Here’s our brass bathroom hardware guide including their different finishes and popular types of brass bathroom accessories. Hardware and accessories make a bathroom more efficient and add design elements to a room homeowners tend to overlook. Brass bathroom hardware, includes accessories such as toilet paper holders, shower curtain rods, towel bars, faucets, shower heads, robe hooks, and more. They are an excellent fit for anywhere from antique interior design themes to ultra-modern décor.
Brass is a stunning metal for the smaller bathroom pieces, and the golden sheen elevates a bathroom’s look and feel. Brass bathroom hardware can include numerous items and looks the best when paired with neutral wall colors and simple designs or as part of a vintage, antique bathroom scheme.
What Is Brass Bathroom Hardware?
When you compare the more prominent bathroom elements such as the sink, toilet, bathtub, shower, and cabinetry, it’s almost impossible to add too many pieces of brass hardware. But be sure the brass hardware purchased for your bathroom is solid brass, not another metal with a brass finish.
Solid brass is frequently used for plumbing and bathroom hardware because of its resistance to leakage and corrosion. It does cost more but will stand up to frequent use and last much longer than other metals or materials.
Materials with a brass plating or brass finish are prone to rust and cracks, and the finish ultimately peels off the surface. When purchasing brass bathroom hardware, there will be a noticeable difference in the weight. Solid brass is much heavier than most other materials.
Brass Bathroom Hardware Finishes
When brass is exposed to air, it reacts to oxygen and can break down into other materials due to oxidization. It’s this process that causes rust or tarnish. When brass is buffed to give it a finished look, it needs to be protected from oxidization, so a finish is added for protection.
The two main finish types result in a shiny surface or an antique finish. Under these two categories are the many kinds of brass bathroom hardware finishes. The finish you choose depends on your bathroom’s design style.
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Solid brass that’s polished and finished with a lacquer to protect the surface from tarnish is known as polished brass. Polished brass bathroom hardware has a bright shiny surface and is the most common type of brass finish used*
*A note of caution, shiny brass bathroom hardware made not be solid brass. It may be made from other metals or plastic and coated with a lacquered brass finish. Always check the packaging or ask a sales representative if it’s solid brass.
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Brushed brass has a bright modern finish yet offers a soft glow. The surface typically has obscure brush marks resembling a wiped pattern and is similar to satin brass with a matte finish. Brushed brass resists fingerprints, tarnish, and watermarks and offers a classy look without being overstated.
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Brass bathroom hardware with an antique finish has the distressed look of older brass, but the appearance is done through the finish.
After the brass is buffed, a chemical, ferric nitrate, is applied to speed up the oxidation from the surface being left exposed. The finish limits the amount of oxidation to create a patina that does not degrade into tarnish.
Homeowners who have authentic antique brass pieces in their bathrooms choose this finish for brass bathroom hardware to match the theme. Antique brass finishes are also used when the shiny brass hardware may be too reflective for a bathroom.
As with Brushed Brass, bathroom appliances made with satin brass do not have a shine but instead have a smooth, satin finish without brush marks.
Satin brass also resists fingerprints, watermarks, and tarnish and carries an elegant look for any décor, including a country style, antique, and traditional.
Types Of Brass Bathroom Accessories
Brass bathroom accessories aren’t limited to faucets and towel bars. Brass accessories can include mirror framing, drain covers, glass shower door handles, heating and air conditioning vents, and switch plate covers.
Additional items include light fixtures, soap holders, cabinet hardware, and light pulls. The hardware and accessories chosen for brass should complement each other and the room color scheme as a whole. It’s also recommended to maintain the same brass finish throughout the bathroom.
Bathroom cabinets may be mounted or part of a freestanding self, but a bathroom vanity includes a countertop with a sink and an enclosed underside with storage.
Bathroom vanities hide plumbing under the sink and provide a finished look. Vanity knobs are typically attached to cabinet doors with one screw and part of any bathrooms hardware.
Sink handles, otherwise known as faucet handles, are the levers to turn on hot and cold water. They are typically labeled to distinguish hot and cold and are particular to the sink faucet design.
Shower & Bath Knobs/Levers
There are several types of shower and bath knobs and levers. The type depends on whether there is a shower with a bathtub combination or a standalone shower. Read more about the types of bathroom showers here.
A standalone shower will have a shower lever, commonly called a valve, which has two functions; to mix the hot and cold water by rotating the valve and pulling the valve out to set the amount of water pressure.
When a shower is part of a bathtub combination, the bath knobs also mix hot and cold water for the proper temperature and, when pulled out, the water will be redirected to the shower head.
There are other configurations that include one, two, or tree valves to adjust water temperature or pressure. The amount of valves and levers depend on function and the homeowner’s preference.
Towel rings are circular hoops connected to a mounting bracket to attach to a bathroom wall. A towel ring’s size is based on its use. A smaller towel ring holds washcloths and is mounted next to a sink.
Large towel rings will be mounted on the wall or the back of a bathroom door to hold more oversized bath towels. The ring is typically mounted through a bracket with a cutout channel to be moved up or down to accommodate the towel’s thickness.
Towel Hanging Rods
A towel hanging rod is a straight bar with two mounting brackets, one at each end. Towel rods range from a simple metal or plastic bar with a round bracket at each end to fancier designed with ornate brackets.
Options for towel hanging bars include freestanding frames with several rods to hang more than one towel and heated towel hanging rods that emit low voltage electricity to heat the rods, making the towels warm and ready when done bathing.
Towel hanging rods are also called towel warmers and not only provide a warm towel after bathing but also help reduce mildew on wet towels by drying them faster. They add warmth to the bathroom for cold winter days, and they can gently dry delicate swimwear, clothing or even winter accessories such as gloves, scarves, and leg warmers.
Bathroom towel warmers are a great assessor in mudrooms and laundry rooms. Towel warmers heat up; using low-wattage elements installed inside the rod or rods that have hot water or oil inside that gets warmed up. Both types have an on and
A robe hook is used to hang a robe on a bathroom wall or the back of the bathroom door next to the shower or shower/bath combination making it convenient to reach when finished bathing.
A shower rod is mounted across the width of the shower stall or shower/bath combination to hang a shower curtain. The shower rod typically hangs directly over the edge of the bathtub or shower stall and is suspended inside the bathtub for water retention.
Two shower rods can be used in a bathtub and shower combination to hang a waterproof curtain on the inside and a more decorative curtain, commonly made from fabric, on the outside.
Toilet Paper Roll Holders
Toilet paper roll holders can be mounted on the wall next to the toilet, a cabinet within reach of the toilet, or be used on a freestanding holder. There are varying designs for the roll holder, also known as a toilet paper dispenser, including a spring-loaded tension bar within two side brackets and a freestanding holder.
There are various configurations within these designs. A spring-loaded tension bar may also be used in a recessed spot on a wall, and there are toilet paper roll dispensers with only one bracket and a bar holding the roll with an open end for a more contemporary design.
Freestanding toilet paper roll holders can be as simple as a base with a vertical bar and a horizontal holder at the top or as a more practical holder with vertical cabinets built into the frame and additional shelves above the toilet paper roll bar.
When purchasing these bathroom accessories, brass offers many finishes and designs to enhance your bathroom’s décor. Paired with brass bathroom hardware, your bathroom will take on a new look and appeal.
Changing out the existing bathroom hardware and accessories for brass may be all you need to complete an updated bathroom makeover.
Visit our brass bathroom fixtures guide for more related content.