Granite is one of the strongest and durable materials on earth. The rock has many applications but is frequently used to make kitchen countertops. However, granite countertop needs to be finished and properly maintained if you want them to last long.
Let’s check out the common finishes available for granite countertops.
Polished finish is the most popular finish for granite. It is commonly used for kitchen countertops, restrooms, and islands. The granite slabs are buffed with polishing pads that give them a shiny, glossy, and mirror-like look.
The polished finish enhances the original color by making it richer and darker. It also gives the surface a smoother feel. Polished finish seals more pores on granite and helps repel moisture better. It increases the overall age of granite and makes cleaning easy.
Honed finish is best for people that want a matte look. It gives lesser shine and reflection than a polished finish. Honed finish gives a calm and relaxed look to your stone but also retains the original class and color of the stone. It doesn’t enhance the original color and hides flaws on the surface, if any.
Honed finish is usually done on granite floors and countertops. It is less slippery and doesn’t reveal traffic patterns. Honed finish is less effective than a polished finish when it comes to moisture retention. It means that you have to be more careful with honed finished granite. Acidic liquids and strong colored spills can discolor or stain the surface.
Honed finish requires more maintenance compared to a polished finish. You’ll need to reseal more often to avoid water absorption and discoloring.
Leathered finish is relatively newer than other types of finishes, but it is rapidly gaining popularity among homeowners. Leathered finish gives a smoother and matte appearance to granite. The surface gets smooth, like a polished finish, but it is not reflective.
The finish works great for kitchen countertops, bar tops, bathrooms, fireplace covers, and tables. It is done on a honed surface by running diamond-tipped brushes to add texture with subtle dimples. Leathered finish helps you keep the original surface of the stone.
Leathered finish gives the top features of a honed and polished finish. It gives the matte look of a honed finish and the resistance of a polished finish. It is stain and liquid resistant, hides water spots, fingerprints, footmarks, and smudges.
Caressed finish is great for high-traffic areas like bathroom vanities, kitchen counters, areas near sinks, and food prep areas.
Caressed finish is achieved by polishing leathered surfaces, resulting in a sheen on those surfaces. The process makes the stone look elegant and rugged. It increases water and stain resistance.
Granite is the only stone that can withstand a flamed finish. The slabs are exposed to intense but controlled heat, resulting in grains on the rock bursting, and the texture becomes rough. It also changes the original color to a more muted look.
Flamed finish is popular for outdoor applications such as outdoor kitchens, exterior walls, and paving. The flamed finish makes the granite non-slippery, making it best to be installed in outdoor walkways and entrance paths.
Brush Hammered Finish
Brush hammered is an uncommon finish for granite. It is achieved by using a hammer-like tool with triangular points on it. The tool hits the surface to make a naturally weathered look with a textured surface and a lighter color.
It is a decorative tool and is not used for kitchen counters or high-traffic areas because they make the rock more porous.
Which Finish is best for my Granite Countertop?
Each type of finish has pros and cons. You must decide depending on the type of granite, usage frequency, and preferences. It is possible to have different finishes for different areas. Most people prefer a polished finish because it protects the countertop better than other finishes.
How often should you Finish/Seal Granite Countertops?
Sealing/finishing your granite countertops once a year helps increase their life. You may need to seal high-traffic places around the sink, kitchen island, and food prep area more often, depending on your use. Check if your granite countertop needs sealing by sprinkling a few drops of water and wait for 5-10 minutes. If the water is absorbed into the surface, the countertops must be sealed as soon as possible. Click here to read more about when you should repair or replace your granite countertops.
How do you Seal Granite Countertops?
Determine if your granite countertop needs resealing by doing the water test. If yes, follow the steps given below.
- Remove all items from the countertop and clean it. Let it dry for at least 24 hours, so the surface is completely dry.
- Apply sealer on an inconspicuous area and check it doesn’t leave any stains.
- Apply on the entire surface and let it sit as per the instructions on the packaging.
- Wipe the sealant.
- Let the countertop site for 24-48 hours before using them again.
General Care for Granite
- Granite is a durable and strong material. However, it needs regular care to make it last longer. Here’s how you can care for your granite countertops and increase their life.
- Wipe spills as soon as possible; granite is porous and absorbs liquids quickly.
- Acidic liquids like lemon juice, alcohol, and vinegar can stain granite. You must also wipe them immediately.
- Use a soft, non-abrasive sponge with warm soapy water for daily cleaning and wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth or paper towels. Never use harsh or abrasive cleaners, as they can dull the shine of your countertops.
- Do not use harsh chemicals like oven cleaners, or products with vinegar, bleach, and ammonia to clean granite countertops.