Brass fixtures have made a major comeback in bathrooms, adding a touch of vintage elegance and glamor. Unlacquered brass has become popular due to its ability to develop a unique patina over time. As the brass oxidizes from contact with air and water, it forms a rich, bronze-hued coating that gives it an antiqued look.
If you’re looking to upgrade your current utilitarian shower to something more stylish, installing an Unlacquered Brass Shower System Set can completely transform the space.
Brass Shower System Sets
If you are selecting fixtures for your entire shower system, you’ll want connected pieces with a uniform finish. Rather than mixing and matching, today’s manufacturers offer complete packages with all the necessary components. Here is an overview of what you can expect in a typical set:
1. Shower Arm:
This pipe section connects your shower head to the water outlet in the wall. Standard shower arms have an elbow bend, but straight styles allow you to position the head anywhere along the ceiling height.
2. Valve Trim:
Most showers have rough plumbing hidden behind the walls, controlled by valves and diverters. The external trim kit conceals this hardware and allows you to operate the various functions. Trim kits include the control handles and/or knobs, flanges to cover openings, the tub spout, and escutcheons for a finished look.
3. Shower Heads:
The most common configuration is an overhead rainshower nozzle combined with a handheld shower wand. Many systems include sliding rail mounts allowing you to adjust the wand position. Luxury packages may add extra shower heads for a spa-like experience.
For unlacquered brass system selection, go for solid brass components rather than cheaper plated plastic or resin. Low-quality materials can leach toxic chemicals over time. Sourcing shower trims and heads made from solid, antimicrobial copper alloys provides safety, sustainability and luxury.
Design Styles & Features
Brass lends itself well to a variety of bath decor styles. Here are some of the most popular design choices for shower fixtures:
Timeless designs with simple elegance work well in traditional bathrooms. Choose gentle curves instead of aggressive angles for a relaxed aesthetic. Fluted and scalloped edges add fetching detail.
For modern, avant garde decor, choose unadorned minimalist styles. Industrial elements like exposed pipes maintain the polished urban vibe.
The perfect compromise between classic and contemporary, transitional blends both old and new. Brass sets with straight-lined spouts and rectangular heads marry with many bathroom styles.
Also, decide between manual handles and thermostatic valves. Manual valves require tuning the hot and cold water to find an ideal temperature. Thermostatic models maintain a steady temp throughout your shower. These systems prevent scalding and make showering safer for children and seniors.
Top-Tier Brass Shower Systems Stand out for their Design and Performance:
1. Solid Construction:
Choose commercial-grade all-brass parts over cheaper aluminum or zinc pieces for maximum longevity. Every element from the IPS inlet piping to the escutcheons should withstand years of regular use.
2. Water Efficiency:
Water conservation remains crucial even for luxury homes. Examine the gallon-per-minute rating on shower heads and opt for standard 2.0 GPM or less rather than wasteful 2.5 GPM models.
3. Anti-Scald Protection:
For safer bathing, look for valves offering anti-scald technology to prevent dangerously hot water from reaching the fixtures.
4. Easy Installation:
Quality manufacturers design for simplified DIY installation. You receive clearly illustrated instructions plus all necessary mounting hardware and adapters allowing you to upgrade your shower hassle-free.
Benefits of Choosing Unlacquered Brass
Unpolished, natural brass provides a range of advantages over chrome or other lacquered options:
1. Stylish Appearance:
Unlacquered brass develops a unique patina as it naturally oxidizes from exposure to the elements. This results in a rich, non-uniform, almost vintage look over time. The mottled, darker hues add a high-end, sophisticated touch.
Brass is extremely durable and can last much longer than many other materials. As it ages, the patina protects the underlying brass, preventing damage and corrosion. Just with occasional polishing, an all-brass set can serve you well for decades.
If you prefer a consistent look, you can choose to regularly polish your unlacquered brass to retain its original shine. Allowing it to oxidize naturally gives you an ever-changing fixture. You control the final look.
Scientific studies show that copper alloys like brass exhibit antimicrobial properties, killing bacteria much more rapidly than materials such as plastic or stainless steel. This helps reduce microbial growth within shower pipes and on surfaces.
5. Easy Maintenance:
Unsealed brass needs very little special maintenance. Use mild soap and water to clean shiny new brass and occasionally polish aged surfaces returning them to their glowing glory when desired.
Caring Guide for Your Brass
As I mentioned before, unlacquered brass needs practically no special maintenance. However, you can easily customize the look by applying different cleaning methods:
- For brand-new shiny brass, use mild dish soap and water applied with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a lint-free towel. Avoid abrasive pads or paper towels that could scratch the surface.
- If you notice tarnishing or water spots, dip a cloth in white vinegar and gently wipe. The acidity in vinegar removes oxidation and restores shine. Rinse afterward and dry completely.
- For a consistent satin sheen, apply a thin coat of food-grade beeswax polish once or twice a year. Use gentle circular motions evenly across surfaces, wipe away excess, and let dry before using fixtures. This offers a protective barrier preventing water marks and tarnish buildup.
- To stop or slow patina formation, apply a commercial brass lacquer two to three times per year following manufacturer instructions. Allow drying completely between coats.
- To restore aged brass or remove lacquer, use a commercial brass cleaner containing oxalic or phosphoric acid. Exercise extreme caution wearing gloves and eye protection to avoid skin and eye burns. Follow product labels closely and test on inconspicuous spots first.
By understanding the unique qualities of unlacquered brass, selecting high-end shower components, and implementing proper care, you can enjoy a stunning, lifetime fixture set to increase your bathing experience for decades to come. Their natural vintage look simply cannot be duplicated with other materials. Welcome elegant, antimicrobial, and eco-friendly solid brass into your home.
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