Polished granite has a shiny, glossy finish. This option is very common for countertops because the polished look brings out a wide range of colors that compliment the design of many kitchens and bathrooms.
After polishing the stone it becomes darker, and the colors more rich. The granite surface also becomes somewhat reflective. It’s an elegant look, and because of the many color options granite provides it can easily match any design style.
Granite is usually polished by the fabricator before it is installed, but it can be repolished after installation. Re-polishing will be necessary every 5-10 years, depending on the amount of use the stone gets, and if any damage occurs. Some homeowners re-polish their own countertops with a variable speed buffer, but it is a bit of an art, so many people opt to hire a countertop expert to refinish the stone.
Honed granite is basically the opposite of polished. This finish has very little shine, it’s more of a matte or satin look. Honed granite isn’t typically as dark as polished, and there is less contrast in the stone’s colors.
While this finish still provides the class and elegance that people look for in granite, it is more subtle than the polished option.
Technically, all granite is polished, as the stone’s surface is rough when it is first extracted from the earth. Honed granite however, does not go through as much, or as fine grinding and buffing as polished granite. Both finishes are flat and smooth to the touch.
Which Finish is Best?
As far as durability and maintenance, there aren’t huge differences between the two. Both are very strong, and virtually scratch resistant. Honed granite is more porous, so it will require slightly more frequent sealing (again, depends on usage). Polished finishes are more likely to show blemishes, because the glossy will be worn down in damaged areas. But with proper maintenance and care, both are great choices for a kitchen or bath.
Many homeowners choose between polished and honed granite based strictly on their design preference. Polished is the default option, but for homes with a more rustic or subtle aesthetic, a honed surface may be a better match.
If you’d like to see the difference between these two finishes in person, visit our showroom in west Wichita.
If you have a spot of super glue, Crazy Glue or Gorilla Glue on your quartz countertop, don’t worry, it can be removed.
These fast drying glues tend to adhere to quartz quickly and firmly, so it’s not likely that soap and water will work, but start there. Use warm water and a soft rubber or plastic edge to gently scrap the spot (e.g. rubber spatula or plastic baking scraper).
If that doesn't do the trick you’ll need three things:
Put some of the acetone/water mixture on the pad or towel and get the glue damp. Try to keep the acetone only in the area of the glue, allow it to sit for a few seconds. (Do not allow acetone to sit on the quartz surface for long periods of time.)
Holding the razor blade almost flat (try for less than 45 degrees to the surface) very gently scrape the glue. Use a light touch, it should start coming off almost right away. Don't press the blade into the counter, just slide it across the surface and let find its way under the glue.
Watch the surface closely as you are scraping, look at it from different angles. Adjust your angle and the lighting will help you ensure you're getting all of the glue and not scratching the countertop.
Repeat the acetone application and scraping until all of the glue is gone. Immediately wipe up any excess acetone when complete.
Lastly, thoroughly clean the countertop. Use a mild soap and warm water mixture, or a quartz-safe cleaner.
While this is an aggressive, and slightly risky tactic (remember, quartz is scratch resistant, not scratch proof), if you’re dealing with hardened glue, it may be your best option. Just take your time and be gentle, and that glue will be gone for good.
Note, you should check with your manufacturer to ensure it is safe to use acetone on your particular brand of quartz, while this is generally fine, the use some chemical products may not be supported by your warranty.
Granite or quartz are your best bets for a bar top.
A bar top requires a durable material that can withstand the impact of glass bottles, and the risk of scratches from corkscrews, bottle openers and sharp bottle caps.
For this reason, it’s best to stay away from softer stones such a marble and soapstone which are more likely to scratch and chip. You may also want to avoid very porous stones like limestone, as you’re sure to have some spills. A porous stone will be more susceptible to stains and etching when liquids interact with the stone.
Granite or Quartz are probably the best options for an indoor bar top. Both are extremely durable and they are available in a wide range of colors and styles that should suit any design.
Granite bar top benefits
Granite may require sealing periodically (yearly) to ensure liquids do not penetrate the stone. This is a simple process that can be done by the homeowner, or by a stone countertop professional. Check with your stone manufacture to determine if, and how often you may need to seal the stone.
Granite bar top benefits
Quartz is harder and more durable than granite, and it does not require sealing (less maintenance), however granite is more scratch proof and has a higher heat tolerance.
Granite and quartz are similar in price, about $45-$125 per square foot installed. A common sized bar might cost around $2000, thought your stone selection, exact dimensions and required cutouts will impact the exact price.
Both of these stones are excellent choice for a bar top. The differences are fairly minor, and many homeowners will make their decision based primarily on the look. Granite is often used in more elegant settings, while quartz is more modern and/or minimalist. Visit our showroom to the differences between the two. If you'd like to learn more about these stones, you can also visit our FAQ pages - Granite and Quartz.
If you’re considering natural stone for your bathroom countertops, or a vanity top, you have several great options. There are a few things to consider before selecting which stone is best for you project:
A typical bathroom doesn’t get the same type of abuse that a kitchen does. There are fewer heavy objects that could impact the countertop, there aren’t extremely hot pots and pans moving around, and the bathroom isn’t a gathering point the way a kitchen is. This means it’s safer to use softer and less heat resistant stones. However, bathrooms often have chemicals like hairspray, nail polish remover, and shower cleaners that can cause damage to some stones. Here are some stone countertops to consider for your bathroom project, and the pros and cons for each.
Marble Bathroom Countertops
An elegant stone often used in high-end homes, marble is known for its clean look and exceptional beauty. Usually a shade of white, the stone often has gray, black, light blue, pink, reddish, tan or green veining that compliments many design styles. The stone can be polished, for a bright shiny finish, or honed for a more matte look.
Many home builders and designers avoid using marble in kitchens because it not as strong as granite or quartz, and it is more prone to damage from chemicals. This however, is not the case for bathrooms. Compared to most non-stone countertops, marble is incredibly durable and stain resistant. Only a few natural stones could be considered “better”, and marble would be much more durable than many other non-stone surfaces. For bathrooms, marble is a leading choice.
Most people choose marble for it’s aesthetics. The stone has been used for centuries in building, homes, and art. There is an instant feeling of class and elegance when you see it. It has a subtle, but powerful look that can really enhance the beauty of a bathroom. Many people also like marble because it is somewhat rare. It’s not used nearly as often as granite and other surfaces, so it can make your home feel unique and more luxurious.
Marble is one of the more porous stone countertop materials, so it does require sealing every year or so. When properly sealed and polished there is little risk of damage. It is important to clean marble regularly and immediately deal with any spills however, especially if the spill is any substance that’s acidic. Acids and harsh chemicals can cause etching and stains.
On the high-end, marble can be very expensive, but standard marble slabs are often only slightly more expensive than granite or quartz. If you love the look of marble, there’s often no substitute.
Marble is also a material that can add value to a home. Because it’s a durable and long-lasting stone, it is desirable to many homeowners. It’s a luxurious material that offers a timeless style, so its presence can be attractive to real estate agencies and home buyers.
Granite Bathroom Countertops
Granite is perhaps the strongest, most durable stone countertop on the market. It’s available in many colors and patterns, and it is a very popular choice for bathroom countertops and vanities. The stone is virtually impossible to scratch, and the heat tolerance is very good, perfect for a busy bathroom.
Granite has a natural earthy appearance, and you’ll find a style that will match almost any decor. This stone has been a popular choice for many years, and it tends to add value to homes when compared to non-stone countertops. A granite vanity or bathroom countertop can last a lifetime. And its timeless look and design versatility means homeowners and home buyers alike, will enjoy this surface for many years to come.
Granite is a very low maintenance stone. It should be cleaned regularly, and you should avoid getting harsh cleaners, chemicals and acidic substances on the surface. But typically, just wiping the countertop down periodically and cleaning up messes is all that is required. Granite is often sealed at the factory or during installation to protect it from chemicals and other damage. This is much less of a problem in a bathroom than a kitchen, but the stone may require resealing every year or so.
Quartz Bathroom Countertops
Quartz is a natural stone that is engineered using ground up stone material and resin. So while it is mostly natural, the slabs aren’t cut directly from the earth the way marble and granite are. Often quartz is indistinguishable from a traditional natural stone.
Quartz is an excellent choice for a bathroom because of its durability (on par with granite) and extremely low maintenance requirements. Another benefit is that if you are using multiple slabs, quartz will have a much more uniform look as the slabs are manufactured, there is no need to attempt to match patterns and veining from slab to slab. For a large bathroom may be important.
This stone is more modern looking than granite and marble. The patterns in the stone are not as organic, and overall there’s a more subtle, minimalist feel. Because it is engineered, there are a wide range of color options that you won’t find with other materials. It is safe to say that quartz can match just about any bathroom design style, and decor.
Unlike marble and granite, quartz is non-porous, so it is the least susceptible to stains. This also makes it very easy to clean and maintain, as no sealers are required. This is one of the main reasons many homeowners opt for Quartz in both kitchens and bathrooms.
The only real downside to quartz is the heat resistance. While it is good, it’s not as good as granite or marble. In a bathroom, you’ll have to be careful not to leave a hot iron, or other extremely hot tool on the countertop for vanity surface for a long period of time.
Quartz bathroom countertops will be less expensive than most marble, and typically about the same price as granite. Like other natural stones, quartz bathroom surfaces are very desirable and can improve the value of your home.
down the materials that work best for your situation.
While these are our top choices for bathroom countertops and vanities, we also carry some other options that may be more suitable for your design aesthetic or budget. These include onyx, soapstone, limestone and slate. If you have any questions about our natural stones, or would like to ask specific questions about your project, contact us any time.
It is normal for granite countertops to eventually become dull, or appear faded. Don’t worry, your countertop's surface can be restored to its original shine.
How does granite become dull?
A lot of granite goes through a polishing process during manufacturing. This adds a natural shine to the stone. Over time substances can build up on the stone’s surface. For example, hard water deposits, food debris, calcium deposits, grease and soap residue can build up on the surface over the course of years, and you probably won’t notice. This build up causes the stone to deflect light, rather than reflect it, which makes the countertop appear less shiny. In many cases the granite looks dull or cloudy. So, granite countertops don’t exactly fade or change in tone, they are often coated with substances that make the surface appear dull. Technically, the shine is still in there.
Another important note, if your granite countertops are sealed, you should expect for this sealer to wear down over time. While a dull countertop looks bad, the breaking down of the sealer can allow damage to the stone. When the seal is no longer effective, the stone can be penetrated by substances that can cause stains or etching. How long your sealant will last depends on how often your countertops are used, how much abuse they take, and the quality of the sealer. Generally you should expect to reseal your granite every couple of years. If you see stains and what look like water rings or discolorations on your stone, the seal may be bad.
Dull granite can easily be restored through several methods. First you should consider the age of the countertop and how well you’ve kept it clean. For minor dulling, you can probably do the repair yourself. For stones that haven’t been well maintained or cleaned regularly, or for granite that has sever stains and damage such as etching, you may want to hire an expert.
If you only have minor dullness, you might be able to restore your granite’s shine yourself with some off-the-shelf products. Make sure to check your warranty and your stone manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting this process on your own.
There are a number of granite-safe soap film removers you can purchase that can restore some of your stone's shine. Make sure to use a pH neutral product that is safe for granite. These products do a good job covering small and large areas, but only for minor dullness related to hard water and soap deposits.
For small areas that are more difficult, many people use a razor blade to lightly scrape, flatly, across the stone. You should see the residue come off the stone right away when you scrape. Then use a super fine steel wool to sand the area. This method often works well around sinks and cooktops where residue build up is more common. After scraping away the residue and cleaned the stone with water, you can use a polishing powder to restore the shine. These polishing products are safe from most stone. You will need to reseal the stone after completing this process.
Another option for small areas, you can try Stone Scrub or Acetone to remove residue. These are slightly abrasive liquid products that can be applied by hand or with a variable speed polisher/buffer. You will need to polish reseal your stone after using this product.
For large areas, you may want to try one of the above methods to clean problem areas, then use a granite polishing powder to restore the entire countertop, rather than just the small area. This will give you a uniform finish, with a like-new shine. You will likely want to use a variable speed buffer for this. You'll simply work the dry powder into the stone, covering the entire countertop. This process will remove minor scratches and stains and help restore the stone’s natural shine.
There are also several polishing compounds on the market that are effective. Make sure you select one for your stone’s specific color, and again ensure it is okay to use the product on your countertop by referring to your manufacturer's guidelines. Again, after buffing or polishing with a compound, you will need to reseal the granite.
While some people polish and reseal their granite on their own, others opt to call a professional. Quality Granite does offer these services in the Wichita area. If you’d like to ensure your granite restoration is done correctly and without the hassle, give us a call to schedule and appointment.
A complete refinishing project can be completed on badly dulled or damaged countertops. If your countertops are in bad shape, if you’ve never thoroughly cleaned them, or if you have etching, you should consider having a professional refinish and realseal the granite. This process requires some special equipment and expertise, but the results are impressive.
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