Tips For Choosing the Perfect Tapware Finish

by Carlisle Homes

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The incredible range of tapware finishes available today lets you add individuality and flair to your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms – here’s how to choose just the right one.

Until fairly recently, chrome was essentially the only option when it came to tapware finishes. But times have changed and now there’s a vast selection of other finishes to choose from, allowing you to make a real impact with this small but important detail in your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms.

When you build a Carlisle home, you’ll get access to a variety of stunning and highly functional tapware from premium brands such as Phoenix Tapware, Vito Bertoni and Alder at their Spectra Showroom. If having so many fantastic options feels a tad overwhelming, don’t despair – below, you’ll find an outline of the different finishes available, and what works best where.

In the meantime, if you’re curious to see the latest and greatest tapware available at the Carlisle showroom, visit Spectra Online here.

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Discover a world of tapware finishes at Carlisle’s Spectra Showroom, including chrome, copper, brushed carbon, matte black and brushed brass. Use them to express your personal style in your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry.


You can never go wrong with a classic chrome finish. Chrome tapware is highly durable, easy to maintain and long-lasting, making it a practical choice for modern homes. With its high-shine, reflective surface, it has a sleek, contemporary look. It blends effortlessly with materials like timber and stone, but works just as well with bold, bright tiles and paintwork. 


With its rich orange undertone, copper tapware is warm and full of character. Use it to make a statement in a contemporary, industrial or coastal-style interior, where it will sit beautifully alongside warm tones, or create some fun contrast by mixing it with cooler tones.

Copper has natural antimicrobial properties, meaning it can kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses upon contact. This makes it a hygienic choice for family homes. Be aware that copper does develop a natural patina over time, which only adds to its unique appeal.

Brushed carbon

If you’re looking to add some drama to your bathroom, but matte black feels a step too far, consider brushed carbon. This near-black tone exudes sophistication and style, making it ideal for elegant kitchens and hotel-inspired bathrooms. Meanwhile, its brushed finish gives it a sleek, matte texture that reduces fingerprints and water spots, so less cleaning is required.

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Tapware is a small detail that makes a big impact in your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Choose matte black for a chic, contemporary feel, chrome for timeless beauty, or brushed brass for warmth and charm.

Brushed nickel

With its warm, understated finish, brushed nickel makes a versatile choice for traditional and modern interiors in styles ranging from minimalist to coastal. Its neutral tone means it pairs well with practically any colour scheme or material palette.

Brushed nickel is less reflective than chrome and stainless steel, so it conceals fingerprints and water spots well, ensuring a consistently clean appearance. This makes it a great, low-maintenance option for busy homes.

Matte black

For wow factor in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry, you can’t beat matte black tapware. It’s a natural fit for modern and industrial-style homes, but can work just as well in traditional homes too if you choose a more decorative style.

Use matte-black tapware to complement a monochrome space, or to add some punch to a room decked out in soft greys and white. It’s also versatile enough to sit comfortably with timber tones, patterned tiles and stone.

On the downside, a matte-black finish tends to show water and soap marks, making it a little harder to maintain than finishes like chrome and brushed nickel.

Brushed brass

Brushed brass is the go-to choice for anyone looking to bring luxury and a hint of nostalgia to their kitchen, bathroom or laundry. With its yellow-gold appearance, brass adds a warm, organic touch to a space, making it a perfect pick for coastal, modern country and traditional homes. It’s also highly durable and its subtly textured finish makes it less susceptible to fingerprints and water marks.

For an elegant yet cocooning feel, pair brushed brass with mid-tone timber cabinetry like oak. Or make a bold statement by combining it with black joinery or black window and mirror frames.

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Match tapware and cabinet hardware in your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry to create a seamless look throughout your home, or mix different finishes to add visual interest and variety – the choice is yours.

Do my taps and hardware need to match?

It’s entirely up to you. There’s no rule to say you can’t combine different finishes across your tapware and cabinet handles – say, a matte-black tap with brushed-nickel hardware. In fact, a mix-and-match approach like this can add layers and interest to your interior.

But if you want to give your home some visual consistency, matching your tapware and hardware finishes is a great place to start. Just remember – if you do decide to match your tapware and hardware, the finishes or colours need to match perfectly.

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Planning your dream kitchen, bathroom or laundry and need some ideas? A visit to one (or more) of Carlisle’s 80+ display homes across Melbourne is guaranteed to fuel your design thinking – each one has been decorated top to bottom by their interior design experts, incorporating the latest trends.


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