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Pros and Cons of Honed Granite

Pros and Cons of Honed Granite

Granite, one of the popular stones for kitchen and bathroom countertops, is available in a multitude of colors and finishes. If you are finding it difficult to choose from polished and honed granite, then this DecorDezine post is for you. The article describes the advantages and disadvantages of using honed granite.
DecorDezine Staff
Did You Know?
The surface finish of a stone―for example, granite―is determined by where the finishing process is stopped.
Granite is commonly used for monuments, pavings, bridges, walls, landscapes, and kitchen and bathroom countertops. Use of granite enhances the beauty of the structure. The kitchen, passages, stairs, and bathrooms look elegant with the use of this natural stone. It is known for its exceptional hardness, durability, and heat-resisting capacity. It is almost scratch-proof and easy to maintain. Depending on its mineral content, granite can be white, gray, or pink. It can retain its shine for several years.
The rough slab of granite needs to go through various finishing processes. Several coarse abrasive pads and a number of fine polishing pads are run over the slab. Applying pressure, the polishing wheels grind and buff the slab and give it the final mirror-like look. The stone is then called 'polished granite' and is quite popular for its clean, glossy look. However, some people do not like this 'glossy and shiny' finish. Instead of 'polished finish' they prefer 'honed' granite.
What is Honed Granite
Granite with a smooth, glossy, and mirror-like reflective finish is said to have a 'polished' surface finish. Such shiny finish is the finest and the smoothest finish available. When the polishing process is stopped before buffing (the phase where the granite becomes shiny), the stone cannot have the typical mirror-like look. This type of granite that comes with a flat matte finish or low-gloss sheen is known as 'honed' granite. It is not highly reflective like the polished granite, but it can give your home a soft, casual look. So for homeowners who like granite but not its glossiness, honed granite is a good option.

There exist various types of honed granite finishes, for example, satin finish, velvet finish, diamond smooth finish, and machine smooth finish. Some fabricators claim that they can hone polished granite. With some special equipment, they can remove the polished surface, but this can, at times, damage the surface.
Advantages
➺ Honed granite comes in softer colors than polished granite. If you don't want the glossy finish, and also the dull color of honed granite, then you can use a color enhancer on your honed stone, especially if it is black honed granite.
➺ Honed granite is not as reflective as polished granite. But, glossy surface is more likely to reflect a scratch when light hits it. A honed finish helps hide the defects, if any.
➺ Honed granite can be finished in various ways. The finish may range from little to no gloss, always giving it a softer, old-world look. Although not glossy, it is smooth and velvety to touch.
➺ This type of granite can give your home a completely different look. It is not as common as polished granite, so gives a unique, cozy, quiet look. It can give your kitchen a vintage or farmhouse look.
➺ Daily maintenance involves wiping with a damp cloth and drying with a towel to prevent water spots. A razor blade or knife can be used to remove dried paint or food. Being very hard (harder than most kitchen utensils and knives), granite is almost scratch-proof. It is always better to use safe and recommended products to clean the stone.
➺ Honed granite is less slippery than its shiny counterpart. So it is mainly used for floors and stairs. It is used in high-traffic areas where foot traffic might deteriorate a polished finish, and where the presence of water might make a polished finish too slippery.
Disadvantages
➺ Honed granite is more susceptible to staining and requires more maintenance than the polished one. The extra polish that a polished granite has acts as a seal, and protects the granite from harsh weather and chemical wear. Honed granite, even though treated with a sealant, is not as stain resistant to wine and grape juice as the polished variety. So it should not be actually used in kitchens. Strongly colored food, if spilled, can leave stains on its surface. Acidic liquids like fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, and soda may etch the surface.
➺ With polished finish, the color of the granite slab appears darker and richer. The polish helps reveal the depth and color of the stone.
➺ Honed surfaces are smooth but more porous being unpolished and are more likely to stain. Mineral oil is used for darkening the patina of the honed surface. If you suggest the supplier not to oil your stone as you prefer natural patina, dust, grease, and fingerprints would be more apparent. It would be difficult to remove them. However, a color enhancer can help minimize the dark spots and fingerprints.
➺ Honed granite lacks the shininess and reflective qualities of polished granite. Even if you are not living in a mansion or large house, use of glossy, mirror-like granite in your humble abode can make it look grand and noble. The highly reflective appearance of polished granite can give your home a smooth, sleek look.
➺ Polished granite comes with vibrant colors. Honed granite does not have such bright, eye-catching colors.
➺ Like all other stones, honed granite also needs to be treated with a penetrating sealant to prevent it from absorbing water. If unsealed, it can absorb stains such as oil, which can eventually lead to dark spots or discoloration. One may have to reseal it more often than the polished one.
Granite has a crystalline structure, and can chip if subjected to sharp, hard objects. Usually, the chip is filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. Apart from polished and honed granite, there exist a number of finishes, for example, antiqued, caressed, suede, flamed, etc. Despite the problems with honed granite, it is gaining popularity for its unique look. One may select it depending on where he wants to use it.
The strength of a granite slab (its ability to deal with stress) depends on where it comes from, and not on its finish. The price of a granite slab may vary from place to place. Honed granite can be as expensive as the polished one. Market demand has driven up the prices. Which is better depends purely on personal taste. There are definitely pros and cons to each. One should read the information and customer reviews that are available on the Internet, compare the prices, types and colors, advantages and disadvantages, and see some samples before taking the final decision.
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