Polished, Honed or Brushed Finish on Granite; What Is Your Choice?

Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Govi Reddy

When it comes to countertops, granite is one of the most popular materials available. Granite countertops visually appealing, durable, sanitary and easy to clean. With so many benefits, choosing to go with granite over other materials is often easy.

However, the choices don’t end there. Granite countertops come in a variety of surface finishes, and the number of options can be confusing. Most popular granite finishes are Polished, Honed and Brushed.

Below is some information to help you choose the best finish for your project.

To create polished granite, manufacturers grind the stone using very fine abrasives until it acquires a shiny, reflective appearance. Thus, polished granite will be both glossy and elegant. It is not as porous as other finishes, which means that it will not need to be sealed as often as other surface finishes would.

A polished finish also allows all of the natural color and beauty of the granite to show through, making it a popular choice among homeowners. Polished granite is also the most common finish, which means that it may be more likely to be in stock than other finishes are, especially if the stone you choose is rare.

Honed Granite

To create granite with a honed finish, manufacturers use coarser abrasives and stop grinding the stone before its surface becomes shiny, leaving it with a satin or matte appearance.

Because honed granite is not reflective and shiny like a polished stone, it will not show all of the color and texture of the granite stone as well as a polished finish will. However, some homeowners prefer this more subtle appearance over the glossiness of polished granite.

A honed granite countertop will be more porous than a polished granite countertop, which means that more frequent sealing will be necessary. Some honed granite colors tend to show the hand imprints more than the polished ones.

Brushed Granite

To create a brushed finish, manufacturers gently brush the granite’s surface until it becomes textured and appears worn-in. Because of the brushing process, granite countertops with this finish are more porous in comparison to glossy polished granite. Like a honed finish, a brushed finish dilutes the color of the granite.

Brushed finishes also require frequent sealing and are the most likely to become stained when they aren’t properly sealed and maintained. Dust and debris tend to accumulate in the uneven surface of brushed finish. So it needs more cleaning and maintenance.

How to Choose the Right Finish

Choosing the right finish for your granite countertops depends on both the intended use of the countertop and your personal design preferences.

Intended Use

If you will be placing your countertop in an area that receives a significant amount of use and traffic, polished granite may be the best choice, as this finish requires less maintenance and is more likely to resist stains.

However, honed granite can still be a viable choice for high traffic areas, as long as you follow a regular cleaning, sealing and maintenance schedule. For areas with lower amounts of traffic, any finish is suitable.

Design Preferences

If you are looking for a more elegant, sophisticated appearance, polished countertops are ideal. A polished finish is classy and shows all of the granite’s natural beauty. If you like to see the color of granite in its highest level, polished finish is your choice.

For a more subtle, contemporary aesthetic, honed countertops are the most appropriate option. A honed finish is more casual and understated. Honed granite is becoming more popular because of contemporary design trends of recent times.

Finally, some designers may prefer the more rugged appearance of brushed countertops, especially when the countertops will be installed in a home office, bar or outdoor kitchen.

Other Considerations

In many cases, the price and availability of the various finishes will influence your final decision.

Polished finishes are the most popular among customers and are therefore most likely to be in stock. In fact, the majority of St. Louis homeowners like a polished finish, and almost 95 percent of granite countertops installed by Arch City Granite are of polished granite.

However, honed finishes are growing in popularity, making them frequently available, as well. If you choose a brushed finish, your materials may be harder to come by.

The price of your granite countertops will depend on the granite’s finish and its availability.  Polished granite requires more grinding than honed granite and you would think that is will be more expensive. On the contrary, polish granite tends to be less expensive comparing honed or brushed because if high availability.

An uncommon finish that requires a special order may sometimes cost more, even if the process used to create it is simpler.

To make the best possible choice for your design, consider all of your options carefully. View the various stones available, compare prices, and select the finish that offers the most benefits for you.

If you’re ready to begin shopping for granite countertops, contact Arch City Granite today, or visit one of our locations in St. Louis or O’Fallon, Missouri.

Arch City Granite stocks a wide range of polished granite and honed granite, as well as a few brushed granite slabs. We will be happy to help you choose the stone and finish that’s best for your project.

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