Why Hammered Brushed Nickel is the Best Finish for a Luxury Sink 

Farmhouse kitchen sink in brushed nickel

Farmhouse Duet Pro hammered copper kitchen sink in Brushed Nickel.

Brushed Nickel: So beautiful, yet so many questions! How is the 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’ Brushed Nickel over a traditional stainless steel sink or another luxurious alternative?
The short of it: Yes, our Brushed Nickel is very durable and super easy to maintain. Due to the hammered and brushed 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, but they are hardly visible in a hammered nickel sink. Ours is considered more luxurious and eye-catching than stainless steel, and our processes for achieving this finish are a big reason as to why it maintains its luxe appeal over time.

brushed nickel Bathroom Sink

Hana hammered copper sink in brushed nickel

Native Trails first introduced the wow-inducing 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’ve continued to innovate, seeking 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 we’ve found? It all comes down to the three Bs: Brains, Brawn, and Beauty. Here is our Brushed Nickel story.

What is Brushed Nickel?

Brushed nickel is a high-end finish option in the silver color family, much more luxurious and warmer toned than your typical stainless steel or chrome. It is related to polished nickel, as it is plated with another metal, usually brass or copper. However, to achieve the finish, nickel is brushed rather than polished, for a softer, beautifully textured finish that doesn’t show fingerprints like a smooth or polished finish does.

brushed nickel vanity sink

Maestro Oval hammered copper sink in brushed nickel.

Brains: The Best Brushed Nickel Plating

There are two ways to achieve a brushed nickel finish. The more commonly used method is electroplating, which is a lower cost, lower quality option for plating a sink. Electroplating can be an unreliable method as it can create irregular thicknesses; the thinner areas of plating can wear unevenly and the underlying metal may show through over time.
The better process and our method of choice for sinks is electroless plating, which gives extreme surface adhesion and ensures that every surface is evenly coated, in a uniform thickness. Used regularly for mining and aerospace applications, it also provides superior wear and corrosion resistance.

Brawn: Superior Wear the Native Trails Way

At Native Trails, our Brushed Nickel sinks start out as a high-quality recycled copper product, which is cleaned, prepped and then heavily plated using an electroless plating chemical process. The copper product is dipped – at exactly the right angle, with exactly the right equipment for the best surface adhesion – in a nickel solution. We’ve thoroughly researched the chemical composition of our nickel, so it’s perfectly structured for beauty and brawn, and our process includes several quality control steps, including abrasion testing and corrosion testing to ensure against discoloration.
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.

brushed nickel undermount bathroom sink

Baby Classic hammered copper sink in brushed nickel.

The almost-final step? That lovely finish is meticulously hand brushed to ensure a sturdy yet uniquely beautiful basin. Last, but certainly not least, a final test is performed to assure that the plating is up to quality standards and each sink is ready for its day in the spotlight!

Beauty: Keeping Brushed Nickel Looking New

Care and Maintenance
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.
The fourth B? Bling! There’s no better way to go glam in the kitchen and bath than with Brushed Nickel. Have more questions? Contact our Customer Service team.