GRANITE COUNTERTOPS FINISHES
(United Granite, and Fairfax Marble)
Over the past few years, many different surface finishes have become available on the market for granite countertops, and other natural stone countertops . Before we pretty much only saw polished finishes; which is still the most common finish for granite. So common in fact, that some people actually believe it to be the natural surface of most stones. However, it is a finish, applied to the stone through a process, and there are number of finishes available for natural stone countertops. The three most common that we are going to focus on in this blog entry are Polished, Honed, and Leathered.
WHAT IS A POLISHED FINISH GRANITE COUNTERTOP?
A polished finish is a high-gloss, reflective finish with a sleek and slippery surface. This finish is achieved through a process of grinding and sanding the stone. When a stone is polished, it provides the deepest color saturation so your tone will appear darker and with richer colors. It also best reveals the natural characteristics of the stone, making it the most sought after finish. This finish is easy to keep clean and stain-free, especially if sealed properly. However, on certain stones such as marble and some quartzite ,that are prone to etching from acidic liquids, this finish will reveal etch and scratch marks more clearly. In order to maintain the luster of a polished finish use proper cleaners and occasional re-seal the stone. We do offer some permanent sealers that you should inquire about with our designers.
WHAT IS A HONED FINISH GRANITE COUNTERTOP?
A honed finish is also known as a “matte finish.” It is a satiny smooth finish that is achieved through a sanding process, and a perfectly honed finish is without any scratch marks. This finish decreases the depth of color, and slightly dulls some of the natural characteristics of the stone. It leaves the surface less slippery, and hides any flaws or etch marks much better since it is not reflective. A honed finish is ideal for marble counters, as marble is a softer stone and more susceptible to scratches and etching. This type of finish may require more frequent sealing, and again we do offer permanent sealer options that will help to prevent re-sealing.
WHAT IS A LEATHERED FINISH GRANITE COUNTERTOPS?
This is a specialty finish that is achieved through a process that creates texture in the stone and gives it a rough appearance. It leaves the stone looking almost “river-washed” and the feel of the stone is reminiscent of actual leather material, which is very pleasant to the touch. A leathered finish amplifies the natural characteristics of the stone and the results of this surface are exquisite. Leathering is most commonly used on darker stones. It leaves no shine so it is known for hiding smudges very well. This finish is easy to clean and maintain, and should be cleaned daily with a natural stone cleaner and a microfiber cloth. A leathered finish has a way of adding subtle elegance to your décor.
As with any natural stone that you use, and any finish that you choose, there are still basic things that need to be done for maintenance; wipe up any spills immediately (especially wine or acidic juices that can etch the surface of certain stones), do not place hot, wet, or abrasive objects directly on the stone. With granite countertops you can use less caution with HOT objects, but you should still use trivets as needed. Properly maintaining your stone surface will allow it to last for generations.