Photo: Prestige M&G
Granite has been the number one natural stone choice among homeowners and builders for years. It’s beauty and durability are just some of the reasons for its popularity. When you think about granite counters, you likely envision a shiny, smooth stone. The polished look has been the most popular countertop finish choice for years, and is still the most utilized today. As homeowners have started looking for more unique options, changing up the appearance of granite with different finishing techniques has become more fashionable.
Polished granite countertops are probably what you think of when you think of granite. To achieve this look the stone is buffed to the highest possible level. The glossy, highly-reflective surface draws attention to the stone and perfectly displays the flecks, veining, and other desirable characteristics that make each slab one of a kind. A polished finish can also work as a stain repellant, making it a great option for a kitchen prep/work space.
Photo: Prestige M&G
If you love the look of granite but aren’t a fan of the super shiny style, a honed finish might be exactly what you’re looking for. A honed finish is still extremely smooth, but has a decidedly more matte appearance. Natural imperfections may be more noticeable with this finish, and it is definitely more susceptible to watermarks and fingerprints than the traditional polished look.
An example of honed versus polished finishes on the same slab for comparison sake.
Photo: Goodfellas Granite
Similar to the honed finish, leathered stone isn’t glossy or reflective. But this is where the similarities stop. Unlike polished and honed countertops, the leathering process results in a surface riddled with fissures and has a pitted feel, like a fine piece of leather. For this reason, leathering may not be the best option for a busy cook’s kitchen, as it can be slightly more difficult to truly deep clean. Because every stone is unique, the leathering will appear more pronounced on some slabs than others.
A close-up of a leathered granite countertop.Photo: Elerwanda
A flamed finish is created by firing an intense heat at the granite, causing the stone to burst and change color. The process results in a rougher, textured finish with a faded, more natural seeming appearance. Flamed granite works best in damper areas, where slip-resistance is an important factor. Because of how well-suited this finish is in exterior, uncovered areas, flamed granite is extremely popular for outdoor kitchens. Don’t feel confined by this if you really love this look, it can be used functionally in almost any room in your home.
Photo: Sick Chick Chic
A close-up of a flamed granite countertop.Photo: Pinterest
Prestige Marble & Granite is happy to answer any questions you may have about different counter finishes, and what will work best for your personal style and needs. We are here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!