Chrome Plating vs Stainless Steel: What's the Difference and Which Is Better?

By oriplast |  January 1, 2023 |  No comments |  2285 views

Chrome plating and stainless steel are two of the most commonly used metal finishes in the construction industry. From residential kitchens and baths to commercial kitchens, homeowners often choose one over the other based on aesthetics and maintenance needs. Let's take a closer look at these two popular finishes so you can make an informed decision.

What is Chrome Plating?

Chrome plating involves covering any material (metal or PVC) with a thin layer of chromium. Technically, as far as metal objects are concerned, the technique is called electroplating. However, polymers do not react to electroplating. They are first dipped in a chrome sulfur or palladium chloride bath. It etches the initial metal layer. Then, the polymer core object is electroplated. The bright finish of chrome makes any object better polished and modern look, feel and protection against elements. It is especially applicable to bath fittings and fixtures.

Why is Chrome-plated PVC polymer better than Stainless Steel?

There are several reasons that make modern chrome-plated (CP) PVC bath fittings and fixtures a better alternative to conventional metal and stainless steel products.

1. Chrome plating offers better shine and lustre than stainless steel. Even the highly polished SS fittings lose their lustre over time. Chrome does not require polishing and retains shine much longer, even without regular maintenance.

2. PVC fittings and fixtures are much lighter than SS metal alternatives. It allows easy handling, installation and maintenance.

3. Polymer fittings and fixtures are easy to shape in various styles, making them a better choice in terms of look and feel than metals.

4. Unlike stainless steel, chrome-plated PVC fittings are better for hot and cold water supply as you get the least tactile variation in temperature while using fittings in bathrooms or kitchens.

5. Modern PVC polymers offer the same level of sturdiness as metal fittings at a much more affordable price.

6. Chrome-plated PVC offers better value for money against water-induced corrosion and sedimentation.

CP or SS: which is right for you?

Choosing between chrome-plated and stainless steel is a matter of use cases and personal preference. Areas with high mineral content in water may reduce the life span of metal fittings and fixtures, but chrome plating can help. Stainless steel might have a traditional feel. On the other hand, choose chrome plating if you are looking for a shiny, modern look. Besides, you can redesign your bathroom or kitchen with a new set of CP fittings within a limited budget; it may not be possible if you opt for stainless steel.

How to take care of CP fittings and fixtures?

Water spots or fingerprints on the surface of fittings and fixtures reduce their shine. It makes them dull and worn. However, too much scrubbing can also damage the surface. So, gently wipe clean chrome-plated fittings and fixtures with a dry cotton cloth. Avoid using harsh acidic, or alkaline cleaning agents.


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