Helping you plan your home improvement project, from start to finish

What is Honed Granite & How Much Does it Cost?

Honed granite counters are produced by taking a rough slab of granite and sending it through a conveyor system outfitted with abrasive pads and fine polishing pads. A honed surface finish is smooth without being reflective. This flat finish is also described as low sheen or matte. The granite may also be described as natural looking or soft in appearance. All slabs of honed granite counters are smooth and even with no rough edges. Honed granite counters are a popular choice in new homes as well as for homeowners who are renovating or remodeling their kitchens.

The Costs

  • The average minimum cost per finished square foot of honed granite counters is $48.32.

  • The average maximum cost per finished square foot of honed granite counters is $73.93.

In addition to the price of the primary material, a home remodeling project involving the installation of honed granite counters will include other costs. Installing honed granite counters requires the use of some supplies such as nuts, bolts, screws and sandpaper. The average cost of these additional supplies is $2.65 per square foot of finished honed granite counter. Installation of a honed granite counter should be done by an experienced professional in order to achieve the best results. The average hourly cost of labor for the installation of honed granite counters is $78.50. This installation cost is for a basic project involving one to two seams and a basic finished edge. If a sculpted edge, complex shape or more seams are required, the project will take longer and incur higher labor costs.


Honed granite counters are derived from slabs of granite extracted from mines or cliff sides. Granite is an igneous rock that contains a matrix of feldspar, quartz, mica and amphibole. As a building material, granite has been used throughout the history of humanity. Its use as an indoor material is relatively new. Different honing techniques allow the granite to be exposed to everyday use as opposed to exposure to the elements when used in construction of a building. Each slab of granite is unique in its mineral composition, color and pattern.


Honed granite counters are available in many types of finishes. The different finishes are done with varying levels of polishing, enhancement of the stone's color and the amount of abrasion. The most common types of finishes for honed granite counters include:

  • Flame honed. A flame honed granite counter has a rough texture that is produced by searing the crystals in the slab, which causes them to pop out.

  • River washed. Slabs of river washed honed granite counters are first flame seared and then smoothed to level the surface. This results in a surface with no reflection.

  • Black absolute honed granite. This dark stone is porous and has a smooth non-reflective finish.


Honed granite counters are available in different grades. The granite is graded based upon the colors, veins and patterns within the slab. Each slab of granite has its own grade. The slab's thickness, pitting, proportion of soft minerals and its quarrying location also contribute to the grading. The grades of honed granite applied to counters include:

  • Low-tier granite. This is commercial grade honed granite. It is available in thicknesses of .375 inches to .5 inches. It typically requires a plywood backing before it can be installed as a counter. This grade of granite is often imported from countries such as China.

  • Mid-tier granite. This honed granite is of average quality. It ranges from .5 inches to 1 inch thick. These slabs of granite are often sourced from India or Brazil.

  • Top-tier granite. This type of honed granite has an unusual appearance in its pattern, veins or color. It is available in slabs of 1 inch or greater thickness. This type of honed granite is usually sourced from India or Brazil.


Many manufacturers process and produce honed granite counters. Some popular brands of honed granite counters include Stonemark, CaesarStone Quartz Surfaces and Mystic Granite. Locally owned and operated home remodeling companies may have access to honed granite supplied by smaller manufacturers. These lesser-known brands may feature some of the more unusual veins, colors and patterns of granite. Homeowners who desire a sculpted or dimensional finish may desire to work with a small company for a custom production counter.

Advantages of Honed Granite Counters

Granite is the second-hardest stone in the world and is only weaker in strength than diamond. Honed granite counters are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit the style of any kitchen. The toned-down appearance of honed granite gives it a wider appeal and greater flexibility for use in different styles of kitchens than granite counters that are more highly polished. Putting in a granite counter adds value to a home and is considered by many to be a luxury upgrade. Honed granite counters are highly durable and resistant to chips, scratches, dents, cracks, breaks and heating. A hot pan can be placed atop a honed granite counter without causing damage.

Disadvantages of Honed Granite Counters

Granite is a natural source of radiation, which is a cause of concern as the embedded uranium decays and releases radon gas, although only about 5 percent of granite slabs used in counters have a detectable level of radioactivity. Compared to polished granite, honed granite is more susceptible to staining. Honed granite also shows smudges and fingerprints more readily than polished granite counters. This is especially true of honed granite that is composed of dark colored minerals. The honing process makes the granite more absorbent. Because of this, a honed granite counter should be resealed every three to four months. Any liquids spilled on the counter should be wiped immediately. Honed granite is more expensive than polished granite, and any type of granite is costlier than laminates with a similar look. If a low-tier slab of granite is used to make the counter, the unevenness of the surface will be noticeable.

Last updated on Apr 1, 2015

Top Articles on Honed Granite Counters

View All Articles

Looking for accurate quotes on your project?

  • Get multiple quotes for any home improvement project
  • See pro's rating, reviews, projects and more
  • 100% free, no obligations
  • Only takes a few minutes

Find pros in your area.

Close ×