Making the right choices for your kitchen countertops can be difficult, given the many options available. Aside from the color and shape, you also have to consider the material you need for your particular lifestyle. In most cases, this boils down to granite or marble for natural stones, and quartz stone for engineered stones. Even then, you have to think about the edge treatment, type and design of the backsplash, as well as any accessories you might need.
It does help if you consult with your countertop specialist for all these choices. However, that could also lead to another issue you might not even have considered yet: the finish.
Countertop specialists such as Badger Granite put a lot of emphasis on the finish because it can determine the look and functionality of the kitchen countertops. In most cases, they will recommend one of two finishes: matte or glossy. You can choose to go with your specialist’s recommendation, but it is always a good thing to go into a decision knowing a bit more about the facts. Below is a discussion of matte versus glossy finishes for kitchen countertops.
A matte finish is not as available as a glossy finish because it is not as popular. However, some people prefer the subtle look of a matte finish over the mirror-like effect of a glossy finish as it adds depth and texture to your kitchen countertops. That said, a matte finish does not always bring out the best in some materials.
A matte finish has low reflectivity, which means it does not reflect light well or at all. Some people find this unattractive, hence its limited popularity. Granite, in particular, does not stand up well to this treatment. While it is sufficiently durable to take the sandblasting required for achieving this effect, granite countertops tend to look dull or even dirty with a matte finish. This is not true for all granite colors, of course, so ask your countertop specialist if the granite slabs you chose will look good in a matte finish.
The big advantage of a matte finish for kitchen countertops is it cuts the glare for kitchens that get lots of light. This is good if you have a white or light colored kitchen, as a matte finish can absorb some of that light. If you have white kitchen countertops, a matte finish keeps it from taking on the shades or hues of other elements in the kitchen, such as dark cabinets.
The problem with a matte finish for kitchen countertops is it shows up any fingerprints or dirt on it easily, making it necessary to wipe it down more frequently to keep the surface pristine. This is not too much of an issue with light stones, so if you choose a matte finish, avoid dark stones.
Another issue is availability. While fabricators of natural stones such as granite can produce it on request, manufacturers of quartz stones offer a matte finish in only selected models, and sometimes come at a premium. If you have set your heart on quartz countertops, you might have to settle for one with a glossy finish.
Most homeowners prefer a glossy finish for kitchen countertops, sometimes called polished. It is the default finish offered for all types of countertops, particularly for manmade stones such as quartz countertops. As such, it is easily available no matter what type of material you choose for your kitchen countertops, and often given free of charge.
A glossy finish reflects light much more than a matte finish, with many homeowners finding the mirror-like effect attractive. The main problem with this high level of reflectiveness is glare, especially in kitchens with a white or light color palette. It can get to the point that the glare is hard on the eyes.
On the other hand, a glossy finish is a great choice for kitchens that receive little or no natural light, especially if you have dark countertops. It is also a good finish for households with teenagers or small children, as a glossy finish hides fingerprints and grease quite well. A highly polished surface is also easier to clean, so that is an obvious benefit for many homeowners.
A matte finish has many benefits for a niche market, but in terms of practicality and popularity, a glossy finish is a clear favorite. That said, the best gauge for your choice is your lifestyle and personal preference. A reliable countertop specialist can accommodate whatever you choose.
Badger Granite knows all there is to know about granite, marble, and kitchen countertops in general, including their finishes. We are a local company with licensed contractors specializing in all types of countertops, especially granite countertops, servicing major Wisconsin cities.
We are highly skilled at the fabrication and installation of kitchen countertops. We have no hidden fees, so you can be sure that you will have no problems when you contract with us.
Our staff will gladly walk you through our showroom in Wisconsin so that you can see actual slabs and samples before you buy. If you prefer engineered stones, we carry only the best brands at the best prices, and have a much quicker turnaround than big box stores. All our products have manufacturer warranties from the best quartz companies, including Cambria, Silestone, MSI, and DuPont Zodiaq.
We can offer you free in-home consultation and quote at no obligation to you. Give us a call or send us a message now!