As I walked the floor at the 2010 Coverings at the Orlando Convention Center I spotted some great tiles and stones. My favorite part was being able to see many large slabs of granite and marble in the trendy Antiqued finishes. Oftentimes the terms to describe the stone finishes are interchanged making it confusing so I have described some of the finish options.
A Leather finish is not the same as Honed. This finish adds texture to the surface. Additionally, it closes the pores and retains the color better than honing. A good analogy is to say a leathered finish is like a matte finish on a photograph whereas a polished surface is like a glossy photograph. Leathering is preferred to honing for blacks and other very dark materials.
A leather finish with a polish is called Caressed. This finish starts with a leathered slab and “polishes” the high spots. This of course closes the pores more than the leathered finish, but not as much as a polished finish. This gives the stone an elegant sheen.
Another great finish I saw was Brushed or River-washed. The slab looks as if the softer portions of the stone have been eroded by a natural stream over many, many years. Some of the slabs I saw at the show had large “ripples” running through them. The unevenness was great to touch but may not be a good choice for a countertop because items like wine glasses may become unstable.
If you want to see an antiqued piece of granite in person, stop by the showroom and see the new raised bar display.