Matte versus Glossy: Choosing Finishes for Kitchen Countertops
Kitchen countertops are essential to any kitchen for the workspace as well as for the overall design. As such, you have to make quite a few decisions when it comes to materials as well as shape, color, and design. The most popular choices are stone, either natural such as granite or marble, or manmade, such as quartz stone. In such cases, you also have to decide on the finish.
The choice of finish will again require you to consider a few factors. The finish refers to the amount of reflectivity of the surface, and several variants are available. The most readily available and popular are glossy and matte finishes, and both are appropriate for most kitchen designs. However, there are important differences between the two. Below is a brief discussion of the characteristics of each finish to help you choose the right one for your kitchen countertops.
Most people choose a glossy finish for their kitchen countertops, so most countertop specialists offer this as a standard one for granite, marble, and quartz countertops. A glossy finish has a high reflective quality, ranging from 50% (semi-gloss) to 100% (high-gloss). A high gloss finish imparts a mirror-like effect on the surface, which most homeowners find attractive.
A glossy finish is often a good choice when in small or dark kitchens because it reflects available light well, making the room look larger and brighter. However, this is not always a good thing. A highly reflective countertop in an all white kitchens, for example, might be too bright and glaring for comfort.
On the other hand, a glossy finish is an excellent way to cut down on cleaning up, because it does a good job of hiding dirt and fingerprints. This is especially good news for homeowners with small children with greasy hands, as the sheen on grease gets lost in the shininess of high-gloss countertops. Of course, you will eventually have to remove those grease and smudge stains, and the ultra-smooth surface of a glossy finish also makes that much easier.
You might also be interested to know that most stone materials for kitchen countertops accept a glossy finish. This means you can choose almost any type of stone, natural or manmade, and have a glossy finish put on it, and you do not even have to pay extra for it.
A glossy finish might have a lot going for it, but some people find the shininess a bit on the common side. Some homeowners prefer something more subtle and understated in their kitchens, and opt for a matte finish for their kitchen countertops.
A matte finish has little or no reflective quality, and some colors even seem to absorb light. This is a desirable feature if you have an all white kitchen or if the kitchen receives lots of natural or artificial light as it cuts down on the glare. If you have a dark or small kitchen, however, a matte finish will not improve matters for you.
Granite is particularly suited for a matte treatment, because it is highly durable and stands up well to the sandblasting process needed to produce this finish. However, a matte finish does not always bring out the best in some granite stones. It makes some colors look lifeless, even dirty, and makes the rest of the kitchen look dingy.
Another issue with a matte finish is that it readily shows any smudges, dirt, and grease that might alight on it. This effect is less obvious with light colored stones, although a matte finish usually works best with dark stones. If you have a problem with dirt showing up on your kitchen countertop, be ready with a cleaning rag to remove it from your matte surface, or choose a glossy finish.
Additionally, a matte finish is not always available for some kitchen countertops. You can specify it for your granite or marble countertops, but you might have to pay a premium for it. Some quartz models also come in the matte finish option, but not all, so that cuts down on your choices. That said, it may be worth the trouble and expense in some cases as a matte finish can add a touch of depth and warmth to kitchen countertops that is lacking in those in a glossy finish.
Overall, most homeowners would benefit more from choosing a glossy finish for their kitchen countertops than a matte finish. However, this does not mean that you should abandon your matte finish options. While it is not usually the case, a matte finish does a better job at reflecting the personality of some homeowners than a glossy finish does. If that is true for your case, then by all means, go for it.
If you are not sure which finish works best for your kitchen, do not hesitate to ask the experts. Granite ASAP is there for you if you are in the state of Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, Tysons, and Washington DC. We offer free estimates and quotes for any of your kitchen countertop and remodeling needs.
We carry a wide range of natural stone slabs as well as the best engineered stone brands in the country. Over 100 colors of granite and marble slabs are available for inspection at our Chantilly, Virginia showroom.
If you prefer engineered stone, we can offer you products from the Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI brands, each one carrying the manufacturer’s warranty. You can choose what you want and we will deliver it ASAP!
Feel free to walk into our showroom and ask any questions about anything about kitchen countertops, including the finish you should choose. You can also get in over the phone or touch using our contact form today!