Outdoor Showers: Stainless Steel or Chrome-Plated?

If you are reading this, you are probably on the verge of purchasing your very own outdoor showers.

You’ve picked a place to put it, a design you like, the right accessories, and then when heading to the checkout cart, you see two options that drastically alter the price.

Should you order the stainless steel or the chrome-plated brass model?

There is no universal right answer. You have to choose the one that’s right for your needs.

Stainless is considerably more expensive than chrome, but when choosing the cheaper option results in a product that will not stand the test of time, then spending the extra money can be a smarter investment.

Chrome outdoor showers features

Although looks are entirely subjective, chrome-plating is usually accepted as the more decorative choice. It has a more polished finish that catches the light in a way that stainless does not.

The pricing is significantly cheaper than stainless steel, and it is also not as heavy.

Until a few years ago, chrome plating technology was better at protecting from corrosion than stainless steel. Modern stainless steel, which has a higher nickel percentage, has surpassed it in this regard. 

Chrome plating is only as good as the craftsman that does the chroming. It offers excellent corrosion resistance when new. The problem is that if the layers are not thick enough, the plating can be chipped or scratched off. Those scratches allow the corrosion to set in, creating bubbles and peeling of the rest of the plating off.

Stainless steel outdoor showers features

Using stainless steel is more expensive because it’s an alloy, and the whole shower is made of it, from the surface to the core.

With chrome plating, you can use a cheaper material like brass and plate its surface with chrome to add corrosion resistance. 

Unlike chrome, stainless steel is low maintenance. Its easier to clean, and it doesn’t have a tendency to show every fingerprint stain like chrome does.

It is more durable and resistant to scratches. In the unlikely event that it does actually gets rust or gets scratched, it can be refinished since its stainless steel all the way through. It will depend on the thickness of the steel.

It’s also more resistant to erosion, which is especially useful in places that see a lot of traffic. Being touched regularly by multiple people can wear down the chrome plating, leaving the brass underneath vulnerable to corrosion.

Here’s a possible compromise

If a stainless steel shower exceeds your budget, but you are still worried about durability, you can have the shower itself be chrome-plated and the valves and accessories made of stainless steel.

Going this route will lower costs, and the parts touched by users will be more resistant to wear and tear.

The parts that aren’t touched often can be chrome-plated since they won’t be subject to scratching and will remain clean longer. This option offers the best of both worlds at an affordable price.

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