Can Quartz Countertops Be Honed?

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Known for their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance, quartz counters are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. One question that often comes up is whether quartz can be honed, giving it a matte, soft finish rather than the standard glossy look. Here is an in-depth look at honing quartz countertops.

What is a Honed Finish?

A honed finish on natural stone or engineered surfaces like quartz has a flat, matte look. The stone is sanded to remove the polish and create a soft, smooth surface. Honed stone does not reflect light like a polished finish, giving it a more subtle, earthy aesthetic.

The main benefits of a honed finish include:

  • More matte, soft look compared to glossy polished stone
  • Help hide small scratches and marks
  • Provide better grip and less slippery surface

Honed finishes have become popular for both natural and engineered stone countertops and other surfaces. While marble, granite, and other natural stones are commonly honed, can quartz countertops be honed as well?

Honing Process for Quartz

Quartz is an engineered stone made from roughly 90% ground natural quartz aggregates combined with resins and pigments. This makes quartz harder and less porous than natural stone surfaces.

The good news is that yes, quartz countertops can be honed to achieve a softer, matte look. However, there are some important differences between honing natural stone and engineered quartz:

  • More time and work to hone quartz – The hard resins require specialized diamond abrasive pads and tools to penetrate the surface. It takes more time and work to expose the natural quartz aggregates.
  • Only partial honed finish – Due to the resins, quartz can only be honed to a certain level, not fully flat like natural stone. There will still be some resin at the surface.
  • Permanent finish – A honed quartz countertop cannot be re-polished later. The finish is permanent due to the resin binders.
  • Lower gloss levels – Quartz can be honed to a soft matte finish but generally not as flat and smooth as natural stone. There is still some reflective quality.
  • Professionally applied – Quartz honing should be done by a professional fabricator to get the best results. The abrasive pads and tools require training to use correctly.

If you decide to hone your quartz countertops, discuss the finish levels and options with your fabricator. A partial honed finish will provide a subdued matte look while allowing some of the reflective qualities to show through.

Benefits of Honed Quartz Countertops

There are several potential benefits to choosing a honed quartz finish:

  • Matte, soft aesthetic – The main appeal is the more natural, muted finish. Honed quartz has an understated elegance.
  • Hide small scratches – The matte finish helps conceal minor scuffs and scratches from daily wear and tear. These tend to show more on polished high-gloss quartz.
  • Non-slip surface – Honed quartz has a bit more grip and traction compared to polished, making it safer for kitchens.
  • Layered look – When paired with polished quartz accents and backsplashes, a honed main surface creates visual depth.
  • Easier cleaning – Smudges and fingerprints blend better on honed quartz compared to smooth glossy finishes.

Honing provides quartz countertops an earthier, more subtle look and feel. Keep in mind the finish is permanent and requires specialized fabrication. Discuss honing options with your installer to ensure it meets your expectations.

FAQ About Honed Quartz Countertops

Can you hone quartz after installation?

Quartz cannot be honed after installation. Honed finishes need to be factory applied or done by a professional fabricator before countertop placement. The honing process is permanent and cannot be reversed.

Does a honed quartz stain more easily?

Honed quartz is slightly more prone to staining than polished quartz. The lack of glossiness means stains have more surface area to absorb into. However, quartz is non-porous, so the difference is minimal. Avoid leaving spills sit to prevent stains.

Is honed or polished quartz better for kitchens?

It depends on your style. Honed has an understated, natural look but can show more scratches. Polished is glossier and elegant but prone to smudges. For heavy use kitchens, a partial honed finish offers a good medium.

Can you get different levels of honed finish on quartz?

Yes, quartz can be honed to different levels from a light etch to deeper matte. A light honed quartz will retain some gloss while a deeper hone has more of a concrete-like appearance. Discuss the options with your fabricator.

Does honed quartz need to be sealed?

No, honed quartz countertops do not need regular sealing like some honed natural stones. The resin binders make quartz non-porous and resistant to stains even with a honed finish.


While not as common as polished quartz, a honed finish brings an attractive, soft matte look to quartz countertops. The honing process for quartz is more intricate than natural stone but can provide subtle beauty. A honed finish also hides minor scratches well. There are some considerations in terms of permanence of the finish and stain resistance. Overall, honed quartz delivers an understated yet stylish aesthetic for modern homes. Discuss options for partial honing with your quartz fabricator and installer to determine if it suits your design vision. With the right level of matte finish, you can enjoy the durability and low maintenance of quartz with an earthier, more muted surface.