Honed vs. Polished Granite

Today our house received a major improvement. We got granite countertops in the bathroom! This is definitely the most high-end material in our house currently, and maybe in its history. A little sad, isn’t it?

Since the amount of granite we need is so small (22” x 49” to fit a 21” x 48” vanity) and doesn’t warrant an entire slab, we had to choose from remnant pieces. We narrowed it down to black or grey and then had to decide among the remnants.

We had two possible options. One is called Ooba Tooba and the slab our granite guy, Jeremy, has is 2 cm thick and polished. (Granite comes in 2 or 3 cm thicknesses and can be polished or honed). It has some minor variation and has slight green undertones. Some of the pictures online make it look much more green that we think it looks in person.

 This was what we chose months ago before we started the renovation, but we agreed that we would look through the remnants again when it was time to choose in case he had anything different.

So last week we went back and sure enough, he had another option for us. It’s a 3cm honed black granite with small grey flecks. I didn’t catch the name of the color, but it’s a truer black, and doesn’t really have any colored undertones like the other. It has a matte finish, though Jeremy said it still will reflect some light.

Honed granite is still polished, but they stop the polishing process just before the phase where the granite becomes shiny. This extra polish acts almost as a seal, so honed granite can stain more easily (from oils particularly, so probably not a good idea in a kitchen) and might not wear as well as polished granite.

After much debating and lots of researching (aka trying to find horror stories about honed granite to convince me I didn’t want it), we decided to go with the 3cm honed granite. We like that it’s not nearly as common as polished granite. In my opinion some granites are almost starting to look a little too generic because so many people have them Also, some granites can make a room look very traditional, and we want to make sure we have a mix of traditional and contemporary elements. The honed granite feels fresher, not so stuffy or traditional.

We also like the thickness of this one cause it looks and feels much more substantial. The only problem was that we wanted to do a granite backsplash and sidesplash, but normally these are 2 cm’s. We were worried that a 3cm thick backsplash might look too bulky, even with a 3 cm thick counter. The only solution we could think of was to cut out the drywall right behind where the backsplash and sidesplash would be to inset them into the wall a little. This would give the illusion of a 2cm ish piece of granite, and these pieces would still be resting on the main counter and could be glued to the studs. Then we’d mud around the edge and paint, and then caulk just like normal. We tried to find an example of this being done on the interwebz, but to no avail. Then we had the brilliant idea to ask Jeremy, and he said they’ve done that several times and it wouldn’t be a problem at all.

Here’s a shot of how it looks now. The sidesplash didn’t quite fit right so they needed to work on it some more.


Isn’t it purty? Now I just have to make sure I keep it clean so it doesn’t stain.

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