If you’re considering granite countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, you’re probably already aware granite comes in seemingly endless colors. What many homeowners don’t know is granite also comes in several surface finishes that can dramatically change the appearance of the stone. Some finishes are more popular than others, but the finish you choose isn’t just cosmetic. It also changes the surface tendencies of the stone, including how likely it is to stain, how often granite sealer should be used, and how often you need to polish the stone. Here are a few of the top surface finishes you can choose for your granite counters.
Also known as a matte or buffed finish, honed granite has a very smooth surface with no reflection. This finish is achieved by ending the finishing process before the stone is buffed. Honed granite will have a much flatter finish than you will see with a full polish. Honed granite is most popular for floors because a polished finish can become very slippery, but it can be used for countertops as well. Keep in mind a honed finish could make your granite more susceptible to stains.
A leathered or brushed finish is a somewhat new finishing style that is becoming more popular. To achieve this finish, granite first begins with a honed surface. Diamond-tipped brushes are then run over the surface to add texture in the form of subtle dimples. A leathered finish can make granite appear even more sophisticated and increase the stain resistance compared to a honed finish. It also tends to retain the natural color of the stone that can be washed out with a honed finish.
If you want a countertop that hides water spots and smudges, a leathered surface finish is a good option compared to a polished surface, which tends to highlight every mark.
A polished finish achieves a glossy mirror-like surface. This is the most popular type of finish for granite countertops because it makes the full structure, depth, and color of the stone visible with a reflective, shiny surface. A polished finish can also highlight all the unique characteristics of the stone slab you select.
The polished finish is also popular because it’s easy to clean and it helps the stone resist stains. The polish finishing process seals more pores in the surface than other finishes to repel water and moisture.
Flamed granite isn’t common, but it creates a unique surface that’s especially popular for outdoor kitchens. To create this finish, the granite is heated under intense temperatures using a controlled finishing process that causes grains in the stone to burst and change color. This process creates a rougher, textured surface with a natural, faded appearance. Flamed granite usually produces muted colors.
Flamed finishes work well in areas prone to moisture, such as uncovered outdoor kitchens, but they can also be used indoors.
Bush Hammered Finish
The bush hammered finish isn’t as common as polished, honed, and leathered, but it’s worth considering. This finish involves the use of a tool that resembles a meat tenderizing hammer with pyramidal points that are struck against the surface. A bush hammered finish resembles naturally weathered rock with a lightly textured surface. Bush hammering often lightens the natural color of the stone.
One of the most crucial steps in maintaining the quality of a finish on granite countertops is cleaning. If you’d like to learn how to clean granite countertops properly, get in touch with Granite Gold® to find out about our stone-safe granite cleaner and our other products that can help you maintain the natural beauty of your stone. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.