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Granite care: shades of black/gray in leathered finish.

12 years ago

We had picked out Steel Gray (Grey?) granite at the stoneyard, were very excited, stopped by the tile store on the way home to look at floors and backsplashes, utterly convinced we had the counters "solved". Then with the sample sitting on the kitchen counter that afternoon and evening, realized it was way too glossy and glarey under the lights. (for my taste - not to knock anybody else's prefrence!) While it looked good standing right over it, the view from across the room was just reflections of whatever was on the counter.

So, after a day or two of panic, I read up on non-polished granite finishes. I think we want to go with leathered or antiqued, not honed. I talked to installer who has leathered finish slabs of several different greys available. Tomorrow we visit the stoneyard and decide what's going to look nicest for us, but these are the options:

Steel Gray leather (leading favorite, since that's the polished one we liked)

Juparana Silver leather

Jet Mist Antique

Black Absolute Antique

Cambrian Black Antique

Nordic Black Antique

In different threads I've read here, people are talking about the plusses and minuses of sealing different stones in a honed finish. Black Absolute, for example, is very hard, not so porous, and people seem to say not to seal it. But chances are good that we'll go for one of the lighter-colored ones, gray rather than black.

So, that was context. The questions:

Do some stones do better than others in a non-polished finish?

Is there anything practical I should know when making the color choice, for example a difference between the care/maintenance of different stones/colors in a leathered finish?

Is the "to seal or not to seal" question only a big deal for honed finish or does it apply to leathered also?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

- Emily

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