The face of natural stone, granite, quartzite, and marble along with quartz are typically polished and although that may be the most common finish for countertops, there are other options. When you are evaluating stones, keep in mind that the appearance of the stone can be modified by the finishing you select. Most stones can be finished with either a smooth or rough texture.
Polished: This is the most common finish for natural stone and quartz. This will be the most stain and spot resistant as in the act of polishing the stone the pores are tightened up.
Leathered: This leaves the stone with a soft texture that feels similar to leather. This finish will leave the stone with a textured matte finish. The manufacturers do use resins to help with how porous the material is; however, expect more staining and/or water spotting. Most of the time this will dissipate; however, it may take some time. Leathered seams may also be more noticeable due to the variation in texture.
Honed: This is a flat finish like polished; however, not polished to the same level. This leaves the stone with a smooth matte finish. Honed materials will show water spotting and be more susceptible to staining. Other than some specialty materials such as soapstone and certain marbles BAGM, recommends a leathered finish over honed if the matte look is desired.