Are smudges and fingerprints on the countertop a pet peeve of yours? Us, too. It is annoying when you fastidiously clean your kitchen, only to see streaking and fingerprints dotting the surface of the counter. After enduring long enough, you made your way here to see if there is any kind of countertop that exists that is resistant to fingerprints and smudging. While the only way to avoid fingerprints and marking completely is to stay out of the kitchen (zero chance of that), there are some options you can choose for your next countertop.
Here are the countertop types that show the fewest fingerprints:
Light Colored Natural Stone
Rule number one: Avoid dark colors. Yes, black granite or marble looks absolutely stunning in kitchens and bathrooms—but it is also a magnet for grime, dust, and—you guessed it—fingerprints. Even with a top-quality seal in place, dark colors are simply going to show more. That’s why, if you want to hide imperfections like smudges and fingerprints, you go for a lighter color.
Light colored natural stone, such as a gorgeous white or gray marble, or a beige granite or quartz, will look cleaner for longer. Why? Because they are bright and enhance the natural light of the room. Plus, those light colors will reveal less, allowing things like oil marks from your fingertips to blend right in.
The second factor in hiding fingerprints from the world is to select the correct finish. You may assume that a matte finish would be the best bet, but you would be mistaken. In fact, polished or glossy surfaces are far better at concealing the presence of smudging and other marks.
What you want instead is a leathered finish, also known as a brushed finish. A leathered finish is similar to matte, but the appearance is more textured. The finish won’t reflect light the same way as a glossy finish, and instead looks softer. Leathered finishes are best on granite, but it looks good on marble as well.
Similar to a brushed finish, a honed finish also works in diminishing the appearance of fingerprints on the counter. Honed finishes are softer than leathered and have a satiny look. If you want a finish that is softer and less texturized the leathered, honed is the next best thing. Both marble and granite look great with a honed finish, since it compliments the natural veining and colors in the stone.
That said, you might be tempted to try a leathered or honed finish with a darker colored countertop. Don’t. Such matte-like finishes actually look worse on dark stone and will make the fingerprints and smudges stand out even more.
Although glossy is less recommended than leathered or honed finishes for a countertop, there is one time when there is an exception. If you like to cook a lot, a glossy finish could be just what you are looking for. Think about it. Most fingerprints and smudges come from grease and oil and can look shiny in the light. When the counter is just as shiny, it may hide the fingerprints and such from sight. This works best with white and gray countertops.
Do a Test Run
When in doubt, go to the nearest showroom with kitchen countertops on display and experiment. Optionally, ask to take some samples home. The only way you will know what finish and countertop material you like is to test out each one. That way, you banish all doubt and get to see how each color and finish will look in your home.
Maintenance Tips to Keep Fingerprints at Bay
Keep in mind that just because the fingerprints are out of sight and mind, it doesn’t mean you can slack on keeping your countertops clean. Yes, having light colored stone countertops and selecting a nice finish will minimize the appearance of smudging, grime, and dirt. But the only way you can keep the surface looking pristine is to maintain the countertops.
Buy a butcher’s block or a nice cutting board to use while you prep and cook food. That way, you never have to touch the surface of the counter and get fingerprints on it.
Don’t forget to wipe the countertops down. Usually, all you need is a gentle soap or detergent and some water to remove dirt, dust, and fingerprints from the surface. You can also wipe the countertops down with a cleaner specifically designed for the material type. Marble, granite, and stainless steel are all remarkable at reducing the appearance of fingerprints, but they also all need a different kind of cleaning solution.
If you spill something on the countertop, don’t wait to mop it up. Natural stone is very porous (especially marble), and it could stain the surface.
Lastly, get your stone countertops sealed regularly. Sealing helps prevent staining and protects the marble or granite from damage over time.
Get Help From the Experts on Marble
Fingerprints are as unavoidable as crumbs in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with the smudging. Knowing which kind of countertop gets the fewest fingerprints will help you narrow down your options when you go shopping for a replacement. Don’t forget the crucial steps of sealing and maintaining your countertops, too.
Still unsure about which countertop is right for you? Do you have questions about marble? Then let us help! The team at Marble Concepts has the answers, so give us a call or fill out the contact form.