Whether you may be looking for a complete kitchen remodel or just looking for some final touches, choosing kitchen cabinet hardware with the perfect look is like proudly donning your favorite jewelry or design accessory. What’s more, if silver-toned hardware options have garnered your attention, you are in good company. Chrome, nickel, and stainless steel kitchen hardware are highly popular. Each gives an extraordinary variation of neutral silver tones, and work well in both contemporary kitchen and adorn traditional spaces too.

The Differences Between Chrome, Nickel and Stainless Steel Hardware

The hues in each metal group vary from white to silver, or a wide range of gray tones, based on the finish and available light. Every component can even show up nearly identical depending upon the surface finish. However, understanding their subtle contrasts will help you with choosing the best material for your kitchen design and maintenance needs.

So, we’ve gathered guidance from our specialists to explain some of the pros and cons of choosing silver-toned metals for your new modern kitchen cabinet doors.


Glossy and bright, kitchen hardware made from chrome is a sophisticated stand out with retro appeal. Standard chrome cabinet has a polished surface that reflects light and shines like a mirror. Satin or brushed chrome gives a more matte finish. Chrome is a metal core plated with a thin chromium veneer. Also, quality chrome hardware is rust proof when cared for and maintained properly.

A few points to consider about chrome cabinet hardware:

  • Polished surfaces can reveal fingerprints and scratches.
  • Chrome may seem dull when damaged. The metal core may become more susceptible to rust if the plating is damaged.
  • The plating on lesser quality chrome can peel or flake.
  • Highly reflective, chrome has the potential to create glare based upon the lighting in the space.

Chrome may require some careful attention, but it is a perfectly dramatic accent when paired with a lighter palette, for example, white, light grey, or delicate, neutral cabinetry. Overall, chrome is an excellent option for any owner looking to put a unique spin on detailing a cutting edge, contemporary, or transitional kitchen design.


Highly versatile, there are a lot of nickel cabinet hardware finishes and tones available. Nickel hardware can sport a high polish, a satin finish, or even modern weathered and antique looks. Made from a metal core plated with a thin nickel veneer, nickel cabinet can be considered by owners for its inherently warmer silver tones. Nickel can also transform into intriguing, darker or textural surfaces and designs – the options are almost limitless!

A few thoughts to consider about nickel hardware:

  • Suggested maintenance includes frequent cleaning and wiping down to help prevent any staining and damage from foods, oil, and grease.
  • Nickel doesn’t resist corrosion and wear, but can dull and tarnish after some time.
  • A lacquered finish can help to slow the regular ageing process.

Of course, nickel hardware is a standout in current trends for all kitchen styles, from traditional to contemporary and even farmhouse rustic. Care for your nickel kitchen hardware, it will treat you well.

Stainless Steel

Stylish, but highly durable, stainless steel kitchen cabinet hardware not only resists corrosion, but is tarnish and scratch-resistant too. Made from a strong metal alloy composed of chromium as well as nickel, stainless steel hardware is generally notorious for its simplicity of care, and often, smooth contemporary feel.

A note on stainless steel cabinet hardware:

  • The limited finish options are actually its only drawback.

Stainless steel hardware is often associated with contemporary, and ionic, bar-pull handles. But, stainless steel serves well in transitional kitchen designs. Durable stainless steel can be as lovely as it is tough.

Become a Master of the Mix

Think about becoming a master of the blend. Blending materials, finishes and tones in your kitchen cabinet can offer your kitchen design a greeting and creative effect.

To find out more about how kitchen cabinet re-facing can transform your kitchen, request a free in-home or virtual consultation, including a customized quote. Our Chilai Kitchen design experts can help you design a kitchen that you’ll love for quite a long time to come. Why wait? Get in touch with us today!