Honed Vs. Polished Granite Countertops: Complete Comparison

colorful granite countertop

Granite countertops come in several types of finishes: honed or polished are just two of them. Both finishes offer a different kind of vibe, though equally durable. When buying and installing a granite countertop, you must be equipped with the pros and cons of each type of finish to make an informed choice.

Though choosing one over the other may still come down to what an individual likes and their budget, it helps to know what you are getting for your money’s worth.

What Is Honed Granite?

Let me keep this simple: If you see any newly installed granite countertop that does not seem to have a perfect finish, there is a high chance that it is honed. So basically, honed granite looks “unfinished.” Don’t get confused.

When granite countertops are made, even without a finish, they still look good. However, when granite is honed, though the outcome is a smooth countertop surface, it has a matte or less shiny look.

Honed granite is achieved by using coarse abrasives to essentially sand the surface of the granite countertop. Though the result will be smooth, the surface will not look shiny. Regardless, it is still finished.

What Is Polished Granite?

If the name is anything to go by, you may have a fair idea of what polished granite is. When granite is polished, fine abrasives are used to grind the countertop’s surface until it leaves a smooth and shiny finish. Other polishing powders are further used to add more shine to the surface.

Polished granite is what most people will consider to be an adequately finished granite countertop because of its glossy look, making it the most popular choice among homeowners.

Comparing Honed And Polished Granite Countertops

Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between honed and polished granite countertops.

Similarities Between Honed And Polished Granite Countertops

1. Durability

Both honed and polished granite countertops are long-lasting. Of course, how often you use the countertop and how well you maintain your granite countertop will determine its longevity. However, holding all factors constant, honed and polished granite countertops are equally durable. They all have equal ability to resist scratches as well.

2. Feel

Granite countertops give an elegant look, whether honed or polished. Though polished granite countertops have a glossier finish, both honed and polished granite countertops feel smooth and flat to the touch.

Differences Between Honed And Polished Granite Countertops

1. Appearance

As stated in their definition, honed granite countertops have a matte and less shiny finish, while polished ones have a glossy finish. Depending on one’s style preference, you can go in for either of them to tie in with the theme of the kitchen or house.

While honed granite countertops give a more subtle natural look, polished ones are shinier. Polished granite countertops also enhance the colors and patterns of the countertops, making them darker and richer.

Because of how they look, both granite countertops behave differently with light. Honed granite countertops tend to absorb light, while polished ones reflect light. With this phenomenon in mind, know that if you have honed granite countertops, your kitchen will have a more intimate feel, especially if it is big.

On the other hand, because polished granite countertops tend to open up the kitchen space, it is ideal for small kitchens to create an illusion of a bigger space.

2. Cleaning And Maintenance

Compared to honed granite countertops, polished ones are easier to clean and maintain. Honed granite countertops have porous surfaces, making the absorption of fluids and moisture into them easier.

If there are any spills on honed granite countertops, you must clean them immediately lest they seep into the countertop. The nature of honed granite countertops, therefore, requires you to re-seal them more frequently, possibly every few months, depending on the frequency of use.

Polished granite countertops, on the other hand, are easier to clean and maintain. They are less porous and therefore do not absorb moisture easily. That does not mean spills on polished granite countertops should be left uncleaned for a while, as drying up will leave water marks on the surfaces.

3. Ability To Conceal Stains

Once I have talked about cleaning and maintenance, let me touch on the ability of both finishes to conceal stains. While polished granite countertops make stains conspicuous, honed granite countertops are better at hiding them. Fingerprints and marks from air-dried water show more on polished granite countertops than honed granite countertops.  

4. Cost

Honed granite countertops are more costly than polished granite countertops. Technically, polished granite countertops are a finer version of honed granite countertops, as the former is achieved by continuing to grind the latter.

So, it would have made sense that since the manufacturing process of polished granite countertops seems more tedious, they would be more expensive.

On the contrary, honed granite countertops are generally more expensive. Here, the law of demand and supply applies. Polished granite countertops are in higher demand and are easier to find than their honed counterparts, making the price mechanism work in their favor by making them less expensive.

Honed granite countertops tend to be more difficult to find as they are the less common choice; this makes them generally pricier than polished granite countertops.   

5. Style

Honed granite countertops present an understated vibe and are, therefore, more suited for most styles. On the other hand, polished granite countertops give a more sophisticated look and work great in an over-the-top style kitchen.

Honed granite countertops match rustic, traditional, contemporary, and many other styles. Polished granite countertops can still be used in the spaces mentioned above. However, because of the classier nation, they tie in better with traditional kitchens.

Comparing Honed Vs. Polished Granite Countertop: Summary

 Honed Granite CountertopsPolished Granite Countertops
1. DurabilityEqually durableEqually durable
2. FeelSmooth to touchSmooth to touch
3. AppearanceMatte lookGlossy look
4. CleaningLess easy to cleanEasier to clean
5. MaintenanceRequires frequent re-sealingRequires less frequent re-sealing
6. Ability to conceal stainsConceals stains betterMakes stains conspicuous
7. CostMore expensiveLess expensive
8. StyleContemporaryTraditional

Which One Is Better: Honed Or Polished Granite Countertop?

Depending on what you want to check off your list when choosing a type of finish for your granite countertop, one can be better than the other. So, I would not say honed is better than polished granite countertops or vice versa.

However, I would say, based on your preferences and what you want to gain from the countertop, one can be better than the other.

Factors like your budget, the quality of the countertop, availability, and how often you will use it will largely influence your choice of granite countertops. Therefore, even after being equipped with the pros and cons of honed and polished granite countertops, the onus solely lies on you to make a better decision.

That said, honed granite countertops are generally better for rustic yet contemporary, frequently used big kitchens. Polished granite countertops are also better for small traditional kitchens, which are seldom used.

David A. Morris

Home On Point is owned by David Morris. I am a real estate professional and a huge fan of beautiful homes. I like researching ways to keep homes shining at all times and I am excited to share them as I learn along.

Recent Posts