A Comprehensive Guide to 6 Popular Granite Surface Finishes

If you’re building an upscale home or a high-end commercial space, then granite is a must have. From gleaming floors to gorgeous counters, this natural material offers the perfect blend of beauty and functionality. But with so many colors and surface finishes available, making the right decision can be overwhelming. To help you make the best judgment, we’ve put together a list of the most popular granite surface finishes, highlighting the pros and cons of each:

1. Polished Finish

The Polished Finish is one of, if not the most popular surface finish, especially here in the Philippines. It uses a series of polishing wheels equipped with diamond pads of varying abrasiveness, transforming a dull-looking stone into a highly-reflective surface. By grinding and buffing the granite’s exterior, it achieves a mirror-like shine with minimal porosity.

Advantages

The polished finish brings out the stone’s full color and patterns, making it a favorite among homeowners and designers. Its surface is smooth and highly reflective, so it’s easy to clean and maintain.

Moreover, the polished finish is highly resistant to external elements. Its smooth, high gloss finish protects the granite from stains and moisture. It is also resistant to dirt and grime, which is perfect for busy kitchens.

Raw Polished

Disadvantages

However, the polished finish also has its drawbacks. First, it can be very slippery, especially when wet, so it’s not suitable for outdoor floors or if you have small children or older people at home. In addition, it requires regular repolishing to keep it looking new, as it can become dull due constant exposure to the elements.

Applications

In terms of design, the polished finish is versatile and can work with a wide range of styles, from traditional to modern. However, it is particularly well-suited to elegant and formal spaces, like five-star hotels and luxurious houses. It is ideal for kitchen countertops, hotel lobbies, and elevator casings.

The polished finish can be applied to almost all natural stone types, like granite, marble, limestone, travertine, and onyx. It works best on stones with beautiful color and pattern combinations, amplifying the materials’ inherent natural beauty.

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2. Honed Finish

Plus Php 800 per square meter

Gaining much attention over recent years, the Honed Finish is known for its satin-like texture and low-sheen gloss. It is created by applying the same procedure to achieve a polished finish but stopping short of the last stage, forming a smooth, matte texture.

The honed finish features a less reflective surface, giving the stone a more subdued, natural look. It is commonly used in traditional and classic interiors, as well as contemporary and minimalist spaces.

Raw Honed

Advantages

It is ideal for flooring applications, especially for high-traffic areas and wet environments. It provides adequate slip resistance, perfect for stair treads and bathroom floors.

On countertops, the honed finish delivers a refined, understated look to any kitchen space. It’s also less prone to showing scratches and dusts than its polished counterpart, which makes it an excellent option for busy households.

Disadvantages

Nevertheless, the honed finish also has its disadvantages. For one, it can make the stone look dull and flat, especially for darker granites.

Also, it has lesser resistance to staining, so you’ll need to seal it more often to protect your stone against spills and drips.

Lastly, fingerprints and smudge marks appear easily on honed countertops, especially on dark ones, like the “Absolute Black” and “Black Galaxy.” Hence, you have to wipe off your counter more frequently if you want it to look spotless. 

Applications

The honed finish can be applied to a wide range of stone types, including granite, marble, limestone, and even some varieties of sandstone.

The honed finish works for interior and exterior applications. It is commonly used for floors, countertops, patios, and walkways thanks to its non-slip feature.

Overall, the honed finish is a great option if you want a soft, laidback look on your granite surface. It’s an excellent surface treatment that suits various styles and applications, which can certainly add beauty and functionality to your residential or commercial space.

Everything changes, even stone.

3. Leather Finish

Plus Php 1,200 per square meter

A relatively new surface treatment, the Leather Finish offers a textured, matte appearance that emulates the look of, well, leather. It brings an understated elegance that is exquisitely stunning, especially when used on kitchen counters.

It is created by running a special diamond-tipped brush over a honed granite, giving it the look and feel of genuine leather.

Raw Leathered

Advantages

The leather finish has better stain resistance than honed surfaces. Also, it hides smudges and watermarks better than polished granites, making it ideal for your kitchen and bathroom.

What’s more, it’s relatively easy to maintain. Unlike high-gloss surfaces, which require repolishing, the leather finish only needs to be (re)sealed to keep its beauty. It’s an excellent option for busy homeowners who want a stylish and low-maintenance choice for their granite counters.

Disadvantages

However, a significant drawback of this surface finish is its price tag. It is currently more expensive than polished or honed slabs because there are only limited suppliers, driving up the cost. It is not commonly used either, so your contractor may be unfamiliar with the installation requirements for this particular finish.

Also, liquid can pool along its grooves, which makes cleaning extra challenging. Crumbs and bits can also make their way into the crevices, so you’ll need a small brush to sweep away the pieces.

Applications

The leather finish is ideal for countertops, vanity tops, and fireplace surrounds. It works best for traditional and rustic design styles, as well as contemporary and modern spaces.

You can apply it to a wide range of stone types, including granite, marble, and quartzite. But it works incredibly well on dark granites, especially “Absolute Black.”

The leather finish adds a touch of luxury and refinement to any space. Though it requires more effort to clean and maintain, it is worthwhile if you’re looking for a unique and sophisticated look in your kitchen space.

4. Flamed Finish

Plus Php 800 per square meter

The Flamed Finish has a unique, rugged look that is perfect for outdoor applications. It has a rough, textured surface formed by exposing the granite’s exterior to intense pressurized heat, resulting in a beautiful, rustic look that is hard to replicate.

Advantages

Because of its texture, it provides excellent traction, making it ideal for areas prone to water and other types of moisture. Typically applied to granite and basalt surfaces, the flamed finish is perfect for patios, walkways, driveways, and pool decks.

Raw Flamed

Disadvantages

On the downside, the flamed finish can be more challenging to clean and maintain. Because its surface is porous and textured, removing dirt and debris can be difficult. Moreover, it requires frequent resealing to protect it from stains and moisture issues, such as algae and fungus. 

Additionally, its rough surface can be uncomfortable walking on, especially with bare feet.

Applications

The flamed finish boasts a rugged, natural aesthetic that perfectly complements industrial and rustic design styles. This unique surface treatment is perfect for outdoor living spaces, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that blends seamlessly with nature.

Whether you’re looking to create a cozy outdoor kitchen, a relaxing patio, or a stylish fire pit area, the flamed finish will surely enhance your space’s overall look and feel.

5. Bush Hammered Finish

Plus Php 1,200 per square meter

The Bush Hammered Finish is made using a high-impact machine, or hand tool called a bush hammer, that creates pits of different sizes evenly distributed across the granite’s surface.

Similar to a flamed surface, the bush hammered finish has a rough, textured appearance and an aged, natural look. It adds a rustic and timeless appeal that complements various design styles—from traditional to Mediterranean.

Advantages

In addition, it provides excellent slip resistance, making it ideal for pool decks, patios, and walkways. Moreover, thanks to its uneven surface, it helps hide any imperfections of the stone.
Raw Bush Hammered

Disadvantages

However, despite these advantages, the bush hammered finish can be difficult to clean. Its rough surface traps dirt and soil, which can be pretty challenging to remove.

Applications

The bush hammered finish applies to most natural stones, including granite, limestone, and sandstone. It adds beauty and functionality to any stone application, be it floors, walls, or other design elements.

Lastly, the bush hammered finish is an excellent alternative to the flamed finish if you want a slip-resistant textured surface with a more consistent appearance.

6. Sandblasted Finish

Plus Php 1,200 per square meter

Sandblasting is another popular process to create highly-textured stone surfaces. It involves blasting fine sand particles onto the stone using high pressure, which roughens and dulls the surface. It has a coarse texture that is less rough than those in flamed finish stones.

Advantages

Like most textured surface treatments, the sandblasted finish offers exceptional slip resistance. It provides excellent traction, making it an ideal choice for floor tiles, walkways, and pool decks. Similarly, it can easily hide the stone’s imperfections, like cracks, chips, and other flaws.

Raw Sandblasted

Disadvantages

However, the sandblasted finish also comes with a few disadvantages. First, it takes work to clean. The rough surface can trap dirt and soil, making removal a challenge. Additionally, the finish can be uneven, which can be an issue in some applications. Consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance before choosing this surface finish.

Applications

The sandblasted finish can be applied to various natural stone types, including granite, basalt, and quartzite. It works beautifully on dense, hard stones that can withstand high-pressure sandblasting, especially black granites.

It is ideal for contemporary and modern spaces as it adds a raw and rugged aesthetic to the overall design. It pairs well with clean, minimalistic lines and neutral color palettes, providing a perfect balance between roughness and elegance.

The sandblasted finish is an excellent option if you want to add texture and dimension to your stone application, especially for outdoor areas where slip resistance is required. However, it is essential to consider the maintenance requirements of this finish and make an informed decision based on the project’s specific needs.

Which Surface Finish Works Best for Your Stone Application?

Your surface finish can make or break the overall look and functionality of your stone application. Here are a few things to keep in mind before making your final decision:

a. Purpose

  • How will the surface be used?
  • Does it require slip resistance? Or is it just for aesthetic purposes?
  • Will it be exposed to various elements?

b. Aesthetics

  • How does it fit in the overall design of your space?
  • Does it complement or contrast other design elements in the room?
  • Do you want it polished, matte, or textured?

c. Maintenance

  • Are you looking for a low-maintenance surface?
  • Do you have the time to clean and maintain it?
  • Are you comfortable with the upkeep it requires?

d. Availability

  • Is it available from your local supplier?
  • Is your contractor skilled and knowledgeable about the surface finish?
  • Does your contractor have the right tools to execute the task?
  • Does it fit your budget?
  • Have you considered other alternatives?
  • Is it worth the investment?

Choosing the right surface finish is an important decision that requires careful consideration. By taking the time to consider all the factors above, you’ll be able to choose the surface treatment that perfectly suits your needs.

Whether you’re working on a small D.I.Y. project or a large-scale commercial space, a suitable surface finish can make all the difference in the result.

Where to Buy Finished Granite Slabs in the Philippines?

Choosing the right materials is crucial for building luxury homes and stunning commercial spaces. If you’re looking for high-quality granite slabs at a reasonable price, Stone Depot is the place to be. We offer an extensive selection of granites in various finishes, be they polished, honed, flamed, or leathered. As such, we are the go-to destination for homeowners, contractors, and interior designers.

Moreover, we have in-house granite installers who handle everything from measuring and cutting to installation and buffing. You can be confident that your granite counter will be expertly installed, ensuring a beautiful and long-lasting result.

Visit us today and see for yourself. We have branches in:

Miguel Aquino

Miguel Aquino

Miguel Aquino is the General Manager of Stone Depot, one of the Philippines' leading suppliers of granite, marble, and quartz. Since 2010, he has been in the stone industry, working for a similar company in Balintawak, Quezon City.

You can find him playing Magic: the Gathering at a hobby store every Friday night.

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2 thoughts on “A Comprehensive Guide to 6 Popular Granite Surface Finishes”

  1. Teknik Telekomunikasi

    In your opinion, which finish is good for walls outside the house so that they are not easily damaged due to environmental factors?

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