silver creek granite new msi

Granite 101: Everything You Need To Know About Granite Countertops

silver creek granite new msi
silver creek granite new msi

When it comes to choosing granite countertops, there are plenty of options with many choices of color, veining, and patterns. The beauty of granite countertop comes from its natural appearance – it’s something that only the beauty of nature could create. Since there are no two slabs of granite that are exactly the same, your new countertop will provide your home with unique appeal. The classic elegance of granite countertops in your space, is matched with its outstanding durability. The granite countertops you select for your next project might be the last countertops your home will ever need.

Vermont Granite Quarry

Where is Granite Quarried?

Ever wonder where your granite countertops come from? Formed as long as 300 million years ago, granite is formed by volcanic activity over 10 miles below the surface of the Earth. As magma cools and rises to the surface, it solidifies over one million years until it becomes granite. Granite can be found in many countries around the world, from Brazil to China to India. Granite is also found in several US states such as Texas, Massachusetts, Indiana, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina. These are the top producing states of granite in the U.S., accounting for 64 percent of the country’s production.

The largest open-face granite quarry on the planet is located in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Mount Airy is known locally as “The Granite City.” The North Carolina Granite Corporation was established in 1743, and has been quarrying granite there for more than 150 years.

What is Granite Made of?

Many minerals make up each slab and give it the unique colors we see in different types of granite. Granite is a combination of minerals and rocks, primarily Quartz, Potassium Feldspar, Mica, Amphiboles, and a trace of other minerals. Granite that is high in Potassium Feldspar will have rich red and pink highlights. Granite that contains Mica will produce brown or black veining. Below is a list of the minerals and what colors they usually produce in granite slabs.

  • Quartz – milky white, clear, translucent
  • Feldspar – white to gray
  • Potassium Feldspar – red to salmon pink
  • Biotite – black or dark brown color
  • Muscovite –  metallic gold or yellow color
  • Amphibole – black or dark green color

The combination of these minerals typically make up most of the colors we see in a granite. The variations throughout the granite are considered desirable since they give the slab character and make it different from others. It is important to select your slabs quarried from the same stone to make sure that the color and amount of veining are similar.

Which Granite Is Perfect For You?

Choose the right granite color for your kitchen or bathroom space and use it to make your home truly unique and timeless

Classic White Granite

White granite is a true classic. Its unique, timeless beauty will bring sophistication to your space and design. White granite can be incorporated into almost any style or design. There is no white granite that is perfectly white like man-made stones. White granite countertops are true gems and will include many different shades, veining, and flecks containing hues of different colors.

Bold Black Granite

Black granite is an excellent choice for anyone who likes solid colors and striking contrasts. Black granite can be a bold choice, perfect for a modern design. Black countertops can be combined with just about any color cabinet. It is all about your own personal style. Black granite is very versatile and has countless options in a kitchen remodel.

Neutral Brown and Gold Granite

Brown and Gold granite countertops provide wonderful earthy, natural options for your design, There is a wide variety of brown granite, from light tans to deep rich dark browns. These beautifully colored countertops have proven to be popular with homeowners and designers alike. Neutral design is on trend, while not as stark as a white kitchen, light beige or brown countertops bring warmth to your space. Brown countertops will look gorgeous with light wooden cabinets, or the ever popular white.

Elegant Gray Granite

Gray granite countertops can be beautifully understated and wonderfully elegant. Gray granites, like other granite choices, will have a variation of colors and veining. Many of these grays are simple and subdued, while others are can make a statement. Gray granites are very popular in contemporary and transitional kitchens. These granites are also used to today by designers as another neutral option similar to brown.

Exotic and Rare Granite

Exotic granite can drastically improve the appearance of your space. This type of granite will definitely become a focal point and create a statement in your home. Keep in mind that because exotic granite is rare, it will be priced higher than other types of materials. But it can be well worth it. Granite is not only durable but is also strikingly beautiful. The exotic granites shown here are Altair, Blue Bahia, and Van Gogh. These Exotic Granites are more than likely a special order product.

Popular Granite Finishes Available


A polished finish is the most popular choice for homeowners. This finish makes the granite countertop surface very shiny and glossy. The natural qualities of the stone are showcased beautifully with this finish making the colors and textures sparkle. The polished finish is the easiest surface to clean and maintain. This finish also helps to seal the surface helping to prevent moisture from seeping into the stone.


The honed granite finish, which can also be called be called matte, creates a very smooth surface without any gloss. There is no buffing done in this process, which leaves the stone with a flat finish. The disadvantage to the honed finish is that it makes the granite more susceptible to staining. Honed Granite will require resealing more frequently.


A leathered finish is a relatively new style that is an appealing trend to homeowners. This finish is created by taking an already honed surface and adding texture to it by running diamond-tipped brushes over it. Leathered finishes are more subtle and sophisticated. These type of countertops seem to retain the natural color of the stone more than a honed finish. A leathered finish because of its texture will hide spots, fingerprints, and other everyday occurrences.

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.