Steel Finishes: Satin vs. Mirror
– What’s the Difference?
Imagine this, you’re shopping for a new balustrade and you scroll through the specifications table to see ‘Satin’ and ‘Mirror’ in the ‘Finishes’ section… but what exactly is the difference?
Before we go into the differences let’s talk about their similarities. Both Satin and Mirror are types of Stainless Steel finish. Keep in mind that the finish is completely separate from the grades of the steel. At SHS Products we offer Grade 316 for both indoor and outdoor use as Grade 304 doesn’t fair well against the elements. However, some companies may only supply Grade 304 for indoor use. Our Stainless Steel can be polished and brushed to a Satin or Mirror finish, depending on your requirements. Stainless Steel does exactly what it says on the tin, it stains less! However, this doesn’t mean a little maintenance won’t be needed. No matter what the finish, we recommend you clean all areas of your balustrade every few months.
This polishing process creates a great texture and overall appearance of the steel. The Satin Finish provides a matte finish that is perfect for architectural applications where appearance is a priority. The Satin Finish is a more affordable option for your project than the Mirror Finish, however this finish would not be suitable for certain applications such as in coastal or high humidity areas. (See Mirror Finish for more information) To achieve the Satin Finish, the steel is put through a 400 grit belt and then softened with a Scotchbrite cloth belt.
The Mirror Finish has been processed more than the Satin Finish to create a highly reflective surface. It goes through a number of grit belts of varying strengths before being buffed with soft cloth mops. We would recommend a Mirror Finish for any applications that are within 10 miles of the coast, in high-saltwater areas or places where there is high-humidity. This is due to the fact that the smoother surface of the Mirror Finish will have a higher resistance to the salt particles in the air and will prevent corrosion for longer.