Picture of modern kitchen with dark honed granite countertops.

For centuries, people have used granite and natural stone to build and add beauty to their homes and public spaces. Today, granite is one of the most popular choices for countertops and other accent pieces in homes and offices across the US. With stunning swirls and exotic colors, polished granite walls or honed granite countertops make for a conversation piece in any space. But, what’s the difference between polished and honed granite?

Choosing the right type of finish for your granite is as important as choosing the slab itself. Granite comes in many different finishes including polished, leathered, and honed. Each type of granite has a distinct look and way of caring for it.

The appearance of Polished and Honed Granite Countertops

Polished Granite Countertops

Polished granite is the most commonly seen type of granite in homes and offices. As you would expect, polished granite has a polished, glossy finish. They’re best suited for kitchen or bathroom countertops because of how easy they are to clean and the final look when it’s finished. After the countertops are polished, the color appears darker and more vibrant.

Honed Granite Countertops

In contrast, honed granite has a more natural, raw look and feel. Honed granite gets its finish when a granite fabricator uses coarse materials to grind the granite slab, but stops before the surface becomes shiny.

Honed granite countertops have a non-reflective finish. The matte, satin appearance is more subtle than polished granite, as not all of the granite colors and textures appear on the surface of the stone. If you do prefer a more rich color palate, there are color enhancers that can be applied to enrich the stone.

Because of the muted, more subtle appearance, honed granite countertops are perfect for modern, contemporary designs. Given the growing appeal for modern design in kitchens and bathrooms, this style of stone is becoming increasingly popular.

Close-up of grey honed granite coffee table with lamp, magazines, and a vase.

Care & Maintenance

Cleaning Your Countertops

Regardless of the finish you choose, you’ll need to know how to clean granite countertops to maintain their appearance. Since granite is a natural stone, you can cause harm to the surface by not using the right cleaning materials – or by letting water sit and settle in an area. Blot up any spills or sitting water so as to not let the stone absorb water or stains.

Not all cleaning products are safe to use on granite.

Be sure to choose non-abrasive, non-acidic cleaning products that are safe to use on granite. Cleaners with ammonia can even remove the protective sealer on the stone.

Honed countertops come with an extra twist. Darker colors may even show fingerprints or oil stains. Sealing your honed granite countertops will help a bit, but you should be aware that dark colors will develop some unavoidable faults over time.

Sealing Your Countertops

Both polished and honed granite countertops need to be periodically sealed. Choosing a non-toxic PH balanced sealer and maintaining a regular sealing schedule will keep your countertops – and your family – safe.

You may need to reseal honed granite as often as every 6 months, whereas polished should be resealed at least once a year to ensure your countertops don’t lose their shine. Remember that granite varies in porosity. Lighter colors are more porous than darker tones, and will need to be sealed more often. If you’re wondering how to seal granite countertops, read through our step-by-step guide, or contact us today.

What to Choose: Polished or Honed Granite Countertops

There is no definite answer as to which is better for your space or your lifestyle. In general granite countertops are popular for their long lifespan and undeniable beauty. While honed granite offers the same durability as polished granite, they do require more attention as they are susceptible to showing stains. If you’re not sure which type of finish to choose for your new granite countertops, consult with a trusted design specialist or granite fabricator.

Contact Affordable Granite Concepts

Affordable Granite Concepts is a premier granite installation and fabrication company located in Central Florida. We are committed to providing you with the best quality experience for investing in commercial and residential granite, quartz, and natural stone.