Leathered vs. Polished Granite

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between granite with a textured or leathered finish versus one with a smooth or polished finish? Our granite expert breaks down the top 3 questions we're asked:

What finish is more hygienic?

There's a misconceptions that leathered countertops are harder to clean. In truth, there is no difference in the cleanliness of a leather finish versus the polished finish. In fact, the stone is the same at the beginning of the process and only changes once it's polished to either a leathered or polished finish.

How is the leathered texture created?

A leathered stone is finished with a diamond crusted bristle brush while a polished finish the stone is polished with a diamond polishing pad.

Surprisingly, the texture is determined by the minerals in stone not the brush. The harder minerals will be higher and the softer minerals will be lower in the slab-- creating a texture. The more variance in the hardness will create more texture and the closer the minerals are in hardness the less texture will be in the slab.

What's more durable?

While leathered and polished finishes are just finishing touches to the same stone (hence the durability depends on the stone you choose) leather finishes can help camouflage imperfections-- especially in marble.

Since marble is a water soluble stone it will etch easily. By leathering or at minimum honing, the etches and some staining will be disguised. It's worth noting that granite doesn't stain and etch like marble.

Therefore, we'd recommend a leathered edge when choosing a high traffic marble countertop. If you're choosing a countertop for a lesser used area (a bar, office, etc.) or choosing granite you have total design and finish flexibility.

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