Whether you want a smooth, glossy polish or a more unique texture, there are numerous finish styles to choose from. Here’s some information about a few of the most popular styles.
The standard factory finish for most granite and marble products, a polished finish provides a sleek, highly reflective surface. As the least porous finish style available, it offers both a low level of maintenance and strong resistance to stains.
While factory-polished finish remains a popular option, Jack Benning, owner of Golden State Granite in Concord, says the polishing process has changed significantly in recent years. “About a decade ago, most stone slabs were polished out with diamonds all the way down, but in recent years, manufacturers have started treating slabs with resin after being polished. This change in methodology has a couple of benefits. By treating the slab with resin, the manufacturer doesn’t have to polish it out as far to give the product an optimum shine. The resin treatment also seals the surface, which gives it an extra layer of protection. However, this technique isn’t without its drawbacks. When a granite professional treats a seam, they have to grind off that layer of resin, and there’s no way to reapply it.”
A textured finish provides the same benefits as polished stone while offering a rougher, more antiquated look and feel. Textured surfaces are achieved through a variety of techniques and manifested in styles such as leathered, river-washed, and flamed.
Mr. Benning says textured stone is a great option for those looking for products that have aesthetic character and high functionality. “Unless you’re committed to a factory-polished slab, I would definitely take a look at some of these textured surfaces. One of their most impressive benefits is they don’t show as much wear from everyday use. If you have a slab with a fine polish finish, it’s more likely to show things like water spots and fingerprints, whereas a textured surface will hide them.”
If you want to find a middle ground between glossy polish and rough texture, a honed finish may be the right option. By ending the finishing process prior to the buffing stage, a honed surface finish offers a smooth surface without the reflective quality of a full gloss polish. While it can be used for marble or granite countertops, honed finishes are often used for floors, stairs and other underfoot locations where a polished finish may not be preferable.
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