Polished granite has a shiny, glossy finish. This option is very common for countertops because the polished look brings out a wide range of colors that compliment the design of many kitchens and bathrooms. After polishing the stone it becomes darker, and the colors more rich. The granite surface also becomes somewhat reflective. It’s an elegant look, and because of the many color options granite provides it can easily match any design style. Granite is usually polished by the fabricator before it is installed, but it can be
repolished after installation. Re-polishing will be necessary every 5-10 years, depending on the amount of use the stone gets, and if any damage occurs. Some homeowners re-polish their own countertops with a variable speed buffer, but it is a bit of an art, so many people opt to hire a countertop expert to refinish the stone.

Honed granite is basically the opposite of polished. This finish has very little shine, it’s more of a matte or satin look. Honed granite isn’t typically as dark as polished, and there is less contrast in the stone’s colors. While this finish still provides the class and elegance that people look for in granite, it is more subtle than the polished option. Technically, all granite is polished, as the stone’s surface is rough when it is first extracted from the earth. Honed granite however, does not go through as much, or as fine grinding and buffing as polished granite. Both finishes are flat and smooth to the touch.

As far as durability and maintenance, there aren’t huge differences between the two. Both are very strong, and virtually scratch resistant. Honed granite is more porous, so it will require slightly more frequent sealing (again, depends on usage). Polished finishes are more likely to show blemishes, because the glossy will be worn down in damaged areas. But with proper maintenance and care, both are great choices for a kitchen or bath.
Many homeowners choose between polished and honed granite based strictly on their design preference. Polished is the default option, but for homes with a more rustic or subtle aesthetic, a honed surface may be a better match

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