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About Chrome and Chrome Plate

April 27, 2010

Art Deco Door Handles in Nickel Plate
written by Vicki Bale

Art Deco Door Handle in Chrome Plate


Chrome or Chromium is a steely gray lustrous hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is odourless, tasteless and malleable. The name of the element is derived from the Greek word Chroma, meaning colour because its many compounds are intensely coloured.

Chromium was of great interest as it is highly resistant to corrosion and very hard. It is also added to steel to make it highly resistant to corrosion and discolouration to form stainless steel. This and the use of chrome for plating are its two main uses. Today it can be seen as a decorative coating for car parts, plumbing fixtures, furniture parts and decorative items. It is the 21st most abundant element of the earth’s crust.

Chrome plating is a process of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, easy cleaning and is used to increase surface hardness. The use for chrome in plating began around 1920. Before this time nickel was used.

On door furniture and window furniture Chrome is an excellent plating and was popular especially during the Art Deco era. We can get many of our brass items plated in chrome to order. There is a slight difference between a nickel and a chrome plated item, but it is hard to show on a digital photo. The chrome appears a bit more mirror like and is a bit brighter than nickel. Both finishes look fabulous and provide shiny hard finishes which require no polishing. Chrome is an ideal finish on front door furniture and chrome door knobs or chrome door handles, chrome door knockers and letter plates can make a real impression.

For more information, please refer to our blog article Nickel and Chrome Plating- A brief history.

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