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Established 1997

Polished or Brushed Chrome Sockets: What’s the Difference?

2 Gang Plug Socket

A common question when it comes to choosing materials is the difference between polished and brushed chrome. More specifically, what’s better: polished or brushed chrome sockets?

When it comes to interior design, it’s the small finishing touches that make all the difference. Small finishing touches like the type of chrome on your plug socket can make or break your decor.

In this guide, we’ll look through the difference between polished chrome and brushed chrome plug sockets, detailing how each is made and what their benefits are. We’ll also take you through our impressive range of quality chrome sockets and switches.

What is Chrome?

Elemental Chromium specimen sample isolated on black background, mining and gemstone concept.

First of all, what exactly is chrome? Chrome is a product of chrome plating. Chrome plating is a process whereby the chemical element chromium, a steely hard transition metal, is electroplated onto a metal object. Chrome is simply the name of the finished product that derives from this technique.

Items with a chrome finish are often applied on a base material which is typically made of steel, aluminium, plastic, copper alloy, and zinc alloys. The chrome plating allows for a sleek finish that elevates the look and design.

In fact, the word chrome is synonymous with a stylish and very modern metallic aesthetic, often seen in Art Deco design, for instance. This is especially apparent when used for decorative purposes. 

The attractive look of chrome is not its only advantage. Chrome also comes with a range of functional benefits, including corrosion resistance, an easier-to-clean surface, and an increase in surface hardness with chrome plating that’s used for industrial purposes.

While chrome is often associated with automobiles or automotive use, it’s also a very common material for tools, kitchen utensils, and household parts like plug sockets and light switches. It’s used so frequently for these purposes because of its exceptional corrosion resistance, enabling it to perform well with heavy usage and still look good.

Brushed Chrome vs Polished Chrome Sockets 

So, what’s the difference between brushed chrome and polished chrome? These metallic finishes have a similar look. They are both comparable to nickel but with a blue sheen which contrasts with the more yellowish hue of nickel. While both materials may appear to be almost identical there are some important differences, especially when it comes to choosing between polished or brushed chrome sockets.

Polished Chrome Sockets

Polished chrome sockets have a mirrorlike finish which is highly reflective. The corrosion resistance of the finish protects the socket from oxidisation and rust, making for a durable accessory to your home. 

Polished chrome does not stain easily, making it a fantastic choice for plug sockets and light switches which get a lot of daily use. The striking sheen of its finish is surprisingly versatile, able to slot seamlessly into a variety of home decor styles, from period to chic modernism.

One downside of polished chrome is that fingerprints and watermarks can show up more easily on the shiny surface. These are very easy to wipe away, however, so shouldn’t dissuade you completely from polished chrome finishes.

Brushed Chrome Sockets

Brushed chrome sockets have a satin/matt finish as opposed to the reflective sheen of polished chrome. The brushed effect comes from a process of finely scratching the chrome plate’s surface after the plating has been completed. These scratches work to significantly lessen the reflectiveness of the chrome’s surface.

One of the greatest benefits of a brushed chrome socket is its obscuring of fingerprints and marks. Thus, if you have a switch and socket that will be frequently used, brushed chrome is a wise choice because of its cleaner look. In recent years, brushed chrome has actually become one of the most popular finishes for switches and sockets because of its combination of chic aesthetic and practical functionality. 

The elegant subtlety of a brushed chrome socket will work well in a contemporary property, complementing a variety of decors with its simple style.

Our Superb Range of Chrome Sockets and Switches

We are a leading supplier of beautifully-crafted home accessories and are proud of our full range of quality dimmers, light switches, and plug sockets in our Contour range. The Contour range presents the perfect upgrade from traditional white plastic moulded plates, allowing you to bring a truly elevated interior design style to your home’s sockets and switches.

All of the options below are simple to install and are made in the UK to the highest standards of quality. With simple installation and considered craftsmanship, a polished chrome socket from Stair Rods Direct is designed to last. And if you like the look of these chrome sockets, have a look at the other exquisite finishes available, like antique bronze and satin brass.

1 Gang Plug Socket

Gang Plug Socket

Our 1 gang plug sockets are made of brass plates and are available in a beautiful chrome finish. The curved edges have a modern look and the black inserts offer a more stylish alternative to unattractive white inserts often seen on plug sockets. The recommended back box minimum for this socket is 25mm.

2 Gang Plug Socket

2 Gang Plug Socket

The 2 gang option offers the same sophisticated curved look but with the added benefit of a double plug socket. Again, we recommend a minimum back box of 25mm for this option.

2 Gang Plug Socket and USB

2 Gang Plug Socket with USB

For multiple devices and enhanced usage, choose this socket with 2 gang with additional USB ports. For this premium option, a 35mm back box depth is recommended.

Find the Best Chrome Finish Products With Stair Rods Direct

If you’re searching for chrome sockets and light switches, why not view our other chrome-finish products? Choose from polished or brushed chrome on an impressive range of stair rods, door threshold strips, stair nosing, and inlays. With matching accessories like these, you’ll be able to create a cohesive look throughout your home with sleek, chic chrome that looks flawless and though-out.
View our brushed chrome range and our polished chrome range.