Granite is a very hard natural stone. It’s available in wide range of colors.
That makes it a very popular choice for kitchen and Bathroom countertops.
Deciding on which countertop finish would be best for your new countertops is quite overwhelming.
Just remember you are not alone. It’s an important factor when deciding on your kitchen countertops.
- The type of finish you choose for your granite countertops can greatly affect the stone’s color and pattern visibility.
- Also how it will weather over time and how much maintenance it will require.
I will cover everything you need to know about honed granite vs polished.
- What is Granite
- Types of Granite Finishes (What is Honed, polish, leather finish)
- Everything about Honed Granite Countertop (Pros, cons, maintenance)
- Everything about Polished Granite Countertop (Pros, cons, maintenance)
- Popular granite colors used in both finishes
- Polished vs honed granite: The Main Differences
- How to choose the right finish for your project
Here is a quick snap short:
Polished granite is a shiny, high-gloss finish achieved by grinding the granite’s surface until it’s smooth. Honed granite, in contrast, has a smooth, matte finish. This is achieved by stopping the grinding process before the stone becomes shiny, resulting in a more subdued, natural look. Honed granite has a softer, more organic feel compared to its polished counterpart.
This Post is about Honed Granite Vs Polished: What’s the Difference
What is Granite:
So here a little bit of nerdy information.
Granite as per Geology.com is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools slowly beneath the Earth’s surface, forming large, easily visible crystals of quartz, feldspar, and mica.
Granite primarily consists of quartz and feldspar, with minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals.
This mineral composition usually gives granite a red, pink, gray, or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.
Granite’s speckled look comes from its mineral composition.
Types of Granite Finishes
Granite countertops can be finished in a variety of ways. Different finishes offer unique appearance and texture.
The most common finishes for granite countertops are :
Polished Granite Finish :
This is the most common finish for granite.
It involves grinding and buffing the stone surface until a glossy, mirror-like polished surface is achieved.
The glossy finish highlights the stone’s full color and depth, and it also seals the pores to make the granite less susceptible to staining.
Honed Granite Finish:
Also known as a matte finish, this is achieved by stopping the grinding process before the surface of the stone becomes shiny, leaving it with a smooth, matte surface.
Honed granite has a more natural or earthy appearance than its polished counterpart, but it’s also more susceptible to staining because the pores are not sealed.
Brushed/ Finish / Satin Finish :
This type of finish is similar to a honed finish, but with a bit more shine. The surface is brushed with a diamond-tipped brush to give it a slightly textured surface.
It falls between polished and honed in terms of glossiness.
Leathered Countertop Finish :
Also known as antiqued finish, this process begins with a honed surface, then it’s brushed to get to a slightly textured surface.
This results in a type of surface that is less glossy than polished granite but is also less likely to show fingerprints and smudges. The leather granite is a good choice for outdoor kitchen.
If you would like to know more, I wrote an entire blog post on Countertop Finishes. It also covers all the uncommon finish like flamed finish with photos.
Everything about Honed Granite Countertop (Pros, Cons, maintenance)
Pros of Honed Granite:
Aesthetics: Honed granite has a smooth, matte appearance. Its lack of shine gives it a more natural or earthy appearance compared to polished granite.
Non-Reflective Surface: Because it doesn’t have a glossy finish, honed granite doesn’t reflect light. The smooth surface can be a plus in rooms with a lot of natural sunlight.
Fingerprints and Smudges: Honed granite shows fewer fingerprints and smudges compared to polished granite. This makes it a good choice for high-traffic areas or households with children.
Cons of Honed Granite:
Staining: One of the most significant disadvantages of honed granite surfaces is that it’s more prone to staining.
The honing process opens up the pores in the stone, making it more absorbent. You need to get a good-quality sealer to offset this.
Etching: Honed granite is also more prone to etching, which means that stone’s surface damage is caused by the reaction of acidic substances.
Maintenance: Because it’s more susceptible to staining, honed granite often has maintenance requirements. It requires frequent sealing & proper maintenance as compared to polished stone.
Inconsistency: The honing process can result in inconsistencies in the finish, with some areas more polished or rougher than others.
This can either be a con or a pro, depending on personal preference, as some people appreciate the unique, organic feel this brings.
Color: Honed granite has a somewhat duller color compared to polished finish, as the honing process doesn’t bring out the color as much.
This could be a downside if you like rich, vibrant countertop color.
Everything about Polished Granite Countertop (Pros, cons, maintenance)
Pros of Polished Granite:
Aesthetics: Polished granite has a glossy, mirror-like finish that brings out the depth, richness, and vibrancy of the stone’s color and patterns. It gives a luxurious and classic appeal to any space. It’s one of the most popular choices in interior design projects that require highly reflective surface.
Durability: The polishing process seals most of the stone’s pores, making it less prone to staining and absorption. This, in combination with granite’s natural hardness, makes it highly durable.
Low Maintenance: Polished granite is relatively easy to maintain. Although has porous nature, It only needs to be sealed about once a year.
When it comes to proper care, regular wiping with a soft cloth and mild cleaner is usually enough to keep it looking its best.
Enhanced Color: The glossy finish enhances the natural color and pattern of the granite, making it stand out more.
Cons of Polished Granite:
Shows Smudges and Fingerprints: Because of its shiny surface and natural reflection of the stone, polished granite tends to show fingerprints, smudges, and even slight dust more readily.
This might mean it needs to be cleaned more often to keep it looking perfect.
Slippery When Wet: Polished granite can become quite slippery when wet, which could potentially be a safety concern in a kitchen or bathroom environment.
Reflectivity: Polished granite is reflective, which can be an issue in rooms with lots of natural or artificial light. It can create unwanted glare.
Cost: Polished granite can sometimes be a bit more expensive than honed granite, due to the extra work involved in achieving the polished finish.
Scratches: While granite is highly scratch resistant, if scratches do occur, they are typically more noticeable on polished granite than on a honed finish.
Popular Granite Colors used in both finishes
Absolute Black: This color is one of the most popular for its striking, sleek, and contemporary look. It’s an excellent choice for contrast in a kitchen or bathroom.
Alaska White: This is a beautiful blend of pale silver and frosty whites, with darker shades interspersed throughout. It provides a clean, crisp look.
Bianco Romano: Also known as Romano Dream, this granite is a mixture of white, cream, and gray with small bits of deep Bordeaux flecks.
Black Galaxy: This granite color is almost completely black with small gold or white flecks, similar to a night sky, hence the name.
Black Pearl: As the name suggests, this granite is a black color with shimmering light-reflecting crystals.
Colonial White: A popular choice for those wanting a traditional or farmhouse style. Colonial white granite is a creamy blend of pale gray with brown and black speckles.
Giallo Ornamental: Also known as Giallo Santo or Amarello Ornamental, this granite is creamy white with golden, brown, and gray flecks.
New Venetian Gold: This color is a warm, rich stone with golden, gray, and burgundy flecks.
Santa Cecilia: Named after Saint Cecilia, this granite is a beautiful creamy white with gold, brown, and burgundy specks.
Uba Tuba: Also known as Green Labrador and Verde Ubatuba, this granite is a deep dark green with light green, black, gold, brown, and sometimes white flecks.
Honed vs Polished Granite: The Main Differences
Cleaning Honed or Polished Granite:
Whether honed or polished, granite is a relatively low-maintenance material. To clean either type of countertops, here is what you nee to do.
Use a mild, neutral (pH balanced) stone cleaner for regular cleaning. Avoid acidic or alkaline cleaners as these can etch the surface of the granite.
Warm water and a soft cloth or sponge are usually enough for daily cleaning.
How to choose the right finish for your project
The choice between honed and polished granite really comes down to personal design preferences.
Since now you know all the facts, you should be able to make an informed decision.
If you love a shiny, reflective surface that enhances the natural characteristics of the stone, polished granite may be your best bet.
If you are looking for little maintenance and have a kitchen island, polished granite should be your final decision.
However, if you prefer a softer, more natural look and feel, then honed granite could be the perfect choice.
Consider the usage of the granite as well. For high traffic areas or where spills are common, polished granite could be more suitable due to its stain resistance.
For areas where slip resistance is a concern, or where you prefer a less glossy look, honed granite surface could be the better choice.
How often should honed granite be resealed?
It generally depends on the usage and type of sealer, but on average, honed granite should be resealed every one to three years.
Can I change the finish of my granite countertop from polished to honed or vice versa?
Yes, it’s possible to change the finish of a granite countertop, but it’s a professional task that involves grinding (for polishing) or chemical treatments (for honing).
Is honed granite more expensive than polished granite?
The cost can vary based on the specific type of granite and your region, but generally, they are comparable in price.
However, honed granite can sometimes be slightly more expensive due to less demand and more processing.
Does honed granite stain easily?
Honed granite is more porous than polished granite, making it more susceptible to staining. However, with proper sealing and maintenance, stains can be prevented
Which one is more popular, honed or polished granite?
Polished granite tends to be more popular due to its shiny, luxurious aesthetic. However, honed granite has gained popularity in recent years for its natural, matte look.
Can I use both honed and polished granite in one space?
Absolutely! Mixing finishes can add visual interest and depth to a space. Just be sure the aesthetic blends well with your overall design.
Which is better for kitchen countertops: honed or polished granite?
The choice depends on personal preference and the design aesthetic. Honed granite offers a matte, casual look, while polished granite provides a sleek, shiny finish.
The information in this post is for general informational purposes only. The author
and publisher are not responsible for any damage, injury, or loss that may occur from using the
information provided. Readers should follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions
as listed by installation countertop professionals.
This Post was about Honed Granite Vs Polished: What’s the Difference
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