Granite has become a popular choice for many homes. It has a wide selection of colors with each slab featuring its own unique pattern or movement. Its strength, durability, and affordable price point are just some of the many qualities that make it the perfect choice for many homeowners.
Granite slabs are not only unique but can be customized with different finishes. The finishes for granite include: honed, polished, flamed, and leathered. Leathered granite is becoming increasingly popular with design trends focusing on incorporating natural features and finishes. This guide will go over everything you need to know about leathered granite from its formation to maintenance.
What is Leathered Granite?
It is a finish for your countertops that features a distinct matte look. It highlights the natural contours and colors of the stone and is more resistant to stains and watermarks than any other finish.
How is Granite Leathered?
Leathering granite is accomplished by running a diamond-tipped brush over the stone repeatedly until the imperfections and polish are completely removed. Its texture can vary between manufacturers as it depends on the degree that they leather the slab.
Advantages and Disadvantages
When deciding the finish of your countertop, it is important to weigh its advantages and disadvantages. While honed and polished have been around longer, they may or may not be the right choice for you. It depends considerably on the cost and level of maintenance you want to put into your countertop.
There are many advantages that leathered granite will add to your countertops. These advantages include:
- Highlights the Natural Color: A key difference between polished and leathered granite is that leathered will highlight the natural color of the stone rather than add shine to it.
- Rustic Style: Homeowners who prefer a more natural, rustic aesthetic will love this finish. It is perfect for contemporary and country style kitchens, and it pairs well with both shaker or flat paneled cabinets and subway tile backsplashes.
- Stain Resistant: Since the leathering process tightens the pores of the granite, it has a natural stain-resistant and anti-bacterial defense. It also conceals smudges and fingerprints, which is a bonus for those who don’t enjoy wiping down your countertop after each use.
There are also some disadvantages to leathered granite including:
- Hard to Clean: One of the few downsides is that it is more difficult to clean than the other finishes that simply need to be wiped down. Because it has more texture than its counterparts, dust and debris can get trapped in its grooves. The more textured your countertop, the more difficult it is to clean.
- Easier to Scratch: The grooves of the leathered finish make it easier to chip or scratch than honed or polished. Sealing your granite or exercising caution can prevent this from happening.
Care and Maintenance
Maintaining your leathered granite is much less complicated than it would be for the other finishes. Its resistance to smudges and stains goes a long way in terms of maintaining its pristine condition. The tightened pores of leathered granite act as a barrier so it does not need to be sealed. However, manufacturers may recommend sealing it anyway to prevent the granite from chipping or scratching. While the cleaning process has one additional step, it is not as difficult as it may seem. All you have to do is brush any dust or crumbs away with a hand broom and wipe it down with mild soap and warm water. When in doubt consult your manufacturer for proper sealing and cleaning guidelines.
Leathered granite countertops have become a staple in designer homes. Its benefits and beauty making it a competitive option. If you desire a countertop that brings a distinctive look and feel to your space, it is definitely the right finish for you.