Do you have a natural stone countertop at home? Are you aware that you can select from a wide range of finishes? Which you select is just important as the material it’s made from, as it will help determine just how functional the surface will be. For instance, a polished surface will reflect whereas a honed one is anti-slip.
Your finish also goes a long way towards protecting the stone and affecting how it will look when installed. Certain finishes will soften the colour; others may intensify it.
Are you thinking of giving your kitchen, bathroom or bar a facelift via a natural stone countertop? Or are you unsure as to which finish you should pick out for a newly renovated one? Let’s explore some of your best options.
Finish Options for Natural Stone Countertops
Explore a wide range of finish options available for natural stone countertops.
When trying to achieve a polished finish, the stone undergoes sanding, grinding and buffing to achieve a mirror-like, high-gloss appearance. However, this can only be done on crystallized stones such as granite and marble.
It’s a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms and bars owing to the reflective and smooth surface it creates. This finish makes the texture and colour of the natural stone appear more vibrant.
The surface is easy to maintain and helps seal the pores present in natural stone. This makes the finish suitable for any application where it will be exposed to moisture and high levels of humidity.
Also often referred to as a matte finish, the honed finish used on natural stone countertops provides a smooth surface without reflection or gloss. This appearance is achieved by buffing a polished surface, allowing it to appear relaxed, while creating a rustic charm.
This finish may not show the grains, patterns, and textures present in natural stone as well as other finishes, like a polished one. But if you are looking for a slightly muted appearance, choose a honed finish. It doesn’t make the surface slippery and can help cover flaws better as it doesn’t reflect light.
A flamed finish is achieved by exposing a natural stone countertop to high temperatures and then rapidly cooling it. This results in the grains bursting and often changing colour. It creates a faded appearance; a bumpy and rough texture offering an anti-slip surface.
The colour is muted like charcoal or tan, while the finish is suitable for outdoor kitchens. If the worktop isn’t in use, the natural stone doesn’t need additional maintenance beyond regular cleaning.
This finish is suitable for sandstone and granite countertops as it helps tone variations and hides defects.
A leathered finish is achieved by getting rid of the stone’s polished finish and then grinding the surface with long-bristled brushes. When used on natural stone countertops, it offers a pebbly appearance with small fissures and pits – similar in appearance to a piece of leather. The texture often differs from stone to stone, with some offering a more distinctly leathery appearance than others.
Its inviting and warm appeal is also rustic. It offers depth similar to that of a honed finish, with enough sheen and texture to display the stone’s natural beauty without requiring rigorous maintenance to keep it that way.
This surface will not show scratches, stains, fingerprints or smudges but might require a bit of extra work to clean the fissures and pits.
This finish is suitable for bathrooms, bar tops and other residential applications.
5. Caressed Finish
This finish is achieved by adding a bit of shine to the leathered finish. Typically, the raised areas of the stone are polished to a shine, creating a rugged yet elegant countertop surface. The caressed finish helps seal the stone’s pores and protect them from moisture.
This style is suited to granite countertops.
Acids can be used to change the appearance of natural stone countertops. The end product depends on the type of acid chosen and how long it’s applied. It’s a great way to achieve an antique appearance and can also be applied to existing countertops to change their appearance.
This is a rough, coarse finish that gives stone countertops a natural appearance. Typically, when natural stone is quarried, it is cut into slabs that are later polished before being sent to a fabricator. To achieve this finish, the slabs are cut using a gang saw, with the face left unpolished. This is what gives it its natural appearance.
The finish you choose for your natural stone countertop is up to you and your requirements. It’s a good idea to talk to your countertop provider before making a decision. Remember, the finish can completely change your countertop’s appearance. Hopefully, this blog has given you some options to ensure you make an informed investment.