Factors to consider when comparing chrome shops include experience, exchange policy, type of chrome, copper buffering and warranty. Some chrome shops offer volume discounts for customers who bring in multiple parts.
Chrome plating requires very specific learning and experience, making it important to choose a service with qualified and well-versed staff. The staff's experience is especially important for bigger jobs. A plating professional should know what to mask and plug to ensure that the parts fit back in their original location. The technician should have experience working with the exact or similar brands of parts that you need plated.
Some chrome shops have the option of exchanging parts depending on the customer’s situation or preference. This entails the customer sending a part to be plated and receiving an identical plated part that is not the original part that he sent in. This option works well if pressed for time. Most people, however, prefer receiving their own parts back.
The basic types of chrome plating are hexavalent and trivalent. Hexavalent chrome plating is more popular with show cars or motorcycles because it offers a whiter and brighter quality finish. Trivalent chroming is more common mainly because working with this type of chrome has fewer EPA restrictions.
Copper buffing, which is a critical step when plating parts, is used to fill in any pits or pinholes. Some chrome shops bypass this step to save time or money so inquire whether the service includes copper buffing. The right type of copper must be used to get a good result. Lastly, a good chrome plating service should offer a warranty in case of any problems with the work done.