The kitchen is the heart of the home, which is why it’s one of our custom home builders’ favorite rooms to design. Homeowners often put a lot of thought into what they put in their kitchens, from the floors to the backsplashes. The countertop is one of the most important elements in any kitchen. People spend a lot of time selecting the perfect stone, but they don’t often consider the finish.


Countertops finishes can make a big impact on how the stone looks, and it also impacts the feel and performance. Here’s everything you need to know about stone countertop finishes.


Polished Finish

When people picture a stone countertop, they often envision one with a shiny, reflective finish. This is known as a “polished” finish. It’s by far the most popular finish and gives the stone a high gloss look. A polished finish will have a brilliant, reflective sheen that is smooth to the touch.


Pros of Polished: Brings out colors of stone, bounces light, stains less easily, smooth to touch, easy to clean

Cons of Polished: Finish may fade with time, can only be cleaned with certain products, will become the star of the room


Honed Finish

A honed finish is also referred to as a matte finish. It’s become incredibly popular in recent years and it’s easy to see why. This finish is smooth to the touch and has a soft, satiny feel, but it isn’t shiny like a polished finish. While this finish isn’t glossy, it does still bounce light around which is why people like it. The matte finish creates an elegant, subtler, more natural look.


Pros of Honed: More natural look, shows fewer scratches, conceals imperfections, smooth to the touch

Cons of Honed: Doesn’t show stone texture and color as well, more porous and prone to stains, more difficult to maintain


Leathered Finish

This is one of the newer countertops finishes but has been rising in popularity. A leathered or brushed finish brings out the natural characteristics of the stone. It has a distinctive rough look, with the appearance and texture reminiscent of leather. This finish isn’t shiny, but it does hide imperfections well and has a more natural look.


Pros of Leathered: More natural look, hides imperfections, non-porous, retains the color of the stone

Cons of Leathered: Non-reflective, rough to touch, harder to maintain


Other Finishes

In addition to the three most popular finishes, there are a few others that are options.

-Sand Blasted Finish: This textured finish gives the stone a weathered look and is more common for outdoor surfaces.

-Flamed Finish: A flamed finish is created by exposing the stone to intense heat, which causes the grains in the stone to burst and change color.

-Caressed Finished: A caressed finish is similar to a leather finish but shinier. It has a polished yet rugged appearance.


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