Is Honed Granite Hard to Clean? May 05 2016, 0 Comments

Everyone needs to take a moment for reflection every now and then, but it doesn't have to be in your granite. There are plenty of shiny surfaces throughout your home to catch the light, and installing honed granite on your floors or countertops can add the perfect amount of contrast. The question is, is this type of finish hard to clean?

Polished vs. Honed
Granite has a stellar reputation among designers and homeowners, as being one of the best all-around natural stone surfaces, due to its durability, resistance to staining, and infinite range of color and pattern selection. While polished granite is by far the number one choice, those looking for a somewhat different look have the option to choose honed granite, which has a low-gloss or matte finish.

Which surface finish you choose will affect not only the look and feel of the room it's in, but also the maintenance. Both types of granite start off the same way, with a rough slab of quarried stone. As the finishing process begins, the granite slab is placed up on a conveyor belt, and continues on through a series of polishing wheels, outfitted with both coarse and fine pads. As the slab is carried forward, the stone is ground and buffed, the final look determined by how soon this finishing process ends.

Polished granite...
...has a shiny, smooth, reflective surface, revealing the full color and depth of the stone. Due to the degree of polishing this type of finish endures, its pores are smaller, helping it to repel stains and moisture. Sealing is still highly recommended as an added layer of protection, and will only add to the durability of the stone.

Honed granite... also smooth, though the shine or reflection is absent. The look is achieved by forgoing the buffing stage of the finishing process. Where a polished stone is simply shiny, a honed finish comes in varying degrees of sheen, though all will be smooth. Without the reflective quality, honed granite loses some of the color depth, but a color enhancer can help reveal it more, without adding shine.

The Pros and Cons of Honed Granite
As with any type of natural stone, honed granite has a good side and a bad side:


  • Each slab is unique, giving you a one of a kind look. 
  • Incredibly durable, when properly cleaned and maintained. 
  • Gives a warm aged or casual feel to counters or floors. 


  • Larger pores make it more susceptible to dirt and stains.
  • The flat finish enhances fingerprints and water marks. 
  • Requires frequent sealing. 

How to Care for Your Honed Granite
This is your first line of defense against dirt and stains, protecting the surface of the stone and helping make it easier to keep clean.

  • Clean the stone prior to sealing, using an intensive cleaner formulated specifically for natural stone surfaces, according to label directions.
  • Allow to dry completely.
  • Protect nearby areas not to be sealed.
  • Apply a water-based sealer, or sealer + color enhancer, working in manageable sections of approximately 60 square feet at a time. 
  • Use a low pressure sprayer, paint pad, roller or brush to apply an even coat, and avoiding pooling. 
  • Give the sealer 5 minutes to penetrate the stone, and buff dry with a clean terry towel. 

Using the right product is the key to prolonging the finish and integrity of the stone, and keeping the look you love.

Prevent damage and enhance the appearance of your honed granite with the following:

  • Use felt glides on furniture to protect honed granite floors from scratching. 
  • Clean spills immediately to prevent staining. 
  • Avoid cutting directly on countertops, using a cutting board to prevent scratches. 
  • Only use products specifically formulated by industry experts. 

For comprehensive information on caring for the granite surfaces in your home, be sure to download our free granite care guide below!