There are three main types of finishes for granite countertops, polished, honed and brushed.
Polished granite is the most common type of finish with a smooth, highly reflective surface. This finish enhances the natural look of the stone making the color, patterns and structures pop. This is also the most functional finish as it is easy to clean and can stand up to high traffic.
Honed granite has a smooth, matte finish that does not reflect light. While polished finishes have a highly reflective surface, honed granite has a more natural stone look with a slightly muted color. Not having a protective finish to protect the granite like the polished stone, honed countertops are susceptible to stains.
Brushed finishes are created by applying brushes to the surface of the granite during processing. This creates a soft texture that has an antiqued appearance and sets it apart from polished and honed finishes. This finish would not be suited to high traffic areas, like a kitchen countertop, but lends itself well to backsplashes and accent pieces.