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Honed Granite: A Complete Guide to Buying

Written by Amanda Kaiser on August 21, 2019
Edited By Angela Warren, Last Updated On January 01, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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You may recognize granite countertops for the eye-catching shine they have under lights. However, not all granite countertops have this distinctive shine – and that is what many homeowners have come to prefer in recent years. If you choose to have a honed granite countertop, it will not have a shine to it, but rather a beautiful matte finish. The differences between honed granite countertops and polished granite countertops even extends to areas such as cost. This guide to honed granite countertops will walk you through everything that you will need to know about having a granite countertop with a honed finish, rather than one that is polished. 


Honed Granite vs. Polished Granite: What is the Difference? 

The two most common finishes for granite countertops are honed and polished. Honed granite is the result of the natural stone being left with a matte look, rather than polished, which makes the stone shiny. While both are desirable to homeowners, your personal opinion will ultimately determine which finish is right for your new countertop. 

Appearance: Honed vs. Polished 

As mentioned, if you want a countertop with a matte look, honed will be the way to go, but if you want something that shines, you should choose polished. However, you may be like the looks of both but do not know which one will suit your countertop better. Below is a breakdown of what each option will give you in terms of appearance. 


Honed granite will appear subtle, yet beautiful. The stone will have a more natural look to it, which many homeowners like. The countertop will be smooth to the touch. Beyond the selection of honed vs. polished, there are different types of honed finishes. These different types you can choose from include machine smooth, diamond smooth, satin and velvet finishes. Honed granite countertops are a great way to add a modern and stylish touch to your kitchen, bathroom or any other room in the house. 


Polished granite will appear smooth and reflective. The stone’s colors will appear more vibrant and its patterns, such as different veins, flecks and swirls, will be more noticeable. This is because the polished finish will enhance the look of the color and patterns. With a honed finish, these colors and patterns are more subtle. Polished granite countertops are a good way to add an elegant natural stone surface to your home. 

Cost: Honed vs. Polished 

There is a difference in cost between types of granite countertops. This difference, and the cost of granite in general, will depend on a variety of factors. 

What Factors Determine the Prices of Granite? 

There are numerous factors that influence costs. These factors include: 

  • The Type of Finish You Choose 

  • Rarity of the Type of Granite 

  • Where the Granite Comes From 

  • The Availability of the Stone 


The Type of Finish You Choose 

Whether you choose a honed or polished finish will have an impact on the overall cost of your new granite countertop. While you may expect the shinier polished finish to be more expensive, the opposite is actually the case: honed granite tends to be more expensive than its polished counterpart. The reason polished granite is cheaper is due to the finish being more popular and readily available. Honed finishes are still less common than polished finishes, so you will have to account for that when you see the price. 

Rarity of the Type of Granite 

The rarity of the type of granite itself will impact the overall cost too. As you read with finishes, if you choose a type of granite that is less readily available than other types, it will be more expensive. These rarer types could have interesting coloring and veining patterns that are not commonly seen. 

Where the Granite Comes From 

Where the granite is quarried can influence cost as well. If the granite needs to be shipped long distance, that can increase the cost of the stone. 

The Availability of the Stone 

Even if it is not a rare type of granite, sometimes certain types are not readily available. Because of this, if you choose a type that is not readily available at the time you purchase, you could end up paying more for it. 

Grades of Honed Granite Countertops 

Each granite countertop will have a grade that is based on color, veins and patterns. Below is a breakdown of the grades you will find with honed granite countertops: 

  • Low-tier 

  • Mid-tier 

  • Top-tier 


Low-tier is also referred to as commercial grade granite. These slabs may have more imperfections present than those that are higher grade. 


Mid-tier is average quality stone. It is better quality than commercial grade, but not quite as nice as top-tier granite. 


Top-tier granite is the best quality and will offer you the most diverse selection of colors, veins and patterns. 

Where is Granite Quarried? 

Granite is quarried in many locations worldwide. It is typically found in Brazil, India, the United States and China. Where your granite is quarried can impact the cost. 

Maintenance of Honed Granite Countertops 

Honed granite countertops require more maintenance than polished granite countertops. Even when the surfaces are sealed, they will still be more prone to staining than granite that is polished. Because of this, you will have to re-seal the countertops more often. While you can get away with re-sealing a polished granite countertop only once every year, you will need to re-seal your honed granite countertop every three to four months. However, as long as you are careful and take proper care of your honed granite countertops, they can stay in great shape for years. 

How Does Maintenance of Honed Granite Compare to Polished Granite? 

Other than having to re-seal the surface more often, polished granite does have maintenance requirements that appeal more to many homeowners. The surfaces are very sanitary, easy to clean and resist stains. This makes polished granite countertops an ideal choice for a heavily trafficked area of the home such as a kitchen. 

Pros and Cons of Honed Granite Countertops 

As you will find with polished granite countertops, or any countertops for that matter, honed granite comes with its pros and cons. These pros and cons are listed and explained below. 

Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Wide Range of Colors to Choose From More Prone to Staining
Can Fit in Well in Many Rooms Require Re-sealing More Often
High Resale Value Higher Cost Than Polished Granite
Durable Surface Dirt and Fingerprints More Noticeable


Wide Range of Colors to Choose From 

Honed granite countertops will offer many colors for you to choose from. Any color that you end up choosing will have a beautiful matte appearance if you go with the honed granite. While the shine of polished granite has gotten so much attention, honed granite is a better option for you if you want something that is less flashy. 

Can Fit in Well in Many Rooms 

Because the colors are toned down, honed granite can fit in well in many different rooms. Whether your kitchen, bathroom or any other room you install the countertops in have bright or dull colors, your honed granite countertop will look good. The subdued colors of honed granite have continued to rise in popularity in recent years. 

High Resale Value 

Honed granite countertops follow the trend of natural stone countertops in general by having a high resale value. Many homeowners desire the look and functionality of granite countertops, and although they require more maintenance than those that are polished, honed granite is extremely popular. Installing a honed granite countertop will also make your house incredibly attractive to potential buyers. 

Durable Surface 

Honed granite is very durable if you take proper care of it. As long as you keep up on the maintenance of the countertop, it should remain beautiful and durable for years to come. 


More Prone to Staining 

One of the major downsides to honed granite is that it is more prone to staining than polished granite. Because of this, you will have to be extremely careful if you choose to install honed granite countertops. The risk of staining increases further when the liquid spilled on the surface is acidic. You will need to make an effort to not have spills occur on the countertop and if they do, to clean them up immediately. 

Require Re-sealing More Often 

Because they are more prone to staining, honed granite countertops require more frequent re-sealing. You must repeat the re-sealing process every three to four months. However, re-sealing is quick and easy, so this is not as much of an inconvenience as it sounds like. 


Higher Cost Than Polished Granite 

As mentioned, honed granite will cost more than polished granite. This is because the finish is less common, making it less readily available. 

Dirt and Fingerprints More Noticeable 

You will need to make sure you clean your honed granite countertop often. Dirt and stains are more noticeable on the surfaces than on polished granite countertops, especially if the granite is a dark color. 

Overall, there are many factors that make honed granite countertops attractive. By reviewing this guide, you can now make an educated decision on which granite finish will be better for your new countertops. 

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