Matte vs. Glossy Countertop Sheens

You’ve gone through the entire process of making a countertop selection and have signed on the dotted line as to an installation date, but you still have one more choice to make. Whether you’ve selected a natural stone such as marble, quartz or granite, you’ll have to make the decision as to whether you want a matte or glossy countertop finish. It may seem unimportant but when you’re dealing with natural stone, a final finish can have an effect on the look of your countertops and the overall presentation of your kitchen. There are other finish choices, but the most requested are glossy and matte. Though the finishes are flexible and coordinate with most any style, a final choice can be a problem. To help solve the dilemma, here are some comparisons between the two finishes.


A matte finish is preferable to those who like a more subtle look or a textural feel with an understated finish. Matte finishes are also referred to as honed or textured with a finish that has little reflective qualities. This look works for some kitchen spaces, particularly those that are white and already have reflective kitchen items within the kitchen along with stainless steel appliances. Matte finishes can bring out warmth, depth and texture in a kitchen space and establish a look of solidness; however, not all natural stone works well with a matte finish. Granite and marble can easily accommodate a matte finish, but other stone choices just don’t play well with the finish such as slate, soapstone and even quartz. Many natural stone manufacturers simply don’t offer a matte finish with many of their products because they simply don’t coordinate.

Sandblasting Process

Matte finishes are a bit more complicated in that they require sandblasting. Not all natural stones are ready for what the treatment involves. There are certain stone colors that once sandblasted assume a dull and almost dirty effect. Stone fabricators can create the perfect matte finish. Ask them if what you choose in a natural stone will work with a matte finish.

Foregoing Shine

Foregoing shine is not a bad thing. A glossy finish just might not give you the gloss or the luminous quality that you’re looking for. Glossy surfaces require maintenance and upkeep that you may not be prepared to deal with. Also, if other areas of a kitchen require focus, you might be better off with a matte or honed finish look as opposed to glossy.

Smaller and Darker Areas

There is the chance that a matte finish just might work in even a smaller or dark area, and be aware that matte finishes do show areas of grease, dirt and fingerprints. So, if you are busy and have children, a matte countertop may not be for you. All in all, a matte finish looks good with the use of a darker stone choice that doesn’t require a lot of attention.


It’s obvious that a glossy finish is what most homeowners choose to coordinate with their natural stone countertops. A glossy finish is adaptable to natural stone surfaces and most solid surfaces in use today.

Grinding of Surface

Fabricators fashion a glossy or polished finish through the continual grinding down of the surface. The process continues on until it brings a natural shine to the surface. This allows for the countertop to reflect light and present a glossy finish.

Reflective Exterior

Glossy surfaces have a reflective exterior that brings luminosity to a space, which allows for a bright, pleasant and cheerful effect in a kitchen area. A glossy finish is available at different levels, the shiniest of which is almost like a mirror. The look works for most kitchens, though the glare in lighter kitchens could be difficult to tolerate.

Good for a Number of Reasons

Polished or glossy surfaces are good for a number of reasons. The reflection of light on the surface of a glossy counterop makes a small space appear larger, plus the appearance integrates well with both traditional and more formal style kitchens. The surface also has a forgiving nature. Things like food crumbs, coffee grounds and other spills are camouflaged because the light is deflected away from the areas where food debris may have accumulated.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Once you have weighed the advantages and disadvantages of a matte or glossy choice in a countertop sheen, it comes down to what finish appeals to you the most and what will be the best fit for your kitchen. Both finishes are not that difficult to maintain and both will bring style and use to your home. The only differences between the two are the way they reflect light and how you want that light to act in your home. Either you want to deal with a high gloss look that brings light into your kitchen or you want a subtle and more subdued look that allows for more control over the distribution of light.

If you are still unsure of what will or won’t work in your home, fill out the online contact form. A company representative will get back to you with the answers you need to make an informed decision about choosing between a matte or glossy countertop sheen.