What is Chrome Plating and Why is it Good for Furniture?
Did you know that, according to Coresight Research, the US furniture retail market is worth $114 billion—and that it has been on a steady growth curve because of the economy?
Given the amazing furniture options available to homeowners, it’s no surprise that this sector is doing so well.
If you’re furnishing your home with retro furniture or 1950s furniture—or updating the decor and interior—then you might be wondering about what chrome plating is and what its benefits are.
Maybe you’ve looked at chrome furniture and want to learn more about why it’s a good choice for you. Maybe you want to know what the reasons are to buy furniture that has chrome plating.
Maybe you want to understand more about what chrome plating is used for. But it can be hard to find information that isn’t overly-technical and confusing.
That’s why we’ve put together this article. By giving you all the information you need about chrome plating and why it’s good for furniture, you can decide if you want to invest in chrome plated furniture.
Before you know it, you’ll have the right furniture for your home. Read on to learn more.
What is Chrome?
To understand what chrome plating is, you first need to understand what chrome itself is. Chrome, which is short for Chromium, is a chemical element. You would find on the Periodic Table, with the symbol Cr.
Even though it does not have many uses on its own, chrome can be useful when applied to surfaces made from other materials.
These materials include plastic, copper, brass, stainless steel, and aluminum. Many people often mistake chrome for other shiny materials, such as stainless steel that’s been electropolished and aluminum that’s been polished.
However, chrome is slightly different in that its surface is the most reflective. It also has a blue tinge to it and is brighter.
When is Chrome Plating Used?
Generally speaking, chrome is used for many automotive parts and household items. These include pumps and valves, press tools and molds, motorcycle parts, exterior and interior car parts, and exterior and interior lightings.
Additionally, it’s used for roll holders, towel rings, chains, toilet flush handles, shower and sink taps, shower fittings, letterboxes, door handles, and doorknobs.
The reason chrome plating is used in so many automotive parts and household items is because it’s a necessary feature for any object that needs to resist scratching, rusting, and any other types of corrosion.
As you can see, chrome plating is useful for two main reasons: protecting the material and making it shine in a way that’s aesthetically appealing. We’ll get more into these and additional reasons when we cover the benefits of chrome plating for furniture.
How Does Chrome Plating Work?
It’s also important to understand the process of chrome plating. Basically, this is a finishing process, which means that it’s applied at the last step of the creation of a household item or automotive part.
The chromium is applied to the surface to give it gleam and make it resistant to scratches and other surface problems.
Chrome plating is an electroplating technique, which means that an electrical charge is applied to a chromium anhydride bath with the object that’s going to be plated with chrome inside it.
When the electrical charge is applied, this causes a chemical reaction between the substance in the bath and the object in it. The chemical reaction ends up binding the chrome in the bath to the object, so that it is entirely covered in chrome.
Afterward, the chrome plated item might be buffed and finished so it gleams.
When it comes to chrome plating, there are two types: hard chrome plating and decorative chrome plating. As you can probably imagine, hard chrome plating is used for items that require it to protect them.
This type of plating is known for its durability and strength, and it is usually used for car and motorcycle parts. It’s thicker than decorative chrome plating.
Decorative chrome plating has a thickness of between 0.05 and 0.5 micrometers thick. It’s applied to metal alloys, copper, plastic, high-carbon steel, low-carbon steel, and aluminum.
That beautiful sheen it gives is perfect for decorating furniture and parts of your home.
Benefit 1: No Corrosion
Now that we’ve reviewed what chrome plating is, we’ll explain why chrome plating is good for furniture. Whether you’re buying retro kitchen chairs, retro diner chairs, or a chrome plated diner table, buying furniture with chrome plating is a great choice.
The first benefit is no corrosion. Because of the strength of chrome plating, the surface of your piece of furniture that has chrome plating will not become corroded.
Additionally, this will protect the entire piece of furniture wherever the chrome plating has been applied, since it will act as a guard against corrosion.
If you’re buying furniture for your kitchen area, chrome plated furniture is a great choice. It can protect your furniture against any water or heat damage. Your furniture, in any room, will also last a long time.
If you live in a damp area, your furniture won’t rust. This also means you can leave your furniture outside without having to worry about it rusting.
Benefit 2: Withstands Weather
Chrome-plated furniture also withstands weather. Whether you experience extraordinarily hot summers, freezing winters, torrential rain, or heavy snow, chrome plating is good for furniture because it protects it from the elements.
Wherever you’re based, you can use furniture with chrome plating outside. This gives you much more flexibility than with other types of furniture.
Benefit 3: Can Be Applied to Many Metals
If there’s a specific type of look you want for your furniture, then there might be specific metals you want your tables and chairs to be made from. If this is the case for you, then you’re in luck when it comes to chrome plating.
This protective, beautiful material can be applied to a great variety of metals, including brass, copper, and stainless steel. It can also be applied to plastic.
This works great if you're looking to buy retro tables.
Benefit 4: You Can Use it for Restoration
If you’re a lover of retro furniture, then you might have considered buying the real thing at estate sales, garage sales, and from vintage stores. But sometimes, those beautiful antiques have a problem.
They’ve lost their shine, and might not make your decor look great. Instead of improving the look of the inside of your home, an old piece of furniture can actually make it look dingy.
That’s why chrome plating is so great. When chrome plating is applied to old material, it makes it look shiny and brand new. This is an easy way to restore old furniture.
If you don’t want to do the restoration yourself, then you can always find vintage diner chairs that have been restored with chrome plating.
Benefit 5: High Adherence
If you’ve ever bought a piece of furniture that looked good when you first bought it, but then its surface started to deteriorate quickly, you know what it feels like to have wasted your money on what you thought was a good piece of furniture.
With chrome plated furniture, you won’t have this problem. This is because chrome plating has the feature of high adherence. As a result, the shiny surface won’t flake off over time or become de-laminated.
Chrome plating sticks and lasts a long time.
Benefit 6: Beautiful Appearance
One of the biggest reasons why people choose to buy chrome plated furniture is because it looks beautiful. The appearance of chrome plating is sleek and smooth, and it totally transforms whatever piece of furniture it’s been applied to.
This eye-catching and bright material really makes a difference.
If you’re in the middle of redecorating your home, then you should seriously consider furniture with chrome plating.
Especially if you want to have a retro look, this can make your retro dining room or living room really stand out with all the new furniture you’ve put in that makes a statement.
Benefit 7: Good for Unique Shapes
Because chrome plating is applied in a bath, this means that it covers the entirety of the item being chrome plated when the electricity is run through it. As a result, every single part of the item is reached.
This includes unique twists and turns, hidden corners, and other areas that would otherwise not be reached by another type of chemical coverage.
This means that if you want to buy chrome plated furniture that has twists and turns in it, or that has a very detailed surface, it will be entirely covered by chrome plating.
In addition to looking more attractive than a uniquely-shaped piece of furniture covered with a different substance, it will withstand time and damage better too.
Benefit 8: Material Not Damaged by Plating
Sometimes, when furniture material is covered by a substance, it can be damaged by the process. However, because the chrome plating process uses electricity and low heat, there’s no damage to the material when it becomes chrome plated.
For this reason, you can be sure that your chrome plated furniture is not only beautiful, but also strong to its core.
If you want furniture that lasts, chrome plated furniture accomplishes this.
Benefit 9: High Lubricity
If you’re looking at different metal plating types, chrome plating is the best when it comes to lubricity. Lubricity is what makes friction as low as possible between moving parts.
So if you have a piece of furniture that has leaves that come out or that can change shape in another way, the high lubricity of chrome plating will keep the movements of these parts smooth.
This means that the moving parts of your furniture will also last longer. If you want to buy any piece of furniture that has moving parts, ensure that these parts are chrome plated.
Benefit 10: Compatibility
Whether you’re buying one piece of furniture or many, you should consider getting furniture with chrome plating. This is because it has compatibility with many different types of decor aesthetics.
This sleek look, which is both classic and cool, will look good on any piece of furniture, and will match all the other decor in your home.
Because it works on any type of metal and combined with any color, chrome plating works as part of any type of furniture, too.
Benefit 11: You Can Make It Shine More
Chrome plating already looks beautiful on any piece of furniture. But if you want it to shine and gleam even more, all you have to do is polish or grind it. You can do this yourself or have a professional come in.
The result will be your furniture looking like new, even if you’ve owned it for years.
Given that chrome plating lasts so long, it’s great news that you can make it look like new whenever you want.
Need More Information?
Do you need more information on furniture with chrome plating? Maybe you want to know if it will fit with your decor, or maybe you want to know where you can buy the best chrome plated furniture.
Maybe you need help deciding what size furniture to buy for your home.
Whatever information you need, we’re happy to help. At Richardson Seating Corp., we’re experts in your furniture needs. We have all the different types of chairs you need, too. To learn more about the chairs in our collection, visit this page.