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Is black granite difficult to keep clean. Honed versus polished?

April 27, 2013
Trying to decide for a kitchen remodel

Comments (29)

  • L P. D.
  • PRO
    Ironwood Builders
    Honed Black Absolute is no more difficult to keep clean than any other standard counter top material. Polished will show fingerprints and grunge much more easily.
  • PRO
    Dullea and Associates Inc.
    Hones should be easier to keep clean. You may also want to look into a leathered finish with a enhancer.
  • PRO
    Signature Home Services
    Any black granite will show crumbs, salt, any other debris. Just like a dark floor. Personally if you have kids...I'd suggest another color.
  • PRO
    Interiors International, Inc.
    Polished black looks so much more beautiful. Honed looks drab IMO.
  • Cindy Quinton
    This question always makes me ask myself, "if your countertops are dirty, don't you want to KNOW, so you can wipe them down?" I mean floors that hide dirt are AWESOME, but I'm not essentially eating on the floor.
  • PRO
    William J Hirsch, Jr Inc, AIA
    Any granite that is a uniform color will show more marks and specks than a granite with color variations and "movement." A dark color granite will show light colored debris, like salt and flour. I also find that honed black granite is prone to showing oil marks, like fingerprints and spots of olive oil. Of course, you will see these same marks on a polished stone surface to some degree. But on a honed finish, they appear to have soaked into the surface.

    One big advantage to any honed granite surface is that it does not reflect the glare of the under-cabinet lights. A polished granite, especially a dark surface, acts like a mirror and reflects everything.
  • leelee
    I've had absolute black counters for almost 13 years. My husband is a maniac cook....no problems. They do show you where the "dirt" is but it's your kitchen counters...do you really want to hide the dirt on your counters? Not like floors. I want to know where the mess is so I can clean it. I make my own cleaner by mixing alcohol, liquid dishwashing soap and water in a spray bottle 1/3 alcohol, a couple of squirts of soap and the rest warm water. Cuts grease, kills germs and shines. Good luck!
  • PRO
    Granite of any color is easy to keep clean especially with under mount sinks. Honed granite shows oily type marks that drive some folks crazy.

    Also check out quartz, as it is another popular option www.granitevsquartz.com
  • feeny
    I love honed black granite. Polished always looks a bit too slick to me, but that's just a personal reaction. Honed seems more subtle.
  • leelee
    And then there's soapstone...
  • PRO
    Signature Home Services
    The original question was...is black granite hard to keep clean. Agree...it's beautiful. It's timeless. But it is hard to keep clean. Hence my response...if that's the concern, this isn't the "best" choice. Think shiny black car...! It'll be beautiful though...regardless if it's honed, polished or a satin/leather finish. I prefer the latter...!
  • sheriss
    my granite is black with a little brown. There is a light neat the sink and it makes water spots show. Otherwise, I find i have to run my hand over the counter to find spills. I don't think it's harder to keep clean, I would be cleaning it anyway.
  • beverlynn
    I have Black Galaxy polished granite and NO it is not difficult to keep clean! I use Weiman's Granite cleaner in the spray bottle. Growing up, my mom made us clean the counters (good old fashioned laminate) daily when cleaning up after dinner. Naturally, every time I clean the kitchen, I clean the counters! Besides, I enjoy seeing the beauty of the granite after I've cleaned the kitchen!
  • ycity
    We have honed absolute and love it. It looks softer than polished, almost a dark grey. It does show cup rings and other spots, but everything can be rubbed out easily. We sealed it, but i tested the slab beforehand with lemon and oil and it didn't stain at all.
  • tammra2
    A lot of my clients have black. Unless your a clean freak as they say , I would not do black. Especially if you cook a lot and have kids. Or pets ..... Every paw print shows up if they get onto the counters. It is beautiful if you are willing to wipe it down daily or when company comes !!! Surprise. !!! It does show lint from some paper towels and dust for sure.
  • 124s
    I hate my black granite. worse choice I made.
  • joyce25239

    The problem is the color, not the material. I have black granite floors and black laminate countertops. Both are very difficult to keep clean,
    because the dirt is almost impossible to see. I have to feel around
    with my fingertips whenever I clean. When I feel ridges, I know there's dirt! I love the overall "look" of
    black floors & countertops. But cleaning is more of a problem than it should be.

  • ninigret

    food prep surfaces need to be cleaned at the end of the day "whether they need it or not" so it really doesnt matter what color you have. i like my mostly white quartz and my black honed granite, the granite needs to be lightly buffed dry with a microfiber cloth, otherwise it shows the sponge marks, is the only difference.

  • marcinki
    I have black pearl granite. It is more upkeep than our old granite, but honestly I just love it so much I don't mind the extra upkeep. It is a labor of love!!!
  • Linda Bailey

    I have black granite counters and floors, I HATE THEM!!!!

  • Linda Bailey

    don't do it....

  • Linda Bailey

    I'm manic about cleanliness, but it shows every fingerprint....all you will do is use paper towels and elbow grease all day long! I'm at it at least a dozen times a day. I have two kids and two dogs so---if you are single or have no kids or pets; perhaps????

  • tammra2

    I have a petsitting service for for 30 years. Every single clients house that I go to that has black counters , I absolutely hate it. Especially with kids and pets. By time they get back from vacation there is already dust on the counter. If any light comes thru the windows you see everything on them . Where you clean them etc. I have to keep the pet hair off of them daily. Trust me, they are beautiful and look so clean and fresh when they are spotless . But what I see on daily visits to these homes , unless you are a constant cleaner- no kids - no pets go for it . Other wise I would not install black counters. From experience , because I'm the one who cleans them daily to keep the pet hair off the counters so the clients come home to a nice clean kitchen !!

  • lmckuin

    We had black granite two houses ago and never again! It wasn't just the keeping clean, it was all the streaks that were were left after wiping it down. I felt like each "wipe down" took a real cleaning and then another cleaning with a dry towel to get all the steaks off. I just found myself annoyed all the time at all the streaks!

  • ykindschi
    I think this is what they call brown antique granite. We put this on our island and Labrador antique on perimeter. The designer at Home Depot help d us decide, because I didn't want "loud" granite and this really did go the best with everything we had going on. The induction fits seamlessly. It looks nice. But I would NEVER ever ever ever choose this again. Ever. I've had it less than 2 years and I want to change it. I purchased an automobile buffer to help get it shiny. It's a pain. It shows ever molecule of dust and within hours of cleaning it, the dust layer is back. We have a lot of windows, that light does make dust show up more than a shaded house. Also, we live rural, on a large ag farm, which means more dust that just permeates the house. It can't be helps. Anyway, don't do it!
  • 3babyblues
    Mine are black and show water spots around the sink and streaks from cleaning. I use a Norwex polish cloth (bc I don't want chemicals where we prepare food) when I want to remove the streaks and it works well.
    We are building a new house and will definitely not be using black granite again. Just too dark and blah for my taste.
  • PRO
    Cinar Interiors, Inc.

    If you choose honed make sure you use an impregnating sealer, solvent based. Solvent based products will help repel the oils from our skin and foods, making them easier to clean. Does not mean your stone will be stain proof. You will also want to avoid leaving any fruits or soaps directly atop of the stone for a long period of time.

  • PRO
    Apex Stone Care

    I have been working solely with stone for over 19 years. Twice, I have been in San Diego Home and Gardens, for projects involving Best of the Year.

    Most honed material, if you have a keen eye, has an imperfect finish. Whether it's Travertine, Marble, or Granite, the darker it is, the more things show. Honing stone to a perfectly uniform finish; whether it's leather, antiqued, matte, satin, or patina; is more difficult than polishing it to a perfectly shiny finish. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but maximum is maximum. Honed is variable. When honing stone, any of the following will make a difference in the finish; speed, the amount of grit, age of pads, pressure, and/or lubrication.

    Many installers and maintenance people will try to hide the imperfections, in the finish, with topical sealants. This is a mistake! Do not use topical sealers! They are equivalent to a cheap nail polish that is purchased by the gallon, which requires being completely stripped, rather than simply cleaning and resealing.

    The easiest Black Absolute Granite, to maintain daily, is a polished antique finish. It has this modern-rustic look that people like, with the advantage of closing the pores. This finish is achieved with the right kind of polishing process, after it has been textured.

    Also, sealing your stone is extremely important! SLX-100 Impregnating Oil and Water Repellant is very expensive, but it is worth the cost. Sealing stone yourself isn't difficult once you figure out the tricks. If it gets streaky, use a little more sealer to break it down. This removes the streaks without removing the sealer, but requires elbow grease and timing to get right.

    Working in different parts of the country has taught me that water isn't always the same and the deposits it leaves behind may require a variety of cleaners. Most of the worthy cleaners are terrible for sealer. Magic eraser, fine steel wool, ammoniated and alcohol cleaners may become your friend, but a well sealed stone requires less effort to remove streaks. Granite Gold has a ton of cleaning and stone care products... their wipes leave a streak free finish without damaging the seal.

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