A Guide to Granite Finishes

Posted by Ben Thompson on 07.2.17

Your countertop selection is a key design component for a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Granite is a great option for homeowners who want to use a natural material with unique patterns and features. Once you find that perfect piece of granite, the next thing you have to determine is the finish you would like. There are three types of granite finishes: polished, honed, and rough. One may lend itself better than another based on the design aesthetic you wish to create.

Granite Finishes


A polished finish is the most familiar to homeowners and what we typically expect from a granite countertop – a smooth and shiny finish. This mirror-like surface brings out the color and details of the granite. It’s the easiest finish to keep clean and will maintain its gloss for years with proper maintenance. They can be polished again if necessary to bring back their original shine.

This finish works best when you want the counters to be the focal point. If you have other reflective surfaces or eye-catching elements within the room you may want to choose another finish.


Honed granite has a matte, non-reflective appearance. It is smooth like polished, but will not show scratches as easily. A honed finish gives a softer feel to a space; colors and patterns of the granite will be slightly muted.

A honed surface is a nice complement in a room with shiny or reflective surfaces. If the space receives an abundance of natural light, this finish will cut down the glare.


To create a rough finish, an abrasive like a diamond tipped brush is applied to a piece of honed granite. The unique texture created by this process gives the granite a modern and sophisticated look, highlighting the color yet disguising any imperfections of the stone. There are many terms to describe this surface such as leathered or brushed.

A rough surface will hide fingerprints and smudges better than any other finish so it’s great for bathrooms or family kitchens.

If you are planning a remodel that will include countertops, ask your designer for guidance on finish. For more ideas on countertop styles, check out our bathroom portfolio.



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