Slabs Finish: Polished, Honed, Antiqued, Matte, Leathered

know the difference, pros & cons

Finish In Natural Stone Slabs: What’s the difference?
Learn the difference, pros & cons between the most popular finishes. 

So you've finally chosen to update your kitchen countertops and have carefully researched the pros and cons. You selected everything correctly and checked every box on your list.
Material innovation, home trends, and designer flair finds a way to throw you a fastball.
The glossy, polished countertop finish has served as the standard for generations. The variety of finishes available today for granite, marble, quartz, soapstone, and quartzite slabs has expanded their desirability among homeowners and interior designers.

Don't worry the necessary information is collected in this blog to clarify all of your questions.


The first stage in renovating your space is selecting the proper material. 
Not an easy task. We know, we know.
Colors, designs, and care are some of the most significant factors to prioritize. A natural slab look and texture might be glossy, honed, matte, antiqued, or leather, it's critical to know the difference between the appropriate finish for your surface that won't intervene with your lifestyle.

All natural stone surfaces require regular cleaning and care to avoid staining. Most slabs will have to be resealed over 6 to 12 months to preserve their beauty and durability.

While the positives and negatives change, there are specific qualities from either end that some people find undesirable for their goals and requirements.
Everything comes down to personal taste and needs in the end.

Polished Finished


Let's start with the benefits of a polished finish. In this situation, the finish is rather simple.
When it comes to availability, it has minimal limitations.
The slabs are polished and coated to get a glossy, smooth reflective shine.
A polished surface provides a barrier that seals the pores that exist in natural stone, this helps to avoid staining, a polished marble is far more stain resistant than honed marble. Making your material more resistant than most.

Polished finishes have the disadvantage of becoming dull and washed out over time.
If you have a lot of sunlight, can lights, skylights, or big windows you will have a highly reflective surface, making smudges, damage, or scratches highly visible.

Honed Finished


A honed finish is perfectly flat, with a dull (no gloss) similar to leathered, but with a finer and more distributed texture. The honed finish texture is nearly identical to the polished finish, but it lacks the glossiness of the polished finish. A variety of stones, including granite, marbles, quartzite, soapstone, and quartz, have a honed texture/finish.
If you want to add character to your countertop surface without making an overwhelming statement, the honed finish could be the way to go. As previously stated, the honed polish offers all shades a more mellow, elegant appearance. If you're color-averse, this finish might let you ease into cyan, green, or blue countertops. 
A honed countertop, with its dull look and texture, may appeal to customers who are concerned about seeing reflections or smears on their countertop. It creates a peaceful and laidback ambiance while retaining the sturdiness of granite and quartz. It may be an excellent alternative to extremely permeable choices like marble, limestone, or concrete.
Moreover, many people believe that a honed countertop appears more sophisticated than a polished countertop, and they prefer it in their minimalist, rugged, or industrial-style homes. The honed polish complements any design that features more earthy, untreated parts.


The longevity of a honed finish varies depending on the stone species. 
Honed granite is slightly less durable than polished granite in terms of etching, staining, and abrasion resistance. In comparison, honed marble significantly decreases the resistance to damage, as even polished marble lacks durability.
Another drawback based on personal choice is the finish itself. Many customers, who believe that a highly polished surface is too "professional," choose an antique finish instead because of its cozier and friendlier atmosphere.

Antique Finish

A surface with an aged finish has a luxurious, velvety feel, similar to that of leather or brushed metal. Only some stones, such as granite, quartzite, and soapstone, may undergo this antiquing process.
If you like the look of soapstone but prefer the durability and low maintenance of granite or quartzite, an antiqued countertop might be the perfect compromise.
It's a question of personal preference, but an aged finish has the extra benefit of making whatever it is more inviting and comfortable. Many consumers would rather have an aged appearance than a highly polished one.


This finishing method is going to be as smooth as it gets, far smoother than "flamed."
Discoloration resistant,
UV Resistant, 
Heat resistant, 
Smudges resistant, 
Water stain resistant,
Fingerprints resistant.

Symptoms of wear and tear won't appear on aged granite or quartzite nearly as quickly as they would on soapstone. The finish draws attention to the material and gives it depth and dimension.
It seems incredibly rustic.
When compared to other finishes, this one is very difficult to discolor. Additionally, it is less likely to harbor germs. Antique finishing closes the stone's inherent pores, making it less porous and less likely to collect stains and germs.
The natural hue of the stone is highlighted, which is another perk. This is something that polishing accomplishes, but it also makes things shine more. Those who don't like the shiny appearance of a polished finish but want something other than the matte appearance of a honed finish may opt for this middle ground.


Unlike polished granite, antique surfaces don't reflect light well.
Its textured surface is more vulnerable to scratches if not given the right care. Having your countertop sealed before installation is a simple way to avoid this problem. Slightly less durable when compared to the polished version.

Go Back