If clients don’t want a countertop that’s too shiny, leathered granite, with its grainy quality, is a popular choice. But, when he wants an even more rustic, authentic look, Tom Johnson , a New York-based designer, uses the granite’s underside as the countertop. With its slightly bubbly texture, it really looks like natural, raw stone. Clients usually choose from the polished granite options that get delivered to dealers. Johnson picks a polished piece, he says, “but the way it’s cut into slabs leaves a great texture.” Johnson has the granite surface lightly honed for smoothness and so “nothing will get snagged on it.” His favorite color choice is the Kashmir white shown above doing double duty as both a countertop and backsplash. —Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.

More REMODELING articles about granite countertops:

Narrow the Options: Helping clients select granite

Hard Rock: Granite or quartz in the kitchen?

Granite Savings: Working with pre-fab granite