Black Pearl Granite Countertops with Silver Cloud Granite Island

Leathered Granite

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


New Countertop Options

Polished finishes on countertops have dominated design trends over the past decade. This is not difficult to believe considering a high gloss finish on stone countertops is such a timeless look. However, there are new countertop options that are trending — honed finish, leathered finish, rough finish, concrete finish, flamed finish, and volcano finish.

Countertop manufacturers such as MSI, Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cosmo have introduced new countertop options, and their popularity has taken off. They can take any kitchen design to the next level and distinguish your space from the rest.

The question is which one is right for you? Choosing the right finish for your space isn’t purely a cosmetic choice. It can change the appearance, care, and maintenance of the stone. To help you decide, here is a guide of the different types of finishes for your quartz or granite countertops.

Quartz Countertop Options

Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular due to their durability, uniform movement, and beauty. Since quartz is a manmade product created with resins and recycled materials, it is not only durable but customizable and sealed from any bacteria. This is a nice advantage over natural stone countertops that need to be sealed and have a more limited variety of finishes.

Polished Finish

The most well-known finish is polished or ‘high gloss’. All quartz manufacturers offer it, and it intensifies the color and clarity of quartz. They create its glossy, mirror-like sheen by using fine abrasive powders and diamond discs.

Featured: Calacatta Verona quartz countertop with a polished finish

Honed Finish

Honed is a soft, matte finish. It gives your surface a smooth, modern look without a glossy reflection. Manufacturers create this look by not buffing the quartz.

Featured: Piatto Black quartz with a honed finish

Suede Finish

One of the newer finishes that is trending is the suede or ‘leathered’ finish. It also features a soft, matte style but includes a more textured appearance than honed. The stone’s beautiful, dimpled texture is achieved when diamond-tipped brushes run over honed granite.

Featured: Stellar Negro quartz countertop with suede finish

Rough Finish

This rich, modern finish has a more tactile texture. Caesarstone’s rough finish has a more distinctive texture that is designed to mimic the coarseness of natural stone. This finish will reveal variations in appearance that are distinct to each quartz slab, mimicking the uniqueness of granite slabs.

Featured: Piatto Black quartz countertop with rough finish

Concrete Finish

Another new countertop option that is trending right now is concrete finish. It features a lightly textured stone that acts as a middle ground between the Honed and Rough finishes. MSI and Caesarstone offer this lightly reflective finish that is sure to deliver a timeless, industrial feeling to any space.

Featured: Babylon Gray quartz countertop with a concrete finish

Volcano Finish

Finally, this unique texture mimics the look of volcanic rocks. Silestone’s volcano finish features a rustic yet soft feel. It is a statement piece that will add a bold, contemporary look to your space.

Featured: Gris Expo quartz countertop with a volcano finish

Granite Countertop Options

Granite is a great choice for your kitchen countertops. Its strength, durability, and affordable price point are just some of the qualities that make it the perfect choice for many homeowners. While granite has fewer finish options and needs to be sealed, it more than makes up for it with its uniqueness and beauty.

Polished Finish

There are three finishes that are used on both granite and quartz and this is one of them. This glossy, reflective finish is a timeless style that gives granite a smooth feel and enhances its unique beauty. An advantage to this finish is that it not only seals the pores of the stone but repels water and moisture making it more stain-resistant.

Featured: Blue Bahia granite countertop with polished finish

Honed Finish

Another finish used on natural and engineered stone is honed finish. This matte finish is soft and velvety to the touch. It is perfect for darker colors where you can see the degree of honing whether it be diamond smooth, satin or velvet.

Featured: Salinas White granite countertops with honed finish

Leathered Finish

The last finish that is used on both granite and quartz is leathered finish. It provides a sophisticated look that has taken over recent design trends. Its soft, dimpled surface helps resist stains and hides watermarks.

Featured: Silver Waves granite countertop with leathered finish

Flamed Finish

The most unique new countertop option is the flamed finish. It can only be used on specific stones and features a rough, faded texture. MSI creates this finish with intense, controlled heat that bursts the grains of the stone giving it a more muted look.

Featured: Black Pearl granite countertop with flamed finish

Whichever countertop option you choose they are sure to add a gorgeous, chic look to your space. Contact us on our website or by phone at (864) 633-2366 to discuss finish options available for your new countertops.

Blue Bahia Granite countertop kitchen island

Blue Granite Countertops in Your Kitchen

Granite has been used for centuries to make works of art that will last a lifetime. So why not bring the timeless beauty of granite into your kitchen? Like an artist, you must choose the colors that you want to work with. While past trends have pointed to a light countertop with uniform movement, uniqueness and natural beauty are now in favor. Blue granite countertops are the perfect choice.

Pantone set the tone for the design trends of this year with their choice for color of the year, Classic Blue. They describe their choice as a timeless, elegant blue hue reminiscent of the sky at dusk. This color combined with the unique beauty of granite will make for an eye-catching centerpiece for your kitchen. Here are a few examples of blue granite that would be perfect in your home.

Blue Bahia Granite

Blue Bahia is a stunning blue stone from Brazil that features shades of blue with veins of white, brown and gray, and it goes well with white cabinets. This granite is the perfect option for those who want an eye-catching statement piece as their kitchen countertops or island.

Blue Bahia Granite countertop kitchen island

Blue Flower Granite

Blue Flower granite is also from Brazil. It is a combination of medium blues and touches of white, black and gray. This granite would be a great option for those who desire a versatile countertop that goes well with both light and dark-colored cabinets.

Blue Pearl Granite

Blue pearl is a beautiful stone from Norway. It got its name from its pearl-like sheen. It features shades of blue and grey with veins of black and beige and pairs well with white colored cabinets. This granite will definitely add a touch of beauty and elegance to your kitchen.

With all of its natural beauty, it is not difficult to see why blue granite countertops are a favorite of many. If you are interested in incorporating it into your home, contact us for a free estimate on our website or by phone at (864) 633-2366.

Calacatta Laza Quartz kitchen counter vendor MSI

How to Prepare for New Kitchen Countertops

Renovating your kitchen is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Replacing your countertops is a huge part of that process and can add more value than you realize. Therefore, it is important to know what the installation process looks like and how to prepare yourself and your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your kitchen for new countertops.

Temporary Spaces

From templating to installation, your kitchen will be out of working order for a while. Before this process begins you will need to move your everyday items out of the kitchen and place them in safe, temporary spaces. We also recommend preparing meals ahead of time or going out to eat in order to give the professionals space and time to do their job. Setting up a temporary space to cook and eat will preserve a sense of normalcy during this hectic time.

Remove Items from Your Kitchen

Remove any items on or around your kitchen countertops. This can include dishes, utensils, coffee makers, decorations, plants, or anything you don’t want to be broken. We recommend moving whatever dishes you may need for meals while your kitchen is not accessible. This will make this process easier for both you and the installer.

Prepare Your Space

Replacing your kitchen countertops is a construction process that can be messy. Create a clear path for easy access to your kitchen and lay down drop cloths or tarps. This will protect your flooring and minimize any mess. We also recommend covering the construction area’s entryway and vents to contain any dust, as well as covering any furniture in the adjacent areas.

Are you more of a checklist person? Check out our checklist on how to prepare your home for kitchen countertops:


Now that your space is prepped and cleaned, your installers will be able to complete their job on time and efficiently. Once you have chosen your countertops and received your free estimate, they will come out and remove your current countertop. Then they will take measurements and create a template. Usually, after 5 – 7 business days from creating the template, they will install your countertops on a scheduled time and date. Installation takes anywhere from 2 to 7 hours depending on the size of your kitchen.

The most important thing throughout this entire process is communication. If you have any questions simply ask them. It is better to ask what you need to do to prepare rather than to end up making it more difficult for both of you by doing something wrong.

Blue Bahia Granite countertop kitchen island

How to Clean Granite Countertops

Granite is a great choice for your kitchen countertops. Its strength, durability, and uniqueness are just some of the qualities that make it the perfect choice for many homeowners.

Since granite is a natural stone, it is porous and needs to be sealed. However, some sealants last for 25 years, and granite is much less maintenance than its other natural stone counterparts.

While granite is a relatively low maintenance option, it still needs to be kept clean. If you take care of your countertops, they can last for decades and will look just as polished and beautiful as the day they were installed. So if you decide that granite is the right choice for your kitchen, below is a guide that will walk you through the steps to clean and ensure the longevity of your surface.

Cleaning Routine for Granite Countertops

1. Wipe down your countertop with granite cleaning spray and a soft cloth

We recommend that you wipe down your countertops regularly and keep the surface free of dirt and grime. You can clean the countertop with a granite cleaning spray or a few drops of dish detergent and a soft cloth. Keep in mind that constant use of dish soap can dull your countertop’s shine. Afterward, rinse your countertop with warm water.

2. Wipe away any debris

For dried debris, apply more pressure with the damp cloth and then wipe it away. Never use an abrasive sponge or plastic scrapper.

3. Disinfect your surface

To disinfect your granite countertop, apply a solution of half water and half isopropyl alcohol. Then rinse your countertop with warm water. We recommend disinfecting your countertop every so often.

Removing Stains from Granite Countertops

Fantasy Brown Kitchen Countertop

1. Baking soda

To remove stains from granite, apply a paste of baking soda and water. Then gently scrub the spot with a soft cloth. If you have a tough stain, you can put the paste on the spot, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit until the paste dries. This can take a couple of days. Once the paste is dry, use a soft cloth to wipe, and after rinse with warm water.

2. If you are unsure, seek help

If you are unsure what kind of stain or how to treat it appropriately, consult your manufacturer’s guidelines, or have a professional look at it.

Preventative Care


1. Use a natural stone sealer

Granite countertops need to be sealed to prevent stains and bacteria from seeping into the pores. The best course of action is to purchase a long-term sealant. There is a 25-year warranty sealing treatment that protects against all staining. A one-time application will end up costing less than having to repeatedly pay to have your countertop resealed every few years.

2. Immediately wipe up any spill

While the sealant prevents stains, it wears down over time so clean up spills immediately. When you spill a liquid like milk, juice or soda on your countertop, blot it with a soft cloth or paper towel rather than wiping it. Afterward, dry your countertop with a cloth so that the moisture does not seep into the pores of the stone.

3. Do not use harsh cleaners

Avoid using harsh scrubbers or cleaners. They can cause scratches that will wear down the sealant. DO NOT use Windex, acidic products, bleach or vinegar.

4. Always use coasters

In order to protect your granite from absorbing moisture, use coasters under any drink.

5. Do Not Sit Or Stand On Your Countertops

Granite countertops are very durable, but they are not flexible and do not have plywood backing. Too much weight in one spot could cause a crack so do not stand on your countertops.

6. Never Place Hot Pans Or Pots On Granite Countertops

Hot cooking pots probably won’t damage your granite countertops since they are quite durable. However, extreme or constant temperature changes can harm your stone. Avoid leaving hot pans sitting on granite in a cold room.

Carrara Mist Quartz countertop kitchen island

How To Clean Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular, and it is not difficult to see why. Its durability, beauty and affordable price point all lend itself to being the perfect option for many homeowners.

Since quartz is a manmade product created with resins and recycled materials, it is not only durable but sealed from any bacteria. This is a nice advantage over natural stones. As those need to have a seal treatment to prevent staining and bacteria from seeping down into your countertops.

While quartz is durable and low maintenance, a consistent cleaning routine is recommended to ensure your countertops remain in pristine condition.

Below, we will walk you through our guide on how to clean your quartz countertops.

Cleaning Routine for Quartz Countertops

1. Wipe down your countertop with mild soap and a soft cloth

Our recommendation is that you clean your quartz countertops on a daily basis. Fill a medium size bowl with warm water. Then add a generous amount of the mild dish detergent. Combine the two ingredients until the detergent is dissolved in the water. Wet a soft cloth and wipe the surface in a circular motion until the entire surface is clean.

2. Scrape away any debris

Scrape away stubborn dirt and grime with a plastic putty knife. Take care to scrape gently when removing excess buildup.

3. Clean up grease with a degreaser

Take a degreasing cleaning product and spray your countertop. Make sure to only use products that do not have bleach and are specifically for quartz countertops. Please follow all of the instructions laid out by the product’s manufacturer as each product is different. After using one of these products immediately wipe off your surface with a cloth and warm water.

Removing Tough Stains

1. Adhesive Remover

Use an adhesive remover such as Goo Gone to rub away tough stains. Spray the cleaner directly on the stain and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes before you wipe it off. Wipe your countertop immediately with warm water and a cloth.

2. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol

To remove pen or permanent marker marks, pour isopropyl rubbing alcohol on the mark and rub the surface in a circular motion with a clean cloth. Then wipe your countertop with warm water and a cloth.

3. Vinegar

To remove a soap stain or hard water deposit, we recommend a vinegar and water solution mixed 1:1. In a medium sized bowl mix one part warm water and one part vinegar, stir the mixture. Pour a generous amount on the affected area and wipe it off. Then wipe your countertop with warm water and a cloth.

4. Glass Cleaner

For heavy or dried on stains, spray a glass cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe your countertop with warm water and a cloth. Make sure to check with your quartz manufacturer before using glass cleaner as each product is different.

Preventative Care

1. Clean up spills immediately

While quartz is stain resistant, it is not stain proof. It will resist stains for a short time, but colored liquids and soap should be wiped up immediately.

2. Use pot holders and trivets

Always place a protective barrier between hot pots and pans and your countertop. Quartz does not stand up to heat as well as its natural stone counterparts. If you do not use a trivet or pot holder under a hot pot you can create discoloration on your surface.

3. Use cutting boards

Do not cut or chop anything directly on your quartz. This will add cuts and scratches in the resin leaving your countertops vulnerable to stains and other issues.

4. Never use harsh cleaners

Products to avoid are sponges, pads, and abrasive cleaners. These products can cause irreversible damage to your countertops. Harsh scrubbing will lead to a dull finish on quartz countertops. Avoid cleaning with acidic or alkaline cleaners such as grill cleaners, oven cleaners, bleach, nail polish remover, dishwasher detergent and paint removers. Most of these methods will void any product warranty you have on your quartz.

Creating a daily habit of cleaning will help keep your quartz countertops beautiful and ensure its longevity.

Arctic Ivory Quartz Spacious Kitchen Island

Home Decor Trends of 2020

At the start of a new decade, now is the perfect time to renovate your home. However, keeping your home up to date on the latest trends can be difficult. While you want your home to look beautiful, constantly modeling yourself off of the latest trends can be a burden. To help make sense of it all, here is a list of all the new home decor trends for the upcoming decade.

Vintage Is In

Rather than approaching home decor with the “out with the old and in with the new” perspective, recent design trends focus on bringing in vintage concepts and pieces. A hundred years later, art deco is undergoing a revival with a new, natural twist. Think all of the geometric design and bold colors with organic and handmade features. For example, you could bring a vintage element into your space by using hickory flooring and a vintage lighting piece, while still incorporating patterned rugs and bold colors such as gold.

The Art Deco home decor trend is undergoing a revival

Earthy and Organic

In addition to vintage accents, incorporating earthy and organic elements to your home is another trend of 2020. Tones such as olive green, burnt orange and beige add a warm, inviting feeling to your space. In keeping with this trend, you will see a great deal of natural elements in homes such as wicker furniture, plants and faux fur.

Natural elements add a warm, inviting feeling to your space

Quartz and Marble

Quartz and marble continues to influence home decor trends. Since it is not as durable as quartz or granite, marble is used in the smaller details. While quartz is perfect for countertops and entryway due to its durability and lack of need for constant maintenance. These beautiful stones will add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your home.


Classic Blue

Classic blue, the Pantone color of the year, is of course trending at the moment. It is used most often in kitchen cabinets. The all white kitchen trend of the 2010’s is replaced with natural woods and colored cabinets, particularly blue. For example, you could pair blue shaker cabinets with gold accents and Calacatta quartz countertops for a traditional, luxurious look. However, it is a versatile color and can also serve as an area rug, sectional couch or small accessories.

Classic Blue trend

Make it Yours

While making all these decisions on how to design your home, focus on what makes you feel good. Trends come and go so use them as ideas rather than gospel. Make your home a place you love living in because that is all that matters at the end of the day.