any updated reviews of honed/brushed granite- looks and upkeep??

scrappy25February 21, 2014

Hi , I searched but the longer review threads on honed/leathered/brushed granite are all from pre-2010. I'd like to see your updated experience with honed or brushed/leathered granite- which type, how it looks day to day, how easy it is to clean, and how often you have to seal it. Also how much extra you think it was to have it honed/brushed/leathered. If you could post a picture, that would be even better!

I am particularly interested in darker granites. Not sure why my big box stores now have absolute black as a level granite so may just go for the uba tuba.

thanks in advance!

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I haven't had mine long enough to answer most of your questions, but I do know that I paid $5 sf to have it honed.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:36AM
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I had Nordic black antique in my previous home. When we moved out a year ago, it looked as good as it looked when we put it in in 2006. It was a breeze to keep clean and I never sealed it. It was already "antiqued" when I picked it so I have no idea what the extra cost was.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:40AM
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We have both honed and brushed, (or antiqued) Cosmic Black in our Kitchen. The honed is on the working space and on the two tier island, (which we love!), it is brushed. The granite is a mix of black, soft greys, creams and white, it does not read busy though.
We did not want anything polished and are over the moon with the finishes. Neither the honed nor the brushed shows smudges or crumbs., (sometimes that is not good!). It looks clean all the time and the two finishes blend well together.
Our brushed is on our eating area, it is quite textured, definately not smooth in any way but this is our eating surface and works well for us. I would not have wanted antiqued or brushed on a working surface, a little too textured, but the honed is soft looking and cleans up well.
I have included a link to some pics if it works! I don't have time to sort, edit etc. and the file size is large so the link is the best I can do right now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Pics

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Bumping up, hoping for more responses to the OP's question since we're also considering a finish other than polished (I'm not a fan of shiny surfaces).

Our contenders are Blue Pearl and Arabian Black (the yard's name, no idea what other name it may go by) in a honed or satin (aka leathered) finish. I've seen both stones in a satin finish and they are really lovely, however, I prefer the look and feel of honed stone. That said, if the finish doesn't hold up over time or is a maintenance nightmare, I could easily be happy with a satin finish (my hubby will go along with whatever I choose, providing I don't go crazy).

I've heard the cautions that honed dark granites, specifically AB, will show fingerprints and oil stains more easily and that in general, honed granites are more likely to stain than their polished counterparts.

But I heard a new caution from a fabricator the other day. He said that honed surfaces will show scratches more readily. He explained that because the surface is left with a finish like this ^^^^^^^^^^ at the microscopic level, something dragged across it could knock the tops off and leave a mark. If we chose to go with a honed finish, this fabricator makes us sign a waiver.

This is a well-respected fabricator with an excellent rating on BBB, Angie's List, Yelp, etc, so I would think he knows what he's talking about but in all my research, I don't recall seeing this caution mentioned. A search through the archives turned up lots of threads about honed AB granite; none of them mention the scratch concern.

Does anyone have experience with this issue with honed granite counters? If so, is the risk dependent on which granite is chosen more than the finish? Blue Pearl is one of the so-called bullet-proof granites (water beads up on the unsealed smooth saw cut side of my polished sample) so maybe it's less of a concern?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 5:42PM
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I was at a show house this week in a 7 million dollar home in a historical section of town. The kitchen, newly redone to look original to the house, had the most beautiful leathered granite in it. The docent was describing it as if it were the newest thing : ) But I digress, she was so taken with it. It was a green something granite and had beautiful graining and veining with built up edges that made it look several inches thick in a double Dupont edge. The cabinets were in a mid to dark gray. It was a swooner. No photos were allowed, too bad. Would love to have shown to you. I have seen this surface offered for a few years at my local stone yard. Could not wrap my head around it for a kitchen but after seeing it in a real kitchen I could easily see myself getting it. It's gorgeous. I also like the honed which I have in a guest bath in Carrera marble. It's holding up so far. It's been about two years. I love it. I sealed it really well when I first got it and so far so food. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:51PM
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Pity you weren't allowed to take pics, gr8day, that counter sounds lovely!

scrappy25, I forgot to add the quote for honing or satin finishing. It's $350 a slab, or about $7 to $9/sq ft, depending on slab size. The fabricator owns the machinery to do the different finishes (one of the stone yards sends all their slabs to this fabricator to refinish).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 8:47PM
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I currently have a leathered Typhoon Bordeaux. In my previous kitchen I did honed black pearl. Neither of these granites are susceptible to scratches. They both seem to wear like iron.

Here's the Typhoon. The leathered finished is very different from the honed. It is not shiny but it has a nice satiny look to it. The honed Black Pearl granite had more of a flat look to it.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:19PM
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Our children have honed peacock blue that would be fantastic if you didn't see the scratch marks from the honing process. It's a breeze to clean even though it gets very messy every day (toddler experiments!). We have leathered black galaxy in one of our laundry rooms and its no maintenance. I really like it. I have honed soapstone in another laundry room and it takes a beating really well. I've spilled oil, paint, detergent, and other things and it cleans up easily and looks brand new after a year.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:30PM
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jerzeegirl, I love your leathered Typhoon Bordeaux counters! I would love to see a close-up if possible. I also love the cabinets! Did you do a reveal yet? I am going to do a search. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:46PM
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Jerzeegirl's gorgeous kitchen with the leathered Typhoon Bordeaux Counters! I found the link by doing a google search. I had seen the kitchen back in January 2013. I love the two toned cabinets, the tiled floors in the running bond pattern, the lighting, the backsplash, the gorgeous counters, and just the overall look. I hadn't realized brushed granite was leathered granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jerzeegirl's gorgeous kitchen with the leathered counters

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:59PM
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We also have a leathered surface to our granite. It's been installed now for a few months and so far, I've been very pleased with it. No issues with scratching that I've seen - although we're careful, our GC are less so. Also, haven't had any issues with oil, etc., but they did seal the granite also, which I would imagine helps.

I LOVE that it has a "soft, warm" feel to it - it's hard to describe, but I love to touch our granite. Though it's hard - obviously, it's has a dimension that is difficult to describe other than being "soft and warm". I imagine that others with the same surface would say the same.

I love that when the light hits it, we have physical texture (the areas where we have mica bits in it tend to be lower), so the main surface is matte, but the relief area (the mica) is shiny.

One slight drawback - I wouldn't want to work bread dough or anything like that directly on the countertop because I think that little bits might get stuck in the crevices...but I haven't tested that and don't plan to really - I use cutting boards, etc. when I'm working with things like that. I did the same thing when I worked with our laminate style countertops too, so it's really no difference now.

The picture I'm attaching shows a bit of the textural element of the leathered surface of our granite.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:17PM
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Andreak100, I love your granite! What is the granite called that you had leathered? I would love to see a picture of your kitchen if you have time to share.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Lynn - thank you! Our fabricator called it "Diamonds Leathered", but it goes by other names as well. And we picked our stone about 1 1/2 years ago (yes, it waited for us all that time) - the newer slabs that they had in that were the same thing looked quite different...still pretty, but very different than ours. Here's a link to the original thread when we found our slabs:

It reads warmer or cooler depending on the lighting. We used "warm" leds, so we tend to pick up a little more of the creamy-ness. Direct sunlight and it looks whiter.

Also, debrak_2008 has the same stone, I believe, so you may want to check her kitchen out as well.

Our kitchen is still getting finished, so I haven't done a reveal yet. It's been an extremely slow and painful process. The GC started demo in December. If we are lucky, we'll be done by June.

Here is a link that might be useful: When we got stoned ;-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:45PM
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Andreak100, thank you so much for sharing more pictures of your beautiful counters and the link where you posted the pictures. I can't wait to see your kitchen when you have a reveal and are finished. The Crema Typhoon Leather counters are so pretty and they look wonderful in the leathered finish!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:29AM
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Thanks, jerzeegirl! Good to hear how well your honed black pearl wore. Love your new counter, too.

three3apples, I wonder if what you're seeing as "scratch marks from the honing process" are actually natural whitish fissures in the stone. I saw honed butterfly blue, which is likely the same granite, and noticed that it had tiny white markings in places. When I checked the same stone in a polished finish, I realized that I could see the tiny white lines, too, but I had to look harder to spot them. In other words, it's not from the honing process; it's a natural part of the stone.

andreak100, your counters are gorgeous, too!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 2:16AM
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