4 Different Granite Countertop Finishes to Elevate Your Kitchen or Bath

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Nelson Tile and Stone
May 1, 2024
Countertops | Kitchen | Bathroom

The Four Granite Countertop Finishes You Need to Know About

When selecting a granite countertop, finish is a pivotal factor that impacts both aesthetics and functionality. Below we'll talk about how each finish has its own personality, allowing for a solid variety of granite choices to consider, if this is the stone you are leaning towards using for your project. The most common finishes are:

  • Polished Finish: Reflective and shiny, a polished finish enhances the stone's natural color and pattern, making it a popular choice for those seeking a sophisticated look. A huge advantage is it's also the most stain-resistant option.
  • Honed Finish: Offering a matte look, honed granite has a smooth surface without the gloss. This finish is preferred for a softer, more natural appearance but is more susceptible to staining.
  • Leathered Finish: This textured finish gives the stone a more complex tactile feel. Dimples and ridges across the surface provide a rustic charm and hide fingerprints and water spots better than polished surfaces.
  • Flamed Finish: Achieved by heating the stone and cooling it rapidly, the flamed finish unlocks a rough texture advantageous for slip resistance, commonly used in outdoor installations for patio remodelling.

Each finish influences the maintenance and durability of the countertop, as well as its resilience to everyday wear and tear.

1. Polished Granite - Smooth and Elegant

Polished granite countertops boast a high-gloss finish that highlights the stone's natural beauty and intricate patterns. The glossy surface is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally advantageous, as it is easy to clean and resistant to staining when properly sealed. Homeowners often choose polished granite for its classic look that complements a variety of interior designs.

This granite finish maintains its allure over time, making it a popular choice for those seeking to add a touch of sophistication and enduring appeal to their kitchen or bathroom spaces. With its smooth mirroring display and its ability to withstand spills and maximum use, this is often an easy no-brainer for those looking for something beautiful and highly capable to design with. Despite changing trends, polished granite remains the epitome of elegance.

2. Honed Granite - A Stunning Matte Appeal

Honed granite, with its velvety and non-reflective finish, offers a contemporary twist to kitchen countertops, and lately becoming more and more suitable for those looking to design a contemporary living space. Unlike its polished counterpart, honed granite has a low sheen and provides a more natural, muted look. Its smooth, matte surface is achieved through a controlled finishing process that halts before achieving a glossy polish.

Some may argue that this finish with its porous appearance is less of an ideal surface for kitchens that are constantly being used, though we particularly favor honed granite finishes for their ability to conceal smudges and watermarks, making it in fact a practical choice for busy kitchens. Due to its non-slick texture, this granite is also the popular choice for flooring options, but can easily be integrated to your countertops to if you desire a workspace with a less slippery feel.

3. Leathered Granite Countertops - Unique Textured Finish

Without a doubt the most popular of the four styles, leathered granite has seen the most interest and been the trendiest choice in the past few years. Leathered granite countertops bring an earthy, natural aesthetic to any kitchen or bathroom. Unlike their polished counterparts, leathered granite has a textured surface that beautifully showcases the stone's natural colors and patterns. The distinctive finish is achieved by brushing the stone's surface with diamond-tipped brushes, giving it a soft sheen that is less glossy but highly tactile.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: The visible texture enhances the stone's natural hues.
  • Durability: Resistant to fingerprints and watermarks, making it practical for busy areas.
  • Unique Feel: Offers a sensory experience different from polished surfaces.

Leathered granite is an excellent choice for those looking to combine durability with a touch of nature's raw elegance in their home. Consider sealing your leathered granite countertop to preserve its original state for years and lessen the maintenance.

4. Flamed Granite Surfaces - Preserving a Natural Appearance

Flamed granite stands out with its rough, natural texture and non-reflective surface. This style is created by exposing the stone to intense heat and a cooling process, which pops some crystals out, leaving a heavily textured, yet soft to the touch surface. It's highly durable and slip-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor applications like patios and walkways. The flamed finish gives the granite an earthy and organic appearance. Available mainly in shades of gray, charcoal, and sand, each piece of flamed granite has a distinctive iridescence that catches the light. The texture also hides smudges and fingerprints, making it popular for high-traffic areas. The rugged look of flamed granite countertops brings a touch of nature to any space, perfectly complementing rustic and contemporary designs alike.

Exotic and Bold Granite Patterns to Consider

When personalizing a space with an audacious touch, exotic and bold granite patterns come to the fore. These dramatic stones showcase intricate veins, spirals, and a rainbow of hues that can become the centerpiece of a kitchen or bathroom. The following options typify this style:

  • Van Gogh Granite: A swirl of deep blues and golden yellows, reminiscent of the painter’s iconic post-impressionist works.
  • Cosmic Black Granite: Featuring striking veins of white and silver glimmering through a dark background, it brings sophistication and depth.
  • Magma Gold Granite: Boasting a bold, flowing design with a blend of red, gold, and black, Magma Gold adds a lively ambiance.

Opting for an exotic pattern ensures that countertops are not merely functional but also unparalleled works of art. These styles are ideal for those who are not afraid to make a statement in their space with a unique and captivating aesthetic.

How to Choose the Right Granite Countertop Style for Your Space

Choosing the right granite countertop involves several considerations to ensure it complements your space effectively:

  • Assess Your Space: Begin by observing your kitchen or bathroom's existing color scheme, cabinetry, and overall style. Bold granite patterns may suit modern, minimalist spaces, while subtle grains often enhance traditional decor.
  • Consider Lighting: The amount of natural and artificial light in your space can affect the appearance of granite. Lighter colors can brighten a room with less light, while darker granite can add depth to a well-lit area.
  • Measurement Precision: Accurate measurements are crucial. Ensure your granite countertop choice fits your space comfortably, allowing for any necessary cutouts or overhangs.
  • Maintenance Mindset: Some granite finishes require more maintenance than others. Depending on the purpose you have in mind, feel free to discuss with us or do some due diligence on how each finish will last over time and how to get the most life out of your investment.
  • Budget Balance: Granite countertops come at varying price points, but can still be significantly cheaper than other stone options. Determine your budget beforehand, and choose a style that offers the best balance between cost and quality.


Now that you have a better idea on the common selections for granite countertops and their unique finishes, you should be able to confidently choose between this stone and any others you're considering. Remember that when choosing a natural stone surface, you should have it sealed before your install to preserve its condition and prevent any damage.

We are happy to assist with any further information or questions you have and would be delighted to help you find the granite countertop that works best. Visit our showroom or you can reach a team member from our contact page to set up a project in the Central Oregon surrounding area.