The Different Stone Countertop Finishes

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Stone countertops can elevate a kitchen’s appearance with their natural veining and clean, neutral colors. Whether you’re a fabricator or homeowner, it’s important to pay attention to a stone countertop’s texture, as some homes may benefit more from a certain style. It may not seem like much, but this single feature can make the same type of stone look and feel quite distinctive. Read on to learn about the different stone countertop finishes.


A honed finish is smooth, but it still retains a matte quality that won’t reflect much light. This finish requires the least change to the stone and possesses a softer, more faded appearance than the other finishes. It works to great effect on darker-colored stone. Honed countertops are less slick when they get wet because of their small exposed pores, but this also means they can stain more easily. To maintain them, you’ll need to periodically seal them so that they remain resistant to liquids.


The most texturally complex of the different stone countertop finishes, a leathered finish has irregular ridges and bumps that make the stone feel more organic than highly processed. Stone fabricators create leather countertops by moving brushes made of diamond against them to give them the uneven yet pleasing wear that characterizes the finish. This type of texture pairs well with sophisticated homes that already contain many smooth and precise fixtures and surfaces. The natural look of the leathering serves as a subtle yet impactful contrast. Some people may also prefer a leathered finish because it’s easier to keep clean than other finishes and because it obscures any marks you might make on it through use.


Perhaps the most classic out of the options, a polished finish imparts countertops with an extremely smooth glossiness. Manufacturers use slab and edge polishers to purge away tiny imperfections in the stone and create the polish. You may consider the texture itself somewhat plain, but it works well to emphasize veins, speckles, and other color variations within the stone. It’s also understandably easy to wipe off when you spill anything on it, and the pores that originally exist in the stone’s surface are sealed so that it’s no longer prone to absorbing water. You do need to clean it often to get rid of smudges, though.

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