Most of us are familiar with the shiny smooth surface of polished granite. However, granite is also available in a leathered finish. What exactly is this type of finish? Leathered granite is not glossy and polished and has relatively no shine to it at all. The surface has a textured feel to it, revealing all the little pits and fissures that the granite has. The amount of texture will vary from piece to piece, since granite is a completely natural product. This finish just adds to its uniqueness of any granite slab. This leathered look still brings the chic and inviting look that granite offers, but with a more rustic note.
Process of Leathered Granite:
The leathering process is an extremely detailed and difficult endeavor. This is definitely something to leave to the professionals. To achieve this textured matte look, a diamond tipped brush is repeatedly run over the surface of the granite. This motion removes imperfections while leaving the stones natural contours and grooves. The interesting thing about the process, and why it adds to the individuality of each granite slab, is that depending upon the number of repetitions, the stone can become very smooth or stay very rough. This can all be based on a homeowner’s personal preference.
Benefits of Leathered Granite
The rustic look that leathered granite gives is a perfect choice for a more historic looking home. First and foremost, a leathered surface is completely resistant to fingerprints and smudges. With that, it does not require daily polishing. The leathering process tightly closes all pores which makes it totally stain resistant. Although granite is already a stain resistant material, the leathered finish just adds an extra barrier of protection.
The leathering process is most commonly used on darker colors. This tends to bring out some of the muted accents that are often missed in a polished black slab. One of the most important benefits of leathered granite that is often overshadowed by aesthetics, is its high resistance to bacteria. Polished granite on its own is a prime choice for kitchen countertops because of its naturally tight pores, but leathered granite has an even higher protection rating.
To Seal or Not to Seal Leathered Granite
Designers and fabricators have varying opinions on whether sealing a leathered granite surface is necessary. Some professionals will tell you that this is an unnecessary expense because leathered stone is so durable on its own. Others will tell you that despite its robustness, not sealing ANY granite countertop is a risky move if you want it to stay in prime condition. Those promoting this side of the argument feel that sealing will only add an additional layer of protection for wear and tear, stains, bacteria, and random damage, so why wouldn’t you?
Growing Popularity of Leathered Granite
Leathered granite is quickly becoming a popular choice among homeowners and designers. The tactile element that it adds to the look of granite cannot be matched by any other product. Not to mention, it is very versatile and can be used indoors or outdoors. Its utility will continue to go above and beyond and will outlast the life of your home. As previously mentioned, every granite stone is one of a kind, but with the variations of intensity of the diamond brushes that can be used, each homeowner gets the chance to achieve their own tangible perfection. What other product so many benefits, durability, and beauty for years to come?