When shopping for different options for granite countertops, you may encounter the choice between a honed finish or a polished one, leaving you to wonder: What’s the difference? The main factor is how the surface appears.
Honed materials, such as granite and quartz, feature a matte finish, lending to a softer, more natural tone. Under LED lights over counter tops, the reflection will not be as harsh on honed surfaces, particularly for dark materials. Also referred to as leathered, the option for honed granite can dramatically alter the feeling of a kitchen and can be used to create a more casual atmosphere in some cases.
On the other hand, polished granite is shiny and highly reflective. This is the more popular option, so it’s likely to one that you’re more familiar with. Reflections will be very crisp and the surface will feel very smooth.
When making a selection, keep in mind that honed counters will require more routine maintenance. While polished counters will need to be sealed every 1-2 years, while honed surfaces will need sealing every few months. Dark honed surfaces in particular may be much more prone to showing fingerprints and smudge marks. This is why polished granite tends to be more popular within homes.
The choice is ultimately up to the homeowner, as you weigh the pros and cons of a unique finish versus a higher requirement for maintenance.