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Granite countertop finishes


jturn00
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I am in the process of getting a new countertop installed and wanted to get everyone's opinion on the finish of the counter top. We are getting granite and we are trying to choose between highly polished or honed (matte) finishes. Besides style differences, are there any significant differences between the two. I feel that the highly polished will show scratches over time. does the matte finish have an impact on how spilled liquids would impact the finish and stone?

Thanks,

Jeff

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I am in the process of getting a new countertop installed and wanted to get everyone's opinion on the finish of the counter top.  We are getting granite and we are trying to choose between highly polished or honed (matte) finishes.  Besides style differences, are there any significant differences between the two.  I feel that the highly polished will show scratches over time.  does the matte finish have an impact on how spilled liquids would impact the finish and stone? 

Thanks,

Jeff

I did a lot of research when I got granite countertops last year, and I ended up with the standard polished finished. I love how the honed looks, but I've heard too many stories of people who've had trouble with staining. I believe the honing process removes a lot of the finish which makes the stone more vulnerable to stains. I've had my granite since September (and I cook and spill A LOT!) and it looks like new.

Granite shouldn't really show scratches, in fact a lot of people cut directly on them (although I don't). My one other piece of advice is to lean toward lighter colors. Mine never look dirty but my neighbor who has dark granite is constantly cleaning them because spots show so easily.

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I wouldn't worry about scratches on polished granite. We've had ours for over 6 years and it looks as new as it did when we put it in. The only thing I've had leave a mark is a puddle of oil. It will eventually sink into the granite and leave a dark blot, but you can get it out with a poultice.

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I'm in the middle of choosing granite. Polished will be by far the easiest to take care of, unless you get a dark granite with little movement that shows every fingerprint. Honed granites have a reputation for easily staining, but again, if you get a granite with a lot of movement that may not be visible. Antiqued or satin finish (I guess different companies use different terms) is an in-between finish that's not as smooth as polished and not as matte as honed. It also *may* have more of a leathery finish.

ETA: in addition, of course, all of this depends on how dense your granite is or how well-sealed.

Edited by Hest88 (log)
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Ahhhh ... the honed vs. polished debate.

Here's what I tell my clients ...

1. Both styles will resist scratches to the same degree. But since we're all using cutting boards and NOT CUTTING DIRECTLY ON THE STONE (which would ruin your Wusthofs before your granite), scratching danger is at a minimum.

2. Both styles will resist staining to the same degree provided they are both sealed properly. The downside to honed in this respect is that the honing is created by "scratching" a polished surface. These little scratches create places for stuff to hide. It's not staining per se, but a cleaning issue nonetheless.

3. Honing dark stones, while very dramatic in appearance, will reveal every little grubby fingerprint on its surface. These are easily wiped away, but you'll be wiping often.

4. Honing is soooooooo 90's :raz: I haven't done a honed top in 5 years.

A.

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I wouldn't worry about scratches on polished granite

I agree. We have polished granite and I took a scrap of our granite and tried to scratch it with steel wool, a razor and a screw driver and did very little if anythng to the surface. The few scratches I created polished right out with some 3000 grit polishing tapes.

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We've got polished granite. We don't cut on it for the sake of our knives, but we've put hot pots on it, slid things across it, etc and never a scratch do we see.

Ours is very dark and I'm wiping it constantly not because it shows dirt, but because it doesnt*. So I can't tell if its clean, so I get paranoid.

* I have to get to a low angle to see spots, crumbs etc easily.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Daddy-A, we installed honed absolute black granite a few weeks ago and despite having it sealed, everything, including water, seems to stain it. I assumed we simply needed to seal it further, but have been since told that absolute black should not be sealed at all and our 'stains' are really the impregnator being etched. Do you agree?

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Daddy-A, we installed honed absolute black granite a few weeks ago and despite having it sealed, everything, including water, seems to stain it. I assumed we simply needed to seal it further, but have been since told that absolute black should not be sealed at all and our 'stains' are really the impregnator being etched. Do you agree?

Sealing Nero Absoluto is often futile at best. The sealing liquid never seems to penetrate the surface of the stone, it's that dense. Not sure what is meant by "impregnator" unless they used acid to etch the stone and didn't in fact hone it.

Water doesn't technically "stain" but depending on the hardness can leave mineral rings or watermarks behind.

Bottom line is even if you seal it, you're going to see marks.

A.

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i have read that you seal the stone with mineral oil - just apply sev. applications and then reapply monthly or ev.6 month, depending on usage. it will build an oil seal, making it mostly impervious to liquids. what is the opinion on that?

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One more vote for highly polished granite. An unexpected benefit for us--besides not staining or scratching, etc.--is that it reflects quite a bit of light. We have a very grainy granite of medium shade--a lot of movement, as someone said. It really does bounce back a lot of light.

Two points: we have granite only on the island around our range. Another island has a butcher block top, and two counters, both with sinks, have dark formica. You don't need to have granite everywhere even if you want it somewhere. It's great for putting down hot pots and rolling pastry, not so great for breakable dishes.

The other point is that I loved going to the stone yard and picking out the actual slab of granite we would use. As I said, ours has quite an uneven grain and all sorts of colors. It was great fun to find it, and I recommend the experience highly.

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