Exploring the Various Countertop Slab Finishes for Stunning Countertops

Honed Soapstone Countertop Finish

When it comes to designing your dream kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right countertop slab is crucial. Beyond the material and color, the finish of your slab plays a significant role in the overall aesthetics. With an array of options available, it’s essential to understand the different countertop slab finishes and their unique characteristics. While man-made quartz countertops are limited to only 2 types of finish, natural stone can be crafted to have a wide variety of textures which can be smoother or rougher to the hand or foot. In this article, we’ll explore various slab finishes for countertops, helping you make an informed decision for your next project.

A Polished Marble Kitchen
  1. Polished Finish:

One of the most popular and classic choices for countertop finishes is the polished finish. This glossy and reflective surface adds elegance and sophistication to any space. The polishing process involves grinding the surface with progressively finer abrasives until it achieves a mirror-like shine. Polished finishes are known for their smoothness, enhancing the natural color and pattern of the stone.


  • Creates a luxurious and high-end look.
  • Provides excellent stain resistance.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

Maintenance: To keep a polished finish looking its best, it’s important to seal the countertop regularly (typically every 1-2 years). Cleaning with mild soap and water is usually sufficient, but be sure to avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners that can dull the surface. Promptly clean up spills to prevent staining.

Best Suited for: Polished finishes are ideal for marble and granite countertops, showcasing their intricate veining and captivating colors while helping to protect more sensitive stone from staining. Most man-made quartz products only come in a polished finish.

Honed Arabescato Quartz
TOPS Kitchen Remodel: Mid-century modern style kitchen with quartz countertops, white cabinets and blue subway tile backsplash.
  1. Honed Finish:

For those seeking a more subtle and matte appearance, the honed finish is an excellent choice. This finish offers a smooth and satin-like surface, providing a natural and understated charm to your countertops. Unlike the polished finish, the honed finish doesn’t have a high-gloss sheen, making it less reflective.


  • Conceals scratches and etching better than polished finishes.
  • Offers a soft and inviting feel.
  • Minimizes the appearance of fingerprints and water spots.

Maintenance: Honed finishes are susceptible to stains and require more frequent sealing compared to polished finishes (typically every 6-12 months). Regular cleaning with mild soap and water is recommended, but avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners that can damage the surface.

Best Suited for: Honed finishes work well with marble, limestone, and soapstone countertops, adding a touch of elegance while maintaining a relaxed ambiance.

  1. Leathered Finish:

The leathered finish has gained popularity in recent years, offering a unique texture and visual appeal. This finish combines a honed appearance with a slightly raised and textured surface, resembling the texture of leather. The process involves diamond-tipped brushes that create a distinctive feel and highlight the stone’s natural color variations.


  • Provides a rustic and organic look.
  • Hides smudges, fingerprints, and water spots effectively.
  • Enhances the stone’s natural texture and character.

Maintenance: Leathered finishes require regular sealing (similar to honed finishes) to protect against staining. Cleaning with mild soap and water is generally sufficient, but avoid abrasive cleaners that can diminish the textured surface.

Best Suited for: Leathered finishes are particularly suitable for granite and quartzite countertops, lending a modern yet warm touch to your kitchen or bathroom. Some man-made quartz also comes in a honed finish, though this is less common than a polished finish.

Brushed texture fantasy brown slab
A brushed texture Fantasy Brown slab. Note the mix of marble-like patterning with speckled sections of granite. This slab is a mix of marble and granite materials.
  1. Brushed Finish:

If you’re aiming for a more rugged and industrial aesthetic, a brushed finish might be the perfect choice. This finish features a textured surface created by brushing the stone with wire brushes, resulting in a weathered and aged appearance. Brushed finishes showcase the stone’s natural texture while providing a distinct visual appeal.


  • Conceals imperfections and wear effectively.
  • Adds a unique and antique charm.
  • Offers a slip-resistant surface.

Maintenance: Brushed finishes require regular sealing (similar to honed finishes) to protect against staining. Cleaning with mild soap and water is recommended, but avoid abrasive cleaners that can compromise the textured surface.

Best Suited for: Brushed finishes are commonly used for materials like granite, limestone, and slate, creating a statement look in contemporary or rustic-inspired settings.

Examples of Countertop Designs:

  • Polished Finish: Imagine a sleek and modern kitchen with polished black granite countertops, reflecting the ambient lighting and creating a stunning focal point amidst minimalist white cabinetry.
  • Honed Finish: Visualize a serene bathroom featuring honed Carrara marble countertops, exuding an elegant and calming ambiance with its soft matte surface.
  • Leathered Finish: Envision a cozy farmhouse-style kitchen with leathered Santa Cecilia granite countertops, showcasing its warm golden hues and unique texture, perfectly complementing rustic cabinetry.
  • Brushed Finish: Picture an industrial-inspired loft kitchen with brushed slate countertops, capturing the essence of raw, natural beauty and creating a striking contrast against stainless steel appliances.

Overview of Different Types of Stone:

Different types of stone can be used for countertops, each with its own unique properties:

  • Marble: Known for its timeless elegance, marble offers a classic and luxurious appeal. It’s softer and more porous than other stones, making it susceptible to staining and etching.
  • Granite: Highly durable and available in a wide range of colors, granite is a popular choice for countertops. It’s resistant to scratches and heat but requires regular sealing.
  • Quartzite: With its natural strength and stunning patterns, quartzite is an ideal choice for countertops. It offers excellent durability and is less prone to staining compared to marble.

Importantly, man-made quartz only comes in a polished or honed finish.


Choosing the right slab finish for your countertops can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your space. From the timeless elegance of a polished finish to the rugged charm of a brushed finish, each option brings its own unique characteristics to the table. Consider the style, durability, and maintenance requirements when selecting a slab finish that complements your design aesthetic and lifestyle. Whether you prefer a glossy sheen or a muted matte look, the perfect slab finish will transform your countertops into stunning focal points of your kitchen or bathroom.

Want to come in and feel the difference in types of countertop finishes for your kitchen or bath? Do you live in the South Sound region? Book an appointment with our sales team today!

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