Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. Honed quartz finishes are growing in popularity as an alternative to the standard glossy polish. Here is an in-depth look at what honed quartz is, its pros and cons, and whether it may be the right choice for your home.
What is Honed Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. This mixture is molded into slabs and finished with either a glossy polish or a matte, honed finish.
Honed quartz has a soft, matte appearance that lacks the shine and reflection of polished quartz. The honed finish gives quartz a more natural, stone-like look compared to the high-gloss finish. Honed quartz countertops are often compared to the appearance of concrete, marble, or soapstone.
Pros of Honed Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners prefer the muted, soft appearance of honed quartz over the sparkling polish of standard quartz. It provides an understated elegance and pairs well with many design styles from modern to traditional. The honed finish highlights the natural veining and patterns within the stone.
Hide Smudges and Scratches
The matte finish of honed quartz does an excellent job of hiding small scratches and fingerprints that can be quite obvious on polished finishes. While honed quartz can still be scratched or etched over time, light scratches tend to blend in and be less noticeable.
The lack of shine from a honed finish avoids the glare and reflection that polished countertops are prone to. This provides a smoother visual flow in kitchens and baths, especially those with abundant natural light. The honed surface is also less slippery.
Match Other Finishes
Honed quartz offers a coordinated look with honed stone tiles or concrete flooring, as opposed to the mismatch between a polished countertop and honed floors. The matte finish pairs well with many cabinet styles too.
Cons of Honed Quartz Countertops
Requires More Upkeep
Although honed quartz hides scratches better than polished, it does require more routine care and maintenance. The porous surface tends to show oils, grease, fingerprints, and spills more readily. Frequent cleaning is needed to keep honed quartz looking its best.
The micro-texture of honed finishes makes them more prone to holding stains than polished quartz. Spills that are not wiped up promptly have a greater likelihood of leaving a stain. Strongly pigmented liquids like red wine, fruit juice or tomato sauce pose the greatest staining risks.
Lacks Visual Depth
The reflective qualities of polished quartz create visual depth and radiance that is lacking in honed finishes. Honed quartz looks flatter and may make a space appear darker. The glossy finish tends to brighten up a room.
Needs to Be Sealed
Most manufacturers recommend applying a penetrating sealer to honed quartz soon after installation. This adds a protective layer to help resist stains and etching. Re-application is needed over time to maintain effectiveness. Polished quartz does not require sealing.
Can Show Wear Patterns
Daily use around the sink or cooktop area can result in gradual wearing down of the soft honed finish, revealing glossy spots. Heavy prep work or pot and pan usage causes this type of localized wear pattern. Integrating a sink mat can minimize the issue.
Should You Choose Honed Quartz?
Ultimately, the choice between polished and honed quartz comes down to your design preferences and lifestyle needs. If you like the soft, matte look and want to hide surface flaws, honed is a great option. However, if you have an open floor plan with abundant natural light, polish may suit the space better.
Consider your cooking habits too. Do you frequently cook sauce-based dishes that could stain? Are you diligent about immediate cleanup? For cooks wanting a low-maintenance finish, polished may be more suitable.
There are also options that blend the two finishes for the best of both worlds. Many quartz manufacturers offer patterns incorporating discrete polished and honed areas to provide visual interest.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance recommendations for whichever finish you select. With routine sealing and cleaning, honed quartz can be an excellent choice that adds rugged, yet refined, beauty to your kitchen or bath. Consult with an expert quartz fabricator or kitchen designer to determine if honed or polished quartz best suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Honed Quartz Countertops
Is honed quartz more expensive than polished quartz?
Generally, there is little or no difference in cost between honed and polished quartz countertop finishes. The fabrication process is essentially the same. Some high-end designer colors may command a slight price premium for either finish.
Does honed quartz need to be sealed?
Most manufacturers recommend applying a penetrating sealer to honed quartz within a few weeks of installation. This protects the surface from stains and etching. Reapplication is needed every 1-2 years. Polished quartz does not require sealing.
Can honed quartz be scratched?
Yes, honed quartz can be scratched by knives, pots and other objects, but light scratches tend to blend into the finish better than on polished surfaces. Preventing scratches on honed finishes requires using a cutting board and being cautious about abrasive cleaners.
Is honed or polished quartz better for kitchens?
It depends on your priorities. Honed hides smudges and scratches, but polished is more stain-resistant. For high traffic kitchens, polished is easier to keep looking clean. Honed creates a muted, elegantly understated look.
Does honed quartz need to be cleaned differently than polished?
Honed quartz requires a little more routine care. Quickly wiping up spills, using non-abrasive cleaners, and avoiding harsh scrubbing is best. Over time, honed finishes are more likely to show wear patterns around the sink.
Honed quartz offers an attractive, soft-to-the-touch finish that can bring an elegant and welcoming look to kitchen and bathroom spaces. While honed quartz requires a bit more sealing and maintenance compared to the popular polished finish, many homeowners feel it is worth the extra effort. Considering your own sense of style and functional needs carefully determines which finish – honed or polished – is the right quartz countertop choice for your home. With routine care, either option can provide many years of beauty and durability.