Surface Finish Selection
How do you want your countertop to look? Shiny, matted, textured…
If you chose the color, chances are most probably you chose the finish as well. Most granite colors are only available in polished finish. Its shine, ease of care and maintenance makes it the finish preferred by the majority of clients. If you don’t like a shiny look, a honed finish may be for you. This matted surface takes a little more maintenance and care. It’s also more susceptible to stains and finger prints.
A flamed or brushed finish is dimpled or rough to the touch giving your stone a natural look. These types of finishes aren’t a great choice for kitchen countertops because of the textured surface. They will be harder to clean. They are used mainly for floors to help with slip resistance or on walls for visual interest.
Below you will find more detailed information about the finishes that are available today.
* A polished finish has a glossy, mirror-like surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the stone. Polishing also reduces the porosity of the granite which increases granite’s resistance to humidity and chemical substances commonly found in the kitchens. This is why polishing is the preferred surface treatment for kitchen countertops. This finish is typically used on countertops, walls, furniture tops, and floor tiles.
* A honed finish is a satin-smooth surface with relatively little light reflection. It is generally preferred for floors, stair treads, thresholds, and other areas where heavy traffic will wear off a polished finish. Strictly speaking, granite is called “honed” when the polishing process is halted just before a reflective shiny surface is achieved. This gives a softer, matte appearance to the stone.
Some processors use a special process called “Velvet” which enhances and deepens the colors as well. Polished granite can be honed with special equipment by removing the polished surface, but this can sometimes result in wheel marks from the polishing head.
Honed granite is more porous than polished granite and therefore it is not recommended for use on kitchen countertops in heavily used kitchens. We recommend using honed granite in areas with less exposure to chemicals such as vanity tops or table tops.
* A flamed finish is a rough-textured non-slip surface used frequently on granite floor tiles. Granite is flamed by applying blowtorch-strength heat to the surface of the stone. This causes the surface to melt and some of the crystals to shatter. Color is generally faded, hiding defects and tone variations. This highly textured surface is ideal for exterior paving or wet areas where optimum non-slipperiness is required.
* A tumbled finish is an archaic or worn appearance that is arrived at when pieces of marble, limestone or granite are tumbled during fabrication.
* An antique finish is an uneven but smooth surface. Special machinery that looks like industrial washing machines is used to obtain an antique finish. The pieces to be treated are put in the machine with abrasive elements and the cylinder revolves. In a short time the impact of the stone with the abrasives produces an effect similar to aging caused by use and wear.
* A brushed finish is a worn, satin-smooth finish obtained by applying hard plastic or metal brushes to the stone surface. The heavily action removes the softer part of the stone and wears out the surface, giving it a look similar to that of antique finishing.
* A sand blasted finish is a matte gloss surface that is textured by a pressurized flow of sand and water. This treatment produces a smooth abrasion, leaving the material slightly scratched on the surface, but not rugged. The color tones and the veins are a bit dulled.
* A bush hammered finish is a textured finish that is developed by pounding the stone. The degree of roughness in the surface texture can be specified. This method creates a rugged surface full of little grazes at the impact points, and it modifies the color, making it lighter. The surface becomes non-slip.