Granite is most popular for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Granite can be finished with different textures and sheens, each of which has its own specifics. Most granite is very hard and does not scratch or stain easily and repairs well. Granite finishes include polish, honed, flamed and leathered.
Polished granite finish is created when the stone is buffed with the help of fine polishing pads, giving the surface a glossy, reflective appearance. Polished granite has a glossy, mirror like shine that reflects light well. There are many hues, including shades of gold, black, white (great substitute for white marble in a kitchen), and gray.
Honed granite finish is created as polishing process ends before buffing to create a matte or low-gloss sheen that lacks the highly reflective, mirror like look of polished granite. The surface is very smooth and velvety to the touch but lacks the shine and the high degree of reflection characteristic of a polished finish.
Flamed granite is a smooth but dull appearance. A honed finish refers to any level that is less than polished and therefore encompasses many levels of dullness. Flamed finish is produced when an intense flame is fired at the stone, causing the surface to burst and become rough.
Leathered granite surface usually has a soft sheen to it, but is much less shiny than the glossy look of a polished slab. Leathered granite hides fingerprints, water spots and smudges well. A leathered finish is most often used for countertops, vanities and outdoor applications.