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Home>Resources>Articles>Your Shower Door Hardware Finish Guide

Your Shower Door Hardware Finish Guide

Your Shower Door Hardware Finish Guide

You might think choosing your shower door hardware finish is secondary or an afterthought, but it’s a crucial element in achieving the desired aesthetic and setting the tone and style of your entire bathroom. Each finish offers a unique charm and works best with certain design styles. It’s not just about aesthetics, the finish you choose can also impact the overall feel and functionality of your space. Our guide will explore the most popular finishes, the styles they harmonize with, what interior designers recommend, and the best cleaning practices. We’ll also put the spotlight on the growing trend of mixing finishes in the bathroom and suggest our favorite combinations to make your bathroom stand out!

Matte Black: Bold & Contemporary

a matte black framed glass shower door in an elegant bathroom featuring matte black accessories and fixtures

Matte black has been incredibly popular over the last few years in the home design world. According to Forbes Home, this eye-catching sleek finish adds neutral and daring vibes equally to any space. It's always associated with modern farmhouse and industrial design styles, but is also frequently seen in Boho, eclectic and modern minimalist bathroom designs.

Interior designers often choose matte black for contemporary spaces where clean lines and minimalism are key. It brings a sophisticated look that contrasts beautifully with lighter tiles and fixtures. Its matte feature makes it a great fit in bathrooms where an organic and natural look is a priority. It pairs well with natural wood accents, creating a striking visual appeal.

Beyond aesthetics, matte black is durable enough to withstand all lifestyle types. Its cleaning is relatively simple; you need to use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner, and avoid harsh chemicals and scrubbing pads that can damage the matte surface. A mixture of mild soap and water applied with a soft cloth is ideal.

Matte White: Versatile & Clean

a matte white shower door in a bathroom featuring pastel colors, wooden vanities and brushed gold accessories.

Matte white is the newest superstar of bathroom finishes. It's seen in many incredible designs, particularly in Scandinavian, coastal, and spa-inspired design styles. Its distinctive freshness and clean feel fill the bathroom space with an airy vibe and enhance natural light, aligning with the minimalism direction dominating bathroom designs recently.

When we talk about matte white, versatility is key. Designers favor it for its ability to blend seamlessly with various color palettes and materials. It complements light-colored tiles, soft pastels, and natural elements like bamboo, rattan and stone.

To maintain matte white’s pristine appearance, regular wiping is recommended. Clean with a mild soap solution and a soft cloth. Avoid using colored cleaning products that may stain the finish.

Brushed Gold: Fancy & Luxurious

a glass shower door with brushed gold hardware and black brick-patterned shower wall in a bathroom featuring a balance between dark and light tones.

Another matte finish that’s gaining popularity since 2021 in bathroom design is brushed gold. This finish is synonymous with luxury and sophistication, it elevates bathrooms with warmth, elegance and glamour. It is commonly used in traditional and classic design styles. Interior designers recommend brushed gold for opulent bathrooms with marble surfaces and classic detailing. In addition to that, it pairs well with rich, dark colors and bold patterns.

Like all matte finishes, brushed gold is easy to maintain. It’s recommended to use a gentle cleaner specifically designed for brass or gold finishes. The best way to clean it is by using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, applied with a soft cloth, this will enhance the finish’s durability and keep it looking radiant.

Brushed Nickel: Timeless & Subtle

a semi-framed shower door in the timeless brushed nickel finish

Brushed Nickel is considered a calm cool-toned finish popular in bathrooms where relaxation and tranquility are desired. It never goes out of style and works well in both light and dark spaces, complementing nearly any color palette. It’s often used in transitional and contemporary design styles, offering a softer, more subdued alternative to chrome.

Designers appreciate brushed nickel for its adaptability and subtle sheen. It complements a wide range of materials, from granite to ceramic tiles, creating a balance between traditional and modern elements.

Its matte appearance helps conceal minor imperfections, watermarks and fingerprints, making it a great finish for high-traffic areas. To preserve the durability of brushed nickel, make sure to regularly clean it with a microfiber cloth with a mixture of vinegar and water or a mild soap solution.

Chrome: Sleek & Modern

a tub door with chrome hardware in a modern monochromatic bathroom design.

Moving away from the matte finishes, chrome is the most classic finish for bathroom fixtures. Its high-shine, reflective surface enhances the sleekness of contemporary bathrooms. It's best suited for modern and minimalist design styles. Chrome pairs well with monochromatic color schemes and glass accents, creating a polished, cohesive look. It’s a common choice among homeowners and interior designers thanks to its affordability, versatility, timeless appeal and ease of maintenance.

Chrome’s shiny appearance requires a lot of cleaning, but the process is quite simple. Daily cleaning with warm water and soap is recommended to prevent the buildup of water spots and mineral deposits. For intense water spots, we recommend using vinegar and fresh lemon to remove them. To maintain its reflective quality, apply chrome polish monthly.

FinishStylePreferenceCleaningResistanceDurability
Matte BlackBold & ContemporaryModern, IndustrialModerateLowHigh
Matte WhiteVersatile & cleanScandinavian, CoastalEasyHighHigh
Brushed GoldFancy & LuxuriousGlamourous, TraditionalModerateModerateModerate
Brushed NickelTimeless & SubtleTransitional, ContemporaryModerateHighHigh
ChromeSleek & ModernModern, MinimalistEasyLowModerate

Quick comparison between all popular shower door finishes

The Trend of Mixing Finishes

For so long, matching finishes throughout the bathroom was the norm to create a cohesive look. Now, interior designers are embracing the concept of mixing finishes, adding depth and layers of visual interest to create unique and personalized spaces. Designers recommend using no more than three finishes in one room, with one as the dominant finish and the others as accents. For a cohesive balance, mix warm-toned finishes with cool-toned finishes. Here are some combinations we admire:

Matte Black and Brushed Gold

This combination exudes luxury with a modern edge. Use matte black for the shower doors and brushed gold for fixtures like faucets, towel bars and mirror frames.

Brushed Nickel and Chrome

Combining matte and glossy finishes offers a subtle contrast while complementing each other. Brushed nickel for the shower door and chrome for accessories create a balanced look.

Matte White and Matte Black

This striking combination is ideal for a monochromatic or modern design style. Use matte white for the shower door and matte black for fixtures to create a bold contrast that is both sophisticated and stylish.

Conclusion

By considering the style harmony, designer preferences, and proper cleaning methods for each shower door finish, you can easily realize the bathroom of your dreams. Embrace the trend of mixing finishes to add a touch of sophistication and individuality to your bathroom. Whether you prefer the boldness of matte black, the luxury of brushed gold, or the timeless of brushed nickel, there's a perfect finish to suit your style.

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