Granite needs to be finished properly before putting it into use. After getting the required finish, its surface becomes impervious, looks better and its polished or granular, crystalline or texture beauty is enhanced. Most of us know only of the polished finish of granite. However, granite can be finished in a number of ways. Each type of finish provides a different type of plain or granular look to the granite surface.
1. Polished Finish: This is the most common finish of granite. This finish provides a mirror like surface to granite. The surface is reflective, full of shine and granite acquires sort of richness in colour. Polished finish granites don’t get stained easily and are very easy to clean. Granite with polished finish is most popular for kitchen counter tops, wash basin counters and risers of the staircase steps & flooring.
A glossy surface finish which is very smooth and not very porous. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone’s crystals. Polishing bricks and powders used during fabrication help draw out the natural reflection of the stone’s crystals to create vibrant colors and grains of natural stone.
2. Leather finish “Leathering” is the process of texturing granite or marble to appear less glossy. This process amplifies the natural characteristics of granite or marble, resulting in an exquisite surface. It is easy to clean and maintain, as well as, pleasing to the touch – a perfect balance between style and practicality. A leathered countertop is a fresh and innovative way of adding a subtle elegance to your decor.
A leathered finish is a newer style of finishing granite that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The density (or depth) of its’ texture will vary depending on the type and composition of the stone, an act of mother nature which gives each material a unique color and appearance. The leathered finish out stands the honed by giving a more sophisticated look to the stone. The leathering process closes the stone pores which helps it to become more stain resistant than the honed surface.
3. Antique finish In this type of finish, a high temperature flame is applied to the surface of granite by using a blow torch. The application of flame removes the soft parts of granite and converts the surface into rough textured finish. This happens because high temperature of the flame cracks the crystals on the surface of granite. Now, the rough surface of granite is cleaned of loose particles with a steel brush. Next operation is to smoothen the rough surface by application of brushes. are now applied to make surface more smooth and to add color and sharpness to it. There are more stone make the surface look timeless and antique as we find in old European courtyards and walkways.
The flamed surface granite itself can also be used in walkways as it becomes highly textured and non slippery. It is used on surfaces of fireplaces and even on inner surface of hearths. As the granite surface is already tempered by use of high temperature blow torch, the heat no more troubles such surfaces.
4. Honed finish Honed finish of granite is produced by applying grit material to granite surface in a similar way as is done for polished finish. The only difference is that in achieving honed finish of granite, buffing of surface is not done. The end result is a smooth surface that doesn’t reflect like polished surfaces. It is, however, ensured that there are no scratch marks on the honed finish granite. Honed finish granite is a substitute for polished finish granite when it is feared that polished granite shall become slippery when wet. Therefore, some people prefer honed finish granite instead of polished finish granite for stair steps and kitchen counter tops.
This finish is created by buffing the stone to slightly less than the highest level. The result is a smooth but dull appearance. A honed finish refers to any level that is less than polished and therefore encompasses many levels of dullness.
Honing a polished material opens up the pore making it more susceptible to staining than the same material in a polished finish Honing will “grey out” or fade the color of the stone, this is more noticeable on darker materials than on lighter materials. Provides a flat to low sheen gloss. This finish is very smooth, but often very porous. Honed stone colors are not as vibrant as a polished stone. This finish is often used for high traffic buildings.
5. Lappato finish The word Lappato has been derived from some Italian words. To produce Lappato finish, granite surface is first grinded by using an abrasive and all the polish on the granite surface is removed. Next, scratches on granite are removed by using more stone abrasives. Now, various stone brushes are applied in a way similar to leather finish. While in Leather finish granite, the process stops here, in case of lappato finish, three more abrasives are applied to achieve final finish which is a combination of matt and gloss, less reflective and has a granular worn-out but highly elegant look. The surface is non slippery and easy to clean.
The Lappato finish exalts the “time-worn” impression and timeless beauty of natural stone satisfying the most demanding performances. The lappato surface softly reflects the light to reflect its discreet structure, and finely chamfered edges give the granite a special elegance. The light polishing is carried out the same way as polished version, but the brushing is very light or just on the peaks of the tile surface to create the shiny-rough look.
6. Sandblasted In sandblasting, a high-pressure jet of siliceous sand or steel shots is applied to the area to be treated. This treatment produces a smooth abrasion, leaving the material with a slightly scratched (but not rugged) surface. The colour tones and the veins are slightly dulled.
This textured surface can vary (like leathering) based on the composition of the stone being blasted. Blasting will also “grey out” or fade the color (even more so than honing). A blasted surface is extremely porous and will be very hard to keep clean.
7. Flamed A Flamed finish is produced when an intense flame is fired at the stone, causing the surface to burst and become rough. This finish is used primarily for exteriors applications where slip-resistance is extremely important. A flamed finish cannot be applied to all stones; however, most granite and certain hard limestone are preferred.
A flamed finish is created using an extremely hot flame. The heat stresses the material causing crystals to pop out. Flaming creates a very rough texture best used for exterior purposes. A flamed finish is excellent for exterior walkways. Flaming can only be done on granites.
8. Flamed and brushed This process entails passing a blowpipe that emits a high-temperature flame over the surface to be treated. The heat acts by blowing the crystals out as they suffer thermal shock, with an effect that is particularly evident in materials composed of minerals with various degrees of expansion, (such as the vast majority of granites).
The resulting surface is rough, non-slip and generally faded in colour, thereby hiding defects and tone variations. Because of oxidation, yellow materials become orange or red.
9. Bush hammered A bush hammer is a specialized stone-working hammer with a head that resembles a meat tenderizing hammer. Because the head of the hammer is usually small (about 1-2 inches square) it takes a long time to apply this finish to a large surface area. The result leaves the surface of the stone fairly smooth with small indentations. A bush-hammered finish can be applied to nearly all stones.
Another textured finish. This is best for external use. Bush hammering will “grey out” or fade the color of the stone to an even greater extent than honing. This finish is rougher than leathering and more uniform. This finish can be done to virtually any stone.
10. Bush Hammered and Brushed A bush-hammered and brushed effect is obtained by pounding the material surface mechanically or by hand with a specific multi-pointed tool. This method creates a rugged surface full of little grazes at the impact points, giving the surface a lighter colour. The surface becomes non-slip. This technique has been replaced by flaming and pressure water finishing which is a quicker and less expensive process.