What’s The Best Faucet Finish For Hard Water?

When choosing the best faucet finish for hard water, you should first determine whether the minerals in the water will not damage it. Build-up and stains require more work than you'd think, so you would want the finish that will make your life easier. We have researched the best faucet finishes that can withstand the common issues that you encounter with hard water.

The best finish for your faucet depends on its reaction to various concentrations of hard water.

  • Solid brass and zinc alloy prevent corrosion and staining
  • Matte black finishes do not rust, and they hide scratches better
  • Brushed nickel is the most popular finish because of its durability
  • Polished chrome is the most-used bathroom fixture because of its non-tarnishing properties
  • Polished nickel offers a more elegant finish but with the features of a brushed nickel
  • Pewter finishes are nickel plated on brass then weathered to resemble a pewter

Not everyone has the luxury of getting an efficient water filter to remove mineral deposits. However, there are many faucet finishes in the market that can help with your dilemma. If you want to learn more about the best faucet finishes and how to maintain them properly, keep reading below!

An expensive pull down faucet with a black coating, What’s The Best Faucet Finish For Hard Water?

Best Faucet Finishes for Hard Water

There is nothing more frustrating than seeing stains, rust, and corrosion on your faucet. Faucets should make your daily work more convenient, so choosing the most functional finish is the key. Here are the best finishes for hard water.

A chrome finished faucet in the kitchen breakfast bar

Solid Brass

Solid brass is the more economical choice since you will not have to worry about replacing it even after a long time. With the right maintenance, it can last decades.

The wear and tear will add a vintage charm to your space, and even then, it will still be able to fight corrosion and water damage. If you want to enjoy maximum durability, opt for a solid brass structure instead of just a brass finish or plating.

Check out this Brass Faucet on Amazon.

Matte Black

If rust is your primary concern, go for matte black. However, if the concentration of minerals in your water is too high, matte black faucets may be a bad choice. You might start noticing white gunk forming on the surface of your faucet, and it will be very noticeable against black.

However, if you have a reliable filtration system, matte black finishes can be reliable, especially against corrosion, rusting, and fingerprint stains.

Check out this Matte Black Faucet on Amazon.

Brushed Nickel

This is one of the most reliable finishes on the market, preventing stains and water damage from accumulating. The finish also lasts longer compared to other finishes and can maintain its luster for a long time, even with little maintenance.

Check out this Brushed Nickel Faucet on Amazon.

Polished Chrome

Polished Chrome is popular for its shiny finish that makes the bathroom or kitchen gleam. It also comes at a cheaper cost compared to other finishes. However, it may be more difficult to clean since its finish easily reveals fingerprint marks.

One advantage is that it effectively resists rust and corrosion, making it durable for years.

Check out this Polished Chrome on Amazon

Polished Nickel

Polished Nickel has all the benefits that brushed nickel can offer, except it has a more lustrous finish that reflects light. It is also darker than chrome and significantly pricier.

However, it is highly effective in keeping away stains and hard water mineral buildup and can last you a long time with little maintenance.


Pewter finishes are made of nickel plated with brass, making them resistant to corrosion. The finish has a weathered appearance which can be a statement vintage piece in your bathroom or kitchen.

What to Consider When Upgrading Faucets

A bronze coated kitchen faucet in a white kitchen

There are many factors to consider when you decide to upgrade your faucet. It should be able to make your life more convenient with its features and make your space look clean and polished.

Here are the things you should keep an eye out for with your new faucets.

Read: "How Long Does It Take To Replace A Kitchen Faucet."


Figure out first how you want your faucet to be mounted, and which type will fit your structure best.

  • You can go for Deck Mounting which it is placed on the sink's rim
  • You can have it hang on the wall behind the sink, which is good for space-saving
  • You can attach it to the countertop if there is no sink rim, which is popular in modern interiors.

There are also center-set faucets, where all the mechanisms are placed in the middle on top of a single base. Widespread faucets have the mechanisms spread out on the sink with mini faucets on the sides.


A chrome finished kitchen faucet

Your finish will determine how long your faucet will last. Although it will also depend on your water filtration system, your finish can also help with preventing rust and corrosion from forming on the surface.

You should also know that some finishes last longer and are more durable than others. Choose one that best fits your lifestyle and if you can do proper maintenance for a particular faucet finish.


Consider your routine and compare which features best fit your style. Will the spout's height and reach be able to efficiently wash everything you need to clean? Will pull-down sprayers add more flexibility to your routine, or should you stick with conventional sprayers?

Weigh in the possible scenarios and choose which one will make your life more convenient and efficient.


Off course, you need to make sure that your faucet and its finish will blend with your interior.

Having a pleasant-looking faucet can motivate you to finish your tasks or even wash your hands, so it is important that you can enjoy your new fixture aesthetically!


Some faucet functions are better either in the bathroom or the kitchen. For example, having a small faucet may be more suited in the bathroom since you only have your hands or your face to wash.

A larger faucet may be required in the kitchen since you will have large plates to clean. Large sprayers are also more compatible with the kitchen for the same reason, although you can still have that feature in the bathroom.

Read: "Can You Put A Kitchen Faucet In The Bathroom?"


If your only priority is durability, spending at least $70 on a bath faucet and $200 on a kitchen faucet should be enough. If you want more features, be prepared to pay more than that.

Brass faucets are more expensive compared to the more affordable polished chrome. Go for the expensive brass faucets if longevity is your top priority.

Types of Cartridges

The cartridge is the stem of the faucet. It is responsible for opening the lines of water that flow through the sprout.

  • Single-function cartridges only allow one line of hot or cold water. They can have two handles that only allow a single type of water to flow.
  • Dual-function cartridges allow two lines of water to flow with one lever. It allows you to control the temperature more effectively since it allows hot and cold water to mix.

How to Clean your Faucet Properly

A modern designed kitchen faucet in a kitchen with granite countertop

Cleaning your faucet should be a regular practice since they are often exposed to dirt and grime. Be sure to use a soap and cleansing solution that is compatible with your finish so that it won't peel off the surface.

Here is how you can clean your faucet effectively:

  • Wipe regularly to maintain luster
  • Apply vinegar to the surface for heavy cleaning
  • Wipe around the edges using a brush
  • Wash the drain area
  • Use mild surface cleaners to protect your surface
  • Do not use abrasive sponges or brushes to protect the finish
  • Dab a pad of baby oil on the surface of chrome faucets

Why Install a Water Softening System

Installing a water softener in your home protects your appliances. If the mineral concentration of water in your area is greater than 129 mg/L, you need to have a filtration system so your faucets will remain clean and stay healthy.

Unsoftened water will expose you to hard minerals that may harm your health. They also taste and smell different, so you may not be motivated to drink more than 8 glasses of water a day.

Final Thoughts

An expensive pull down faucet with a black coating

There are many faucet finishings on the market that will prevent premature tarnishing. However, it will still depend on the number of deposits in your water, as well as your cleaning practice.

As with all appliances, proper maintenance is key to enjoying them for a long time.

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