Granite Countertops Finishes

Granite Countertop Finishes



Granite Countertop Finishes - Polished, Honed, Leathered, Carresed, Tuscan, Bush-Hammered, Raked, Scarpaletto (Course & Fine) And Flamed

leathered granite


Granite countertops are usually polished to a high shine which does a couple of things - it brings out the beauty of the stone and it also makes the countertop easy to clean. But, not everyone wants a shinny finish on their countertops.  If you want something different, Percoco Marble has several different finishes to choose from.  I am sure many other countertop fabricators have the textures for countertops but you need to know what to ask for. Below are a few of the “unusual” granite countertop finishes available from Percoco and recommended uses.


Factory: The finish put on the slab at the processing facility (factory) before being exported. Generally polished for most marbles and granites, and honed for most limestones. Slates mostly come as cleft faced. Additionally some materials are available in multiple finishes (ie a stone may be mostly exported polished, but a smaller quantity is exported honed).

Polished:  This is the standard factory finish for most granites and marbles. A polished surface is highly reflective and the least porous of the finishes available. Polished marbles can be etched with many household acids and cleaners. On-site surface refinishing is NOT recommended and can be spotty at best.

Leathered: Leather Finish on Ubatuba Granite This finish adds texture to the surface. Additionally, it closes the pores (compared to honing) and retains the color better than honing. While a leathered finish has a sheen to it, it is no where near as reflective as a polished surface. A good analogy would be that a leathered finish is like a matte finish on a photograph whereas a polished surface is like a glossy photograph. Please note that the amount of texture will vary from stone to stone and some stones will not leather (especially extremely uniform materials). Leathering is preferred to honing for blacks and other very dark materials. For example the amount of texture on Absolute Black is minimal and very fine grained, and the finish is much more uniform than honing Absolute Black.

Leathering starts with a honed surface and adds texture, and is a completely different process than river washed.

Caressed:  This finish adds gloss to the leathered finish above. Starting with a leathered finish and then "polishing" the high spots. This of course closes the pores more than the leathered finish, but not as much as a polished finish.

Honed: This is the standard factory finish for most limestones (most of which will NOT take a polish). Honing a polished material opens up the pore making it more susceptible to staining than the same material in a polished finish. At home refinishing is possible, and the end result will vary from stone to stone (see refinishing in our care and cleaning section). Honing will "grey out" or fade the color of the stone, this is more noticeable on darker materials than on lighter materials. A color enhancing sealer is available and may be used to restore the color (if desired). Also note that very dark materials (especially blacks) tend to end up with an uneven finish and a honed finish is not recommended.

Bush hammered: Another textured finish. This is best for external use. Bush hammering will "grey out" or fade the color of the stone to an even greater extent than honing. This finish is rougher than leathering and more uniform. This finish can be done to virtually any stone.

Tuscan:  The Tuscan finish is similar to the River Wash finish in that it is a brushed finish. However the Tuscan finish starts with a bush hammered finish rather than a flamed finish (that is the basis of the river washed finish).

Flamed:  A flamed finish is created using an extremely hot flame. The heat stresses the material causing crystals to pop out. Flaming creates a very rough texture best used for exterior purposes only. A flamed finish is excellent for exterior walkways. Flaming can only be done on granites.

Antiqued:  This is actually a style of finishes rather than a particular finish. Leathered, river washed, and tumbled finishes are all examples of an antiqued finish. A factory finish similar to a leathered finish is sometimes called an antiqued finish.

Brushed: This term is sometimes used to refer to either a leather finish or a river washed finish. Unfortunately, this leads to ambiguity as there are distinct differences between leathered and river washed finishes.

Cleft face:  This is most commonly seen on slate and sandstones. Cleft face is simply the natural splitting along the layers as the stone is removed from the quarry. This is a factory finish only.

Sandblasted: This textured surface can vary (like leathering) based on the composition of the stone being blasted. Also other blast media (instead of sand) may be used creating differences in the end result. Blasting will also "grey out" or fade the color (even more so than honing). A blasted surface is extremely porous and will be very hard to keep clean. Recommended for decorative use only.

River washed:  This finish is the precursor to the leather finish. Before a slab can be river washed it must first be flamed. The river washing process simply smoothes out the roughness of the flamed finish. River washed surfaces are good for interior or decorative use and NOT recommended for countertops.

You may contact Percoco Marble in Denver, Colorado at 303.733.3013.



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