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4 Hardware Materials for Kitchens and Bathrooms


When it comes to choosing hardware for your kitchen and bathroom, there are plenty of options on the market. Not only is the finish you choose important for the design, but the material makeup of the hardware will determine its lifespan and upkeep. Each material has its own advantages, and the price between them can vary significantly. To help make the decision easier, we’re walking you through four hardware materials we like to use in the kitchens and bathrooms we design.

Acrylic Hardware

Acrylic hardware offers a contemporary and sleek alternative for modern kitchens and bathrooms. It presents a minimalist and elegant look that can seamlessly blend with various design styles. Despite its visually appealing attributes, acrylic hardware is more affordable than some other materials. Additionally, it is lightweight and resistant to corrosion, making it an attractive choice for moisture-prone areas. Acrylic hardware may not be as strong and durable as metal options, and could be susceptible to scratches and chips with heavy use. Proper care and gentle handling can help maintain its pristine appearance and prolong its lifespan. Pembrooke & Ives has used acrylic hardware in a variety of low-traffic areas such as closets and bathrooms to avoid scratches and dents. Acrylic handles are typically paired with stronger metal mounts to increase its durability.

Stainless Steel Hardware

Stainless steel hardware stands as a favored option for contemporary kitchens and bathrooms due to its strength, durability, and excellent resistance to corrosion and rust. The material’s easy cleaning makes it all the more appealing to homeowners, and seamlessly matches stainless steel appliances in kitchens. Available in brushed and polished finishes, stainless steel is prone to fingerprints and smudges, but can be easily be wiped clean. Stainless steel hardware comes at a higher cost compared to zinc, but we recommend stainless steel as the baseline quality for our clients. We typically specify stainless steel hardware in coastal environments where salt and moisture would corrode other materials.

Brass Hardware

Brass hardware serves as a timeless option for kitchens and bathrooms, offering durability along with a warm and elegant aesthetic. Its resistance to corrosion and rust, as well as natural antimicrobial qualities, adds to its appeal. Brass can be coated in an array of finishes, from its untreated gold color, to matte black, to polished chrome, and everything in between. Uncoated brass demands more maintenance compared to other materials, as it can tarnish over time and may require periodic polishing. While it requires more upkeep, many clients of ours love the look of uncoated brass, as it ages naturally over time into a unique finish. For those who want the finish to remain consistent for years to come, many manufacturers can apply protective coatings. We love specifying brass hardware in kitchens and bathrooms due to its timeless aesthetic and durable qualities.

Ocean-front Compound - Modern kitchen with stainless steel hood, white counters, and blue accent...
Ocean-front Compound, Photography by Kris Tamburello

Solid Bronze Hardware

Solid bronze hardware represents the epitome of luxury compared to other options for kitchens and bathrooms. Its premium material boasts a unique and opulent appearance, while providing strength, durability, and exceptional resistance to corrosion and rust. The material can also be easily plated in any finish. Solid bronze hardware does require consistent maintenance to preserve its quality and may be susceptible to scratches and dents over longer periods of time, but we consider this option to be top-of-the-line, and specify this material for clients who want the highest quality materials in their home.

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