

On the other hand, there are also some great reasons you may want to incorporate different metal finishes in your kitchen:

Creates Interest and Contrast

Thoughtfully mixing metal finishes, like pairing black hardware with brass accents, can bring visual intrigue to a kitchen. Using finishes in the same color family, like oil-rubbed bronze and antique brass, can offer delightful contrast while still coordinating.

The key is ensuring the mixed metals make sense together and don’t feel haphazard or clash. When done intentionally, it creates depth.

Suits Contemporary and Eclectic Kitchens

While matching metals align with traditional kitchen aesthetics, mixing finishes is ideal for contemporary, modern, and eclectic spaces. The blend of materials suits these forward-looking styles.

Industrial kitchens also frequently incorporate a blend of metal finishes, like pairing sleek nickel with rugged black iron. The contrast showcases the eclectic industrial vibe.

Allows Customization of Each Area

One benefit of selecting different finishes in a kitchen is the ability to customize each zone. For example, you may opt for a warm antique brass faucet to contrast with cool stainless steel appliances. Or use dark hardware for island cabinets and lighter hardware for the perimeter.

Having two or three coordinated finishes to work with provides more opportunities for customization in the kitchen.

Easier to Incorporate Existing Pieces

If your kitchen remodel will include re-using some existing hardware, it may be easier to incorporate those pieces by complementing them with new hardware in different finishes. This avoids the need to replace everything for a cohesive match.

For example, you may already have an oil-rubbed bronze faucet you want to keep. Pairing it with matte black hardware allows it to work together while giving a stylish mixed-metal look.

Tips for Successfully Mixing Metal Finishes

If you opt to mix your kitchen hardware finishes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick with finishes in the same color family. Pairing similar tones like brushed nickel and stainless steel prevents clashes.
  • Use restraint. Select 2-3 finishes at most. Too many looks disjointed.
  • Consider ratios. If pairing a dominant and accent finish, use the accent finish sparingly.
  • Group consistency. Keep each area cohesive, like all hardware at the sink matching.
  • Transition carefully. Use an intermediary finish to transition between very different metals.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Faucet Finish

One of the most important hardware decisions is selecting the right faucet finish. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a finish for your kitchen faucet:

Match With Sink Material

Match faucet finishes to sink finishes to create a unified look. For example, choose an oil-rubbed bronze faucet for a copper farmhouse sink or a stainless faucet for a stainless sink.

Complement Countertops

Consider the look of your countertop when selecting a faucet finish. Cool-toned materials like quartz, granite, and marble pair best with polished chrome, stainless steel, or other shiny finishes. Warm wood countertops complement antique, oil-rubbed, and brushed bronze faucets.

Factor in Cabinetry Style

What’s the door style and finish of your kitchen cabinets? The faucet finish should work with the cabinet look. For traditional cabinets with stained wood doors, go for an antique brass or nickel faucet. Modern white lacquer cabinets can pair with a striking matte black faucet.

Fit With Overall Style

Most importantly, choose a faucet finish that enhances your kitchen’s overall design style. Traditional kitchens need traditional metals like brushed nickel or antique brass. Contemporary spaces look best with matte black or polished chrome faucets.

Consider Maintenance

Factor in ease of care when choosing a faucet finish. Fingerprint-resistant finishes like brushed nickel are lowest maintenance. Polished brass and oil-rubbed bronze will patina and change over time.

Best Kitchen Faucet Finishes

Here is an overview of some of the most popular kitchen faucet finishes, along with the pros and cons of each:


Pros: Most affordable option, easy to clean, matches stainless steel

Cons: Can look dull over time, shows water spots

Works Best With: Contemporary, modern, urban, eclectic spaces

Stainless Steel

Pros: Sleek, neutral look, easy to clean, durable finish

Cons: Can be on the cooler side, shows fingerprints

Works Best With: Modern, transitional, urban kitchens

Matte Black

Pros: Striking contemporary look, doesn’t show fingerprints

Cons: Can be hard to match with other finishes

Works Best With: Modern, urban industrial, modern farmhouse spaces

Brushed Nickel

Pros: Warm metal with silvery undertones, durable, low maintenance

Cons: Less bold than some other finishes

Works Best With: Transitional, farmhouse, traditional, and eclectic kitchens

Polished Brass

Pros: Timeless and trendy, warm undertones, patinas nicely over time

Cons: Fingerprint magnet, needs frequent polishing

Works Best With: Traditional, transitional, modern traditional, glam spaces

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Pros: Rich, warm look, ages beautifully over time

Cons: Needs vigilant cleaning, not great with stainless appliances

Works Best With: Farmhouse, traditional, Tuscan, rustic kitchens

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Faucet Finishes

Here are answers to some common questions homeowners have about selecting finishes for kitchen faucets:

Are stainless steel and chrome the same finish?

Stainless steel and chrome are similar in appearance – both have a silvery, mirror-like look. However, stainless steel contains iron so it has a warmer, grayer undertone compared to chrome’s blue undertones. Stainless also shows fewer fingerprints.

What finish is easiest to keep clean?

Brushed nickel and chrome are the easiest kitchen faucet finishes to keep clean. Their smooth, shiny surfaces resist showing water spots and fingerprints. Stainless steel also repels fingerprints quite well.

Does oil-rubbed bronze match stainless steel appliances?

Oil-rubbed bronze has a dark, reddish-brown color, so it generally does not match stainless steel appliances well. It’s better suited for kitchens with black, copper, or wood tones. For stainless appliances, try polished chrome, brushed nickel or stainless steel faucets.

Can you mix nickel and stainless faucets?

Thanks to their similar silvery shine, it is possible to incorporate brushed nickel and stainless steel finishes in the same kitchen successfully. Pair them with chrome or silver accents for a cohesive look. Just don’t overmix too many finishes.

Which finish looks best with white cabinets?

For bright white cabinets, opt for faucet finishes with some contrast like polished chrome, matte black or brass. Stainless steel and brushed nickel also pair well. Stay away from oil-rubbed bronze or antiqued metals as they may look dull.


The decision about whether your kitchen faucet finish should match your other hardware comes down to personal preference and the overall style you want to achieve. For a seamless, elegant look, match metals throughout for visual harmony. To add interest, consider blending two or three complementary finishes. Factor in your cabinetry, counters, appliances, and decor when selecting finishes to ensure your hardware choices enhance your kitchen’s design. With some thoughtful planning, you can pick the perfect faucet and hardware finishes to create your ideal kitchen look and style.