Granite countertops have become a staple of many homes. The natural stone is beloved by many homeowners for its beautiful looks and durability. Granite can be found in a vast array of colors, which include different veins, flecks and swirls. Granite countertops are heat and stain resistant, which makes for an ideal surface in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room in the house.
When choosing granite countertops, you will have different options for finishes. Two of the finishes are honed and polished. In fact, these are the two most common that you will see in granite countertops. However, you do have a third option: A leathered finish. Leathered granite is rising in popularity because of its unique and interesting appearance. We will walk you through everything you need to know about leathered granite, from the creation process to the care and maintenance of leathered granite countertops.
First – What is Granite?
Granite is a beautiful natural stone used for countertops. This stone has had many uses over thousands of years, including construction of some of the world’s most famous buildings and monuments, such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The stone is one of the strongest materials you can use for your countertop. It can and is used elsewhere in the house, including bathroom vanities, home bars, and tables. Although certain types can get pricey, granite is one of the less expensive natural stone countertop options.
What is Leathered Granite?
Now that you know more about granite in general, you may be wondering: What exactly is leathered granite? Leathered granite is a finish option for your countertops that will leave the surface with a slightly matte appearance and highlight the natural contours and veining of the stone.
How is Granite Leathered?
Leathered granite gets its texture as a result of a diamond tipped brush being run over the surface of the stone, which takes away any imperfections while polishing the slab. The end result can have many different forms; it will depend on how exactly the homeowner wants their granite countertop. Leathering can leave the slab as rough or smooth as the homeowner desires. Any way you choose to have your stone leathered, this complicated process will produce a stunning new countertop surface for your home.
How Can You Properly Care for Your Leathered Granite Countertops?
Proper care of leathered granite countertops is not as much of a hassle as you would encounter with polished granite. Leathered granite can hide any stains that might pop up. On the other hand, honed and polished granite countertops will require a little more care. Although you will have to re-seal your leathered granite countertop, you will have to re-seal honed or polished countertops more often.
Leathered Granite Countertops: Advantages
Leathered granite will offer many advantages for your countertop. These advantages include:
Enhanced Natural Color
A major difference between leathered granite and polished is that leathered will bring out the beauty in the natural color of the stone, while a polished finish does the same thing but adds increased shine. For homeowners who prefer the natural look of stone, leathered granite is a great option.
You will get a unique texture with leathered granite. While honed and polished are more traditional finishes, leathered granite is a surface unlike any other.
Leathered granite is stain resistant, which makes it a perfect countertop option for the kitchen or bathroom since both rooms see frequent use.
Why Do You Need to Seal Granite?
Now that you know different finishes require more or less frequent sealing, you may be wondering, why is there a need to seal granite countertops anyway? In short, sealing your granite countertop will protect the surface from damages. Granite, like most natural stones, is porous and can be compromised by liquid spills. If you do not seal your granite countertop, you will run the risk of the stone sustaining damages. Granted, granite is not the most porous natural stone, but you should still be as careful as you can be – especially considering that this is such a large investment.
How Do You Know It is Time to Re-Seal Your Stone Countertop?
Different slabs of granite have different sealing requirements. As mentioned above, some need to be re-sealed more frequently than others. If you are looking to determine if your granite countertop needs to be re-sealed, there is a simple test you can do. Start by taking a small amount of water and carefully spill it on a small area of the countertop. If the water absorbs within five to 10 minutes, your granite countertop needs to be re-sealed as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the water beads on the surface, the current seal is still effective.
How Do You Re-Seal a Granite Countertop?
If you have been able to determine that your granite countertop needs to be re-sealed, there are many different sealants on the market for you to choose from. We recommend a quality stone cleaner. The team at CSW can advise you in the best products to use. Many of these products come in spray bottles, making the process even easier. In most cases, you will have to apply the sealer to the countertop and wait for 20 to 30 minutes. If you see the sealer has penetrated the surface, apply another coat and repeat the process. After this process, remove the excess sealer with a clean, dry towel and let the countertop sit for 24 hours. For instructions specific to the sealer you are using, make sure to read the label on the back of the product or consult a specialist at CSW.
How Do You Clean a Leathered Granite Countertop?
Leathered granite hides smudges and stains easier than granite countertops that are polished or honed. In terms of cleaning, you can use just soap and warm water to clean any granite countertop. For leathered granite specifically, you can use a hand broom to remove crumbs and dust that may become trapped in the grooves. If you clean and seal your granite countertop as needed, it will look amazing for years to come.
Where Will a Leathered Granite Countertop Look the Best?
A leathered granite countertop looks particularly stylish in a rustic setting. Between the subdued colors and the rougher texture, a leathered granite countertop can make for an interesting kitchen countertop, vanity top or other surface. Since you are the only person who can truly determine what you define as beautiful, you can install leathered granite wherever you see fit.
Leathered granite continues to rise in popularity, as many homeowners desire to have this attractive and durable material in their homes. No matter if you install it in the kitchen, bathroom or any other room in the house, leathered granite will provide a beautiful natural look that can visually enhance any space. If you desire a countertop that brings a unique look to your space, leathered granite can do just that.
For more information contact a specialist at CSW. We can guide you in the best granite, quartz, quartzite or marble for your countertops.