Faucet:  Brass / Zinc Faucet

NO IMAGE A Faucet, also known as a spigot or tap is a valve controlling release of liquids or gas.  Most water and gas taps have adjustable flow where turning the knob or working the lever sets the flow rate by adjusting the size of an opening in the valve assembly, giving rise to choked flow through the narrow opening in the valve.  The choked flow rate is independent of the viscosity or temperature of the fluid or gas in the pipe, and depends only weakly on the supply pressure, so that flow rate is stable at a given setting.  At intermediate flow settings the pressure at the valve restriction drops nearly to zero from the venturi effect; in water taps, this causes the water to boil momentarily at room temperature as it passes through the restriction.

Bubbles of cool water vapor form and collapse at the restriction, causing the familiar hissing sound.  At very low flow settings, the viscosity of the water becomes important and the pressure drops (and hissing noise) vanishes.  At full flow settings, parasitic drag in the pipes becomes important and the water again becomes quiet.

Faucets are availablewith manual and automatic features, where an automatic faucet or sensor faucet is a hands-free mechanism for opening and closing its valve.  The use of such faucets is mainly confined to public washrooms where they are an important tool for conserving water and mitigating the spread of germs.

Faucet Material Composition

The faucet finish is a matter of personal choice. The two most popular finishes are polished chrome and polished brass. But in recent years other finishes have become more popular such as stainless steel and satin or brushed nickel.  The finish is a crucial choice that determines not only how a faucet looks but also how easy it is to maintain. 

Brass / Zinc:


Brass has been a common finish since the nineteenth century. It is a warm finish and an alloy of copper and zinc and is the most widely used material for faucets due to its resistance to soft-water corrosion and hard-water calcification. It usually contains some alloying elements like bismuth to make it easier to process. The majority of the other components that make up a faucet are made of other metals or ceramics.

Polished Brass: These are solid brass fixtures that are polished and buffed to a high sheen. A coat of lacquer is then applied at the factory to give the surface a coating that will restrict tarnishing. This finish should be cleaned with a soft cloth only. Plumbers putty should not be used on these fixtures as it will affect the finish.

Antique Brass: Solid brass that has an antique appearance. This finish matches most home decor well.

Satin Brass: The look of satin brass is achieved by hand sateening the finish after polishing. As with unlacquered polished brass, this is a natural finish protected by a wax coating. It can be regularly polished to retain it's sheen or left to age gracefullly as the brass oxidizes.



A Bronze finish is very dark and varies from a deep chocolate brown to a dark gray. It fits a variety of home decor, from vintage to contemporary as well as hides water spots and requires minimal care. It should be cleaned with soap and water when needed. Oil rubbed bronze is a a popular choice for faucets, showers, and door hardware.

Oil Rubbed Bronze: It also has a satin-like finish and does not show marks easily.



Chrome and combination chrome-and-brass finishes are popular for baths. Chrome is the most durable and affordable material. Chrome finishes are classic and are very durable. Rub chrome with baby oil and a soft cloth to give it a brilliant shine.

Polished Chrome: Polished Chrome is a classic finish that fits beautifully with a wide variety of fixture styles and decor. It works well with a nostalgic look or contemporary style.

Satin Chrome: This finish is buffed with fine abrasives to create a satin silver-like finish. Matches well with stainless steel appliances and natural pewter.



Gold fixtures can provide a dramatic constrast to bright white fixtures. A gold finish goes well with period styles and adds a luxurious and warm accent to your bathroom.

Polished Gold: This is a classic finish that fits beautifully with a wide variety of fixture styles and decor.

Satin Gold: This finish is buffed with fine abrasives to create a satin gold-like finish and matches well with stainless steel appliances and natural pewter.



Copper is a striking, rich-looking finish that gives a beautiful, warm vintage look and is often used in traditional, Italian-style or country homes. Today's homeowners are turning copper into a mainstream accent for kitchens, baths and bars. Copper is known to keep bacteria at bay, providing a healthier environment.

Antique Copper: It has a satin-like finish and is treated to look like old copper.

Nickel, Pewter and Satin:


Nickel, Pewter and Satin finishes are also easy to maintain. Their muted tones hide water spots, scratches and fingerprints. They also match door and cabinet handles. Nickel has experienced a resurgence in recent years. It is sometimes brushed to create matte or satin nickel finishes. The brushing highlights the beauty of the nickel and creates a low maintenance finish that hides scratches, fingerprints, and water spots.

Polished Nickel: The traditional finish. Polished nickel has a slightly warmer tone than chrome. The finish is also quite durable.

Satin Nickel: Similar to matte nickel, satin nickel has a brushed appearance. This finish is similar to matte chrome but with very slight soft gold tone, so subtle that you will not notice unless you put it next to a "whiter" metal. Color also matches some stainless steel, as some stainless is not as "white" as others. Satin Nickel is sometimes referred to as brushed nickel.



Modern Pewter is a non-toxic alloy of tin combined with small amounts of copper and antimony. Pewter can be washed with warm soap water and dried immediately with a soft cloth afterwards. Pewter maintains its luster for a lifetime and more, with little or no maintenance. Pewter is also unmistakably elegant and will easily fit most decor.

Antique Pewter: Pewters' muted tones hide water spots, scratches and fingerprints. They also match door and cabinet handles.

Painted or Enamel finish:

Painted or enamel finishes may be the easiest way to individualize a faucet and coordinate it with the rest of the bath but these finishes aren't bonded to the metal like plating, they chip and scratch relatively easily.