Satin or Mirror Finish – What’s the Difference?

A well-designed balustrade is a striking addition to any project. Essential in many cases, a balustrade can be both functional and practical with more than a hint of bespoke design and style.

A crucial decision in getting the right finish to the balustrade for your project is deciding on a satin or mirrored finish to the stainless components, fixings and posts.

All the fixings and components we use here at Balustrade Components have been scientifically tried and tested prior to release to the market but we have an extra layer of confidence in that customers have constructed and been using balustrades with these components for years, with no issues.

It is then, essentially down to taste and preference when it comes to which is the better choice for your project.

Why Stainless Steel?

Before we consider the finish, we want to take a moment to look at stainless steel itself and why is it the perfect component with a balustrade system.

It is a sought-after metal for projects in the home and commercial space. This is because it is a highly durable metal protected by a film of chromium oxide. This occurs when there is a reaction between air chromium in the steel. The result is a finish that maintains it sheen and appearance for an incredibly long time.

Stainless steel is also highly resistant to corrosion making it a popular choice for outdoor balustrades, as well as indoor balustrade systems. If there is a possibility of the stainless steel being damaged, providing it is only surface damage, the exposed steel will react with the air, creating a new layer of chromium oxide over the area. This does not compromise its strength.

It offers longevity and a keen sense of visual appeal to any balustrade project. In all, we think there are very few materials, if any that rival stainless steel.

But which finish is better?

Mirrored Stainless Steel Finish

Polishing of any type improves the texture, appearance and consistency of stainless steel.

In the case of a mirrored polish finish, it creates a delightfully reflective surface. This achieved by pre-grinding the metal to remove any surface defects or blemishes, followed by a buffing process that brings about the mirrored surface.

It is a smooth finish and one that can reflect light about a space too. The surface is so smooth that dust, dirt and grime fails to become entrapped in the material, making it an easy material to keep clean. As a result, most customers choose a mirrored stainless steel finish for outside balustrades where they need to easily keep it clean.

But, there is one downside – if you cannot stand fingerprint smudges on the reflective surface on a mirrored stainless steel component then you will soon become irritated! Fingerprint smudges can be easily wiped off but in a busy family home, it may not hold the same appeal.

Satin or Matte Stainless Steel Finish

matte stainless steel

A matte or satin finish does not have the brilliant reflective properties of a mirrored finish.

In this case, the stainless steel is polished using a 120 to 180 grit belt, before it is finished with an abrasive pad. The grinding back and forth motion of the belt ensures that there is a uniform appearance to the final product.

Smooth to the touch, satin finish stainless steel is appealing to many customers. Many people think that a satin or matte finish has a more appealing finish that is more tasteful and classic, and won’t go out of fashion.

Because the surface is not reflective or shiny, a satin finish is more forgiving when it comes to smudges and bits of dirt and grime; this is because they are not shown up as readily. In other words, you won’t feel the need to be constantly wiping and polishing!

Some people living in coastal areas are advised to opt for a mirrored finish as this kind of matte finish can lead to tiny particles of dust, dirt and salt to become trapped in the minute grooves and can, technically, lead to the breaking down of the material sooner rather than later.

In Summary

Both mirror and satin finished stainless steel components work well in any situation and environment, with both offering strength and appeal to a balustrade.

At Balustrade Components, we only use the very best grade stainless steel in both a mirrored and satin finish. Why not call our team to find out more on 01543 624780 or email us sales@balustradecomponents.co.uk ?

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