Which is the best finish for your worktops: Gloss or Matte?

Kitchen designs are highly susceptible to fashion trends and fads, from colour schemes to the various styles, to finishes. Not least of these, is the choice between a gloss, satin or matte finish (with a myriad of variations in between.) Your personal preference and lifestyle will always be the most important consideration, but most people want to be sure that in decades to come their expensive investment will still be fashionable, or whether they have been left behind, by following a short-term trend.

In 2019 matte finishes have once again topped out as the most popular choice according to surveys and fashion magazines. This article will attempt to compare the good and the not-so-good of different finishes. The lighter countertops will reflect more light and emphasise the stately appearance of dark wood, solid surface, or other material used on cabinet facings and doors.

Conversely, one of the darker shades of Sensa, such as Abyss or Gabon can be contrasted brilliantly with lighter cabinets in Beech, Oak, Cherry, or white to enhance the impression of elegance and style. One of the benefits of such contrast is that it coordinates well with almost any other colour, from bright hues to more subtle and chromatic colours. By merely changing the colour of your accessories in the kitchen, you can give it an entirely “new” look every few years, while retaining the distinguished feel.

Textures in suede, matte or polished surface will complement your unique expression for a truly bespoke kitchen.

Hanex Stratum solid-surfaces-products


Heavy stains and scratches can be erased without a trace simply by rubbing with household cleaner



Proven to be remarkably durable, a versatile material that is easy to live with in both domestic and commercial environments


Bacteria and mould have nowhere to take root. When it looks clean, it really is clean


Inconspicuous seams result in a smooth surface that enables you to create large designs fashioned from a single element

Easy to Clean

With a non-porous surface that prevents dirt and stains from penetrating the material.

Gloss Finish

  • Considered modern, contemporary and chic.
  • Can be used effectively in traditional and olde world styles.
  • Is timeless and has never lost popularity.
  • Reflects a lot of light, giving a brighter appearance to the kitchen.
  • Requires less, or more subtle lighting.
  • Shiny and bright, with an ultra-smooth feel to the touch, giving a glamorous appearance.
  • Brightens up, particularly smaller spaces, creating an illusion of space, with lots of contrast and vibrancy.
  • Adds energy. Brings out the character of top-class materials.
  • Particularly effective in very light, very dark and very bright colours.
  • Stunning when clean and shiny, but is more prone to showing, grime and smudges. Premier products do not show marks nor scratch easily.
  • Fingerprints or oily marks often blend in better with gloss.
  • Easy to clean and shine. Best cleaned with clean water, soap and microfibre cloth.
  • Does not easily absorb stains.
  • Works exceptionally well in quartz, solid wood, solid surface and natural stone such as granite and marble.
  • Brings worktop materials such as natural stone and wood to its optimum performance, by sealing the pores. This helps to prevent staining and improves hygiene factors.
  • Polishing most colours and gives depth of perception.
  • Glossy, polished finishes make their own statement of colour and expression.
  • Highly polished finishes may feel “cold” to the touch.
  • Harder surfaces such as quartz and granite usually work very well in a polished finish. Thus, the type of material chosen will generally ensure longer durability.
  • It requires less sealing in porous materials.

Matte/Honed Finish

  • Considered modern, contemporary and chic.
  • Can be used very effectively in traditional, rustic and antique styles.
  • Is becoming more popular with time and does not seem to be a passing whim.
  • Absorbs more light, creating a more natural and subtle atmosphere.
  • Better to avoid glare
  • Balances other shine and gloss and produces sleek, sophisticated look, especially in large kitchens, but will not make small kitchens look or feel bigger
  • Adds depth and character. A large variety of textures and finishes are available.
  • Particularly effective in natural and neutral colours, or to tone down very bright colours.
  • Better at concealing smudges, scratches and smears, but does not prevent them. It should still be cleaned properly and regularly.
  • Ironically, it shows up oily fingerprints more easily.
  • Requires less frequent polishing, but is not as straightforward and possibly requires a little more effort. Best cleaned with clean water, soap and microfibre cloth.
  • Conceals stains better, but when they do show up, they are generally more difficult to remove as they seem to be absorbed more easily.
  • Works very well in solid surface, solid wood and natural stone, such as granite, marble, limestone and slate. Raw and unfinished elements complement matte finishes well.
  • Highlights the best qualities such as the veins, texture and patterns in natural materials.
  • Honing or texturing enhances the tactile enjoyment of materials.
  • Satin finishes create a pleasant “soft” touch
  • Matte, leather, brushed or honed finishes allow greater freedom in adding colour and accessories.
  • Matte or honed finishes usually work very well with softer materials, such as limestone or softwood, which can be shaped or sculpted better. Although
  • softer and generally less durable than hard substances, limestone has lasted for centuries.
  • It requires more and regular sealing in porous materials.

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Author: Pieter du Plessis

An accomplished writer, with many years of practical experience in the design and construction industry. He has a PhD. in communication science and has distinguished himself as a writer of high-level articles over a wide spectrum of topics, technical and academic theses, presidential speeches and marketing material for a very large listed company. He is a qualified project manager and owned and managed two construction companies, one of which specialised in home remodelling. He is also a skilled craftsman, specialising in carpentry and landscaping.