You have chosen your cabinet’s color, wall paint, and even found that beautiful decorative object that will add punch. Your designer recommends to opt for stone countertops for a little touch of luxury to your space, but there is still one decision ahead of you : its finish. You hesitate. Is there a better finish? Will your stone be more sensitive to stains with a honed finish?
In reality, no matter what finish you choose, your stone’s inherent natural characteristics will remain unchanged. However, there are finishes that are more recommended for different material types. Here are a few helpful tips for each stone family.
MARBLE AND QUARTZITE
The HONED and the ANTIQUE finishes are most liked as they diminish the appearance of « etching » marks throughout time. What is « etching »? It is a chemical reaction that occurs when the surface enters in a prolonged exposure to acids (whether it be a fruit juice, a lemon or cleaning products with an acid pH level). This translates into a depolishing effect of the surface, which is visible at certain angles under certain lighting condition. By choosing a honed or antique finish, this reaction is less visible and you will have peace of mind when preparing your meals! We still recommend the use of cutting boards!
The honed finish is also ideal to diminish the appearance of those little finger marks [we all love our kids, grandkids, etc., but let’s face it, if we can do less cleaning, why not!]. A nice example of this is the kitchen below in White Macaubas Quartzite in a honed finish.
This surface is the most flexible in terms of finishes that can be applied to it. The polished finish will give it shine (as shown in the second image below, with a kitchen in Ferrato granite). However, depending on the chosen stone, this finish can have an uneven shine level in certain areas, as the softer minerals in the surface (such as mica) will not react the same way on the line polisher than harder minerals (such as quartz cristals). This is most frequent with exotic granites that have high movement and a combination of many different minerals.
Again, the honed finish will diminish the appearance of finger marks, and certain stones that contain a crisp mineral pattern (such as the Kodiak or Cambrian black granites, just to name two!) will be absolutely gorgeous with an antique finish, as illustrated below in the first image, which is a kitchen in Antique Brown, with an antique finish.
Because of its mineral composition, this stone is only available in a honed or antique finish. Talc being a soft mineral and also the main « ingredient » used by Mother-Nature for this surface, it cannot be polished to give it shine. The surface can however be oiled or waxed to give it depth and enhance veining, as can be seen in the image below which is a kitchen in Soapstone Smoke with a honed finish and a mineral oil applied to it.
QUARTZ & ULTRA-COMPACT SURFACES (DEKTON)
Quartz is most often seen in a polished finish, but certain fabricators now offer a suede or ciment finish to create different looks and textures, adapting to the more industrial trend.
Dekton however offers a finish that goes according to color. It is not possible to alter the finish of a given color to polish, antique or make it honed. Each color has a unique texture and finish, so one has to love it as is [or not!].
We hope that the above information will help guide you towards the finish that will be most adapted to your stone and lifestlye!