What’s the difference: part 1 of 3

Cliffside’s customer service representatives field hundreds of questions a day. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common, and an overwhelming majority related to comparisons of Cliffside’s finishes. In this three-part series, we’ll examine some of the finishes that Cliffside offers as part of its signature line and clarify the similarities and differences between them.

What’s the difference between…

…polished chrome and polished nickel?

Cliffside’s polished chrome, or PC, finish is similar to the color of chrome you would find on a car. It’s a classic finish with a variety of uses, from traditional to contemporary. It has a high-polish lacquer on it to maintain that timeless reflective shine.

Polished nickel (PN) is also a high-polish gray finish, like PC. However, the major difference comes from the color tone. Where polished chrome tends slightly more toward colder, bluer tones, polished nickel is more warm and yellow-hued. Designers who have compared the two say that the polished nickel is slightly darker.

Below, you can compare the finishes for yourself on a solid brass knob:

161 knob, shown in PC (left) and PN (right)

Polished chrome is also available on zinc die-cast hardware; with a different base material, PC looks nearly identical. Polished nickel is a premium finish only available on solid brass hardware.

…polished nickel and silver satin?

Above, you can see that polished nickel has a high-gloss lacquer. Silver satin, or SS, also has a lacquer, but it is a clear lacquer with much less sheen. The color of “silver satin” is actually a brushed nickel finish, and is comparable to much of the brushed stainless steel that you will find on the market today.

Silver satin and polished nickel (along with polished chrome, above) are part of Cliffside’s ten signature finishes, which means that they are available on all of the pieces shown in the Cliffside solid brass hardware suites. When viewed next to one another, you can see that SS is merely a brushed version of PN.

See the similarities below:

K341 cup pull, shown in PN (above) and SS (below)
K341 cup pull, shown in PN (above) and SS (below)

…silver satin, brushed nickel, and stainless steel?

These three finishes are all very similar in the Cliffside line. Silver satin is available on both solid brass and zinc die-cast hardware. It is similar to brushed nickel, but items like K-514 will be slightly different due to their underlying material and finish process. All Cliffside stainless steel is brushed, not polished, so its color tone is also very like the SS.

Compare the three side-by-side:

At left: solid brass items #100 and #SP-3; center, zinc die-cast items #K-514 and #P-195; at right, stainless steel items #T565-30 and T366-96
At left: solid brass items #100 and #SP-3; center: zinc die-cast items #K-514 and #P-195; at right: stainless steel items #T565-30 and #T366-96

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