A guide to finishing washers

How do you use a finishing washer?

Finish washers, or finished washers, as they’re sometimes called, primarily fulfil the need for a clean appearance.

In this article, we'll cover:

Countersunk screw

How finishing washers are used

If your application, such as a cabinet, has an exposed screw head, the look can detract from the overall piece. Instead, you can use a finish washer. The screw head recesses into the washer to give the cabinet a finished look, hence the name of the washer.

In the line drawing shown on the right, a flat head screw – also called a countersunk screw – is used and sits flush with the washer. For this look, you’ll sometimes see them called flush finishing washers, but an oval screw can also be used. Finishing washers with a more concave shape are sometimes called countersunk finishing washers, also known as metric finishing washers. But the term can also apply to all finishing washers. These also accommodate both flat-head and oval screws. If you’re not sure which screw head to use, you can compare them below.

Flat screw head
Oval screw head

You can learn more about screws in our guide, What are screw heads, drives and threads?

These decorative washers are available flanged, unflanged, rolled flanged and angled. The one you choose really comes down to the look you want. That said, plastic finishing washers can also give you other attributes. Finishing washers of any material can provide locking, sealing, load distribution and protection to the screw from damage.

Which decorative finishing washer?

The different styles shown here give you the same capabilities. These are nylon finishing washers, providing you with:

  • Good insulation properties
  • Good thermal properties
  • Light weight
  • Resists corrosion
  • Excellent protection for your surface against damage by the tightened screw head
  • Color options: white finish washers or black finish washers available

Materials: metal washers

Now you know the advantages of nylon. What about metal decorative washers for screws? Metal conducts electricity and can add an attractive finish.

Stainless-steel finish washers

Resists corrosion & chemicals. Can be slightly magnetic

Aluminum finish washers

Lightweight, resists corrosion& is non-magnetic

Bronze finish washers

Resists corrosion & is non-magnetic

Chrome finishing washers

Resists corrosion & is non-magnetic

Finishing washer dimensions

There are no industry standards for finishing washers at this time. Below are the sizes offered by Essentra Components, but you can also use these dimensions as a guideline.

Screw size

Outside diameter (OD)

Inside diameter (ID)



0.437 in.

0.143 in.

0.100 in.


0.510 in.

0.171 in.

0.115 in.


0.575 in.

0.196 in.

0.152 in.


0.609 in.

0.225 in.

0.160 in.


0.683 in.

0.260 in.

0.180 in.

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions, which you can download. You can also request free samples to make sure you’ve chosen exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which solution will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

Whatever your requirements, you can depend on fast despatch. Request your free samples or download free CADs now.


Email us at sales@essentracomponents.com or speak to one of our experts for further information on the ideal solution for your application 800-847-0486.