Hammered Nickel Sinks: Luxurious and Livable
A nickel finish sink: so beautiful, yet so many questions! How is this finish achieved? How does it hold up? Is it easy to maintain? How does it compare with stainless steel? Why would I choose Native Trails’ nickel over a traditional stainless steel sink or another luxurious alternative?
The short of it: yes, our nickel is extremely durable and super easy to maintain. Due to the hammered texture, it is incredibly forgiving. Those nicks, dents, and scratches that occur during everyday use make a stainless steel sink look beat-up over time. However, they are hardly visible in a hammered nickel sink.
Nickel, whether Brushed or Polished, is a high-end finish option in the silver color family. It appears more luxurious and warmer toned than the more typical stainless steel or chrome. It is also wonderfully versatile; fabulous in a contemporary space yet just as perfect in a traditional design.
Native Trails first introduced the wow-enducing Brushed Nickel finish in 2004, creating an alternative for customers who desired an alluring silvery shine in a material more interesting than stainless steel. A lot of research and testing went into the best process for creating a luxurious finish that would be durable, easy to care for, and drop-dead gorgeous. Over the years, we continued to innovate. We seek out the best methods to ensure our products live up to our standards, as well as that of our clients: long-lasting, beautiful, sustainably-produced, artisan crafted, and easy to care for.
What is Brushed and Polished Nickel?
To achieve our Brushed Nickel finish, the nickel is purposefully and artfully brushed, for a soft, beautifully textured finish. The texture also provides durability against those everyday nicks and scratches – making care and maintenance a virtual non-issue.
Our Polished Nickel finish is created by carefully polishing the nickel, rather than brushing. This results in a stunning mirror-like finish that absolutely sparkles and glimmers.
The Perfect Plating
There are two ways to achieve a nickel plated finish. The more commonly used method is electroplating, which is a lower cost, lower quality option for plating a sink. Electroplating is an unreliable method for large items as it creates irregular thicknesses on products with a large surface area and deep corners (such as sinks and bathtubs). The thinner areas of plating can wear unevenly and the underlying metal may show through over time.
Our method of choice is electroless plating, which gives extreme surface adhesion and ensures that every surface is evenly coated, in uniform thickness. Used regularly for mining and aerospace applications, it also provides superior wear and corrosion resistance.
To decrease the environmental impact of nickel plating, our plating partners adhere to the very strict California regulations for air and water quality as well as recycling of any waste materials.
Perfect, For Keeps: How to Care for a Nickel Sink
Care & Cleaning of Brushed Nickel
For general care and maintenance of a Native Trails Brushed Nickel product, we recommend cleaning with a mild soap (Dawn Original, Palmolive Original, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day) and water, avoiding antibacterial soap. After cleaning and drying a Brushed Nickel Sink, a carnauba wax or Flitz Faucet Wax Plus can be applied. The wax adds extra protection against spots and mineral build up. If ever needed, Flitz Polish can be applied to remove any black shadow marks.
Care & Cleaning of Polished Nickel
There are two ways to maintain the bright mirrored finish of Polished Nickel. The easiest method is to apply Native Trails MetalProtect®, a revolutionary product that will protect the finish from fingerprints, tarnish and water spots for months or even years. This has been incredibly welcome news for homeowners and designers, because now for the first time, polished metal finishes are easy to maintain. (Hint: it works great on stainless steel, copper, and brass as well!)
The other alternative for maintaining the polished finish is to polish it periodically with chrome polish, followed by carnauba wax to maintain the look for a while. Since only soft cloth and non-abrasive cleaners are used on a nickel sink, this process is typically repeated every few weeks. This depends on usage and conditions of course.