For the last few decades, granite has been a top pick for countertops due to its durability, stain resistance, and elegant beauty. In particular, granite works well in the kitchen because it withstands heat and can serve as a functional work surface for meal preparation. Although the polished shine of granite is probably the first image that pops in your head, a variety of finishes are available, including flamed and honed granite. When you’re looking at granite slab options, keep in mind that the appearance of this natural stone can be modified by the finishing process you select. Like most natural stones, granite can be finished with either a smooth or rough texture. Some finishes produce results that will fit better with your intended use of the slab—so whether it will be a countertop, backsplash, or floor. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular finishes, along with suggested uses for each.
Polished granite has a glossy, mirrorlike shine that reflects light well and draws attention to the stone. Showcasing the flecks or specks the specific stone features, polished granite has long been one of the most popular choices for kitchen designs. It is well-loved by homeowners and designers because its glossy finish adds richness and elegance to the space. A high-polish finish also works to repel stains, making it an exceptional choice for kitchen countertops. It’s the perfect element for turning your center island into a stunning focal point. The versatility of granite is unmatched, and a polished countertop functions exceptionally well as a work area. Once your meal prep is complete, a polished-granite island can instantly be converted into a serving or dining space when company arrives.
Honed granite presents a buffed, or matte, appearance. When a stone is honed, it often lacks the high degree of reflection that a polished finish has. However, like polished granite, the surface of honed granite is smooth, and can therefore provide a good work surface. A honed finish also works well as a flooring surface because it’s less likely to show evidence of traffic patterns or wearing.
Flamed granite is heated under the highest of temperatures, using a controlled finishing process. This high heat causes the individual grains in the stone to burst and change color. The result is a rougher texture of stone with a more natural, faded appearance. Generally, the colors of flamed granite are more muted, including shades of tan or charcoal.
Typically, the rougher, flamed texture of granite is more suitable for areas of the home that are prone to dampness. When granite is used in exterior living spaces, such as a patio or deck, a flamed finish serves as a beautiful, unique option. These slabs also work well in an outdoor kitchen, as flamed granite is well-suited to uncovered, exterior applications. However, if you love the rustic beauty of flamed granite, you shouldn’t feel limited by how you can use it. Flamed granite can function exceptionally well in almost any room of your home. It’s even suitable for use as a shower floor or in other high-moisture areas where some natural stone options are not recommended for installation.