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What’s PVD? September 4, 2007

Posted by hipster in Lavatory Faucets, Style.

What is PVD?  What does it stand for? What does it mean?  Do you even want it?  These are the questions I am being asked, so I am obliged to answer.

PVD has a lot of different definitions. I have heard “Particle Vapor Distribution,” “Particle Vapor Deposition,” “Physical Vapor Deposition” and several others as well.  Whatever it’s called, it’s effective, and PVD finishes are unlikely to be scratched or blemished. So the question is, “how does this process differ from the typical finishing process?”  The answer is very very very subtle, about the size of a molecule.

Normally when a product is finished, it is coated in a conductive liquid, hung on a conductive bar and dipped in a bath.  The product is charged with electricity and an ionic bond is formed between the liquid and the product. In other words, dip it and forget it.

PVD on the other hand works on much of the same principle, but instead of a chemical bath products are set in a chamber and given the same charge.  A vacuum in the chamber is created and a bar of finish is placed in the chamber.  This bar is blown up and its particles hover in the chamber and are affixed to the product.  This forms a molecular bond, which is much stronger.  Where a bath will cause a rush of molecules to bond, the PVD process causes one molecule at a time to bond to the product.

So what are the end results of the PVD process?  A finish that will last longer than a finish that went through the bath process.  One of the drawbacks of this process is it takes a lot of energy and time.  These are two things that manufacturers don’t often have.  Usually you will find PVD in chrome and brass only.

Chrome and brass are easy metals to finish with as they are so responsive to bonding.  If you are looking for a sturdy finish on a bathroom faucet, I would recommend Newport Brass, or Danze.  Newport Brass is a leading manufacturer that specializes in obscure and hard to find finishes.  They do all their work custom, and they have several PVD options.

Until next time.


Let’s Talk Bronze Faucets! July 17, 2007

Posted by FaucetMaster in Lavatory Faucets, Roman Tub Faucets, Shower Systems, Style, Tub & Showers.
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I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I like better than shopping for faucets!  Ok, I’m not THAT crazy (yet).  But, one of the most popular things people do shop for when looking to upgrade their faucet is a “bronze faucet”.  This can include “venetian bronze” (Delta Faucet), “Brazen Bronze” (Kohler), Brushed Bronze (everyone), and all the others that people can think up adjectives for: hammered, distressed, antiqued, chocolate-covered…  (I swear that last would be a hit).

 Kohler K-12182, Brushed Bronze  Delta Faucet, 3555RBLHP  Moen T6125 ORB Finish

Seriously though, bronze faucets are a hot item.  Rustihttp://www.faucetdirect.com/index.cfm/page/product:display/productId/TS511ORB/manufacturer/ShowHouse%20by%20Moen/categoryId/86c, “olde-worlde” style, not to mention they can go great if you are doing more darker tones in a room.  Also, these faucets often have a design that may add to their antique look – more stylized spouts, lots of metal texture on the handles, etc.

Frozen in time or Living Finish?
Beware – some of the faucets, especially those that aren’t of the bigger manufacturers tout “living finish” faucets, or “genuine” bronze.  These will continue to change over time from air moisture, oils, dust, etc.  Most manufacturers are pretty honest about it, as some people DO look for these.  It’s often hard to get a genuine looking “weathered” faucet.  These are usually a base-bronze or similar metal that just doesn’t have a sealant, so they will fade from bright, splotch or patina.  If you’re not looking for this effect, check the product details to make sure they say the finish is sealed.  Even then, be careful about cleaning the faucet and taking off the sealant.

Finishing Touches
Every brand does their bronze differently – everyone thinks that their’s is better (of course!).  Do you like it darker?  Lighter?  A bit of antique added so there is some dark on the textured areas?  A lot of antique so only a little of the bronze shows through (a dark faucet with lighter metal accents)?  So much to choose from…. Let’s take a close look at the most popular out there:

  Thousands of variations, limited blog space…  Hopefully, this gives you a good sampling of what is out there in the land of Bronze Faucets!