Finish Options for your Granite Counters

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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

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.

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Honed

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.

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An example of honed versus polished finishes on the same slab for comparison sake.
honedPhoto: Goodfellas Granite

Leathered

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.

leathered-granite-countertops-granite-leathered-granite-countertops-picturesPhoto: Homehad
A close-up of a leathered granite countertop.ideas-leathered-finish-black-granite-dupont-square-edge-design-ideas-for-kitchen-countertop-plus-leathered-granite-exciting-leathered-granite-for-kitchen-countertops-matte-granite.jpgPhoto: Elerwanda

Flamed

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.

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A close-up of a flamed granite countertop.pin.jpgPhoto: 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!

 

 

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Tips for Choosing the Right Fabricator

fAll photos Prestige M & G

Countertop choice is a huge part of any home design or renovation process. Homeowners spend a lot of time deciding exactly which slab makes the perfect statement for their space.  Equally, if not even more important than choosing the right slab, is choosing the right fabricator. How is this possible?

The right fabricator will be able to help you choose the right material and slab for your needs. They will be able to explain proper maintenance to insure your counters stay beautiful. While this seems like an obvious part of the job, many fabricators simply don’t take the time or have the knowledge. Founded by Aaron Cook, Prestige Marble & Granite has over 15 years experience in fabricating the highest quality natural stone countertops, earning the company a fabulous reputation as the premier marble and granite business in the region.

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There are several different things to consider when choosing your fabricator, some more obvious than others. Here are some important questions to ask to ensure you are completely happy with your final choice, and ultimately your countertops!

What kind of Certifications does the fabricator have?

An established and professional fabricator will be certified. It’s as simple as that. Fabrication and installation certification programs establish industry-wide standards for training and provide measurable proof of knowledge about both the process and products. Prestige Marble & Granite is a member of the Marble Institute of America, which is an instrumental force in setting the standards of quality for stone fabrication and installation. Prestige is also a member of the Home Builder’s Association of Middle Tennessee and the Stone Fabricators Alliance.

 

What options do they offer?

Countertops today are made from a wide range of different materials. Are you looking for something that will need to stand up to daily use or are you more interested in creating a specific look? An ideal fabricator will be able to help you choose the best option for your usage, budget, and aesthetic desire.  They will be experienced with multiple materials and offers a wide array of choices: granite, marble, quartz, etc. Also, it’s important to be aware of the fact that no two pieces of stone are exactly the same. For that reason its important to find out if you will be able to choose your actual slab, or have to make your decision based on a small sample.

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What kind of equipment do they use? And do they have in-house installation teams?

Top professional fabricators throughout the U.S. use the latest in digital stone cutting technology. This is important when simple mistakes can be costly, cause delays, and negatively affect the final look of your beautiful counters. At Prestige we use state-of-the-art CNC stone cutting machines, routers, and digital templating for quality fabrication and on-time delivery. With digital templating, we can account for the undulation of your wall and ensure the counters match up perfectly.  From your vision to computerized CAD drawing to installation of your countertop, your project will receive state-of-the-art craftsmanship and the attention to detail it deserves. We also never use subcontractors and invite you to come see how we operate anytime!

This is our CNC saw, the GMM Intra. The Intra allows us to either program on the floor or import a CAD drawing. The Intra can cut parallel, perpendicular and diagonal arcs and circumferences. This machine allows Prestige to cut a wide range of materials quickly and with absolute precision.
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The Luna 740S is an automatic edge polisher which has been specifically designed to produce straight, slanted , bullnose, and a variety of other edges. This machine is capable of profiling  granite, marble, and engineered stones quickly and efficiently.
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The fact that we at Prestige are completely involved in the entire process, from design to fabrication to installation, helps ensure your counter tops turn out exactly as you imagine.

 

Do they provide references? Can you see examples of their finished projects?

A reputable fabricator will be able to provide references of recent projects. If you can visit one of their job sites and/or showroom, that’s also highly recommended. This allows you to ensure the quality of their finished work meets your standards. This requires a bit of extra research and work on your part, but will absolutely help provide peace of mind about such a big investment into your home.

Do they provide a warranty on their work?

When making any kind of large purchase it’s nice to know the company you are working with will stand behind their work. At Prestige we offer a lifetime warranty on all stone and sinks. We are passionate about making your installation a success and are dedicated to the level of customer service required to ensure your happiness for the lifetime of your counters. Prestige’s commitment to customer satisfaction has earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

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Whatever project you can dream up,  Prestige Marble & Granite is 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, fabrication, and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom and bring their ideas and questions with them anytime!