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Honed vs. Polished Marble

Updated: May 18, 2021

When having your marble floor, countertop or vanity restored you can choose a honed or polished finished. Not sure what the difference is? Not to worry then you are in the right place! We are going to explain the difference between a honed and polished finish so you can choose the best finish for your type of stone, design and preference.

What is a honed finish?

"Honed" is the term used for stone that has been processed to a matte or satin finish. When you refine the surface beyond a honed finish you achieve a shiny high-gloss finish, which is referred to a polished finish. The stone restoration process involves preparing and cleaning the stone, then applying sequential grits of diamond abrasive pads and abrasive powders to achieve the finish you would like followed by a proper sealer, typically a silicone impregnator.

What is a polished finish?

Polished marble has a reflective or shiny finish due to polishing with very fine abrasives that remove all flaws that slow the return of light bouncing off the surface. It is often slightly darker in color than honed marble of the same type.

All polished marble is honed first. After being honed, polished marble is sanded with finer metal diamonds until the surface flaws have been removed and the marble is a smooth as possible.

Do honed tops have an advantage over polished?

Often people change their polished tops to a honed finish because the contrast of an etch on a honed surface is less than it is on a polished surface. This means that you will not see etching as much on a honed finish.

Does a honed surface absorb liquids more than a polished surface?

Typically either finish, when sealed properly, will resist staining to the same degree. If unsealed, a honed finish may be more susceptible to absorption, which would make it more important to keep your honed stone sealed. In certain stones, the polishing process makes the surface more refined closing the pores of the stone. This refinement does aid in the surfaces rejection of dirt and foreign matter.

Will honing my shower floor make it less slippery?

Yes. In a wet environment having a honed finish may help with slip resistance. There are other ways to achieve this on a shower floor, other than honing, so if you would like a polished shower floor that is fine as well. Improperly applied sealers, coatings and cleaning chemicals can create a slippery dangerous situation. If your floor is slippery stop using it and consult a professional to service it.

Are polished floors safe?

Yes. Properly polished floors are slip resistant and are able to pass a slip test wet or dry. It is possible for a wet polished floor to be dangerous and there are many ways to make a polished floor slippery. These include sealers, coatings, crystallizers, improper polishing methods, cleaning chemicals, etc. This is why it is important to have a professional treating and cleaning your floors.

For more stone care tips about kitchen design trends, countertops surfaces, bathroom restorations and more visit our blog. You can also contact the Rose Restoration team today for a complimentary estimate for your kitchen or bathroom restoration project to have your countertops honed or polished.


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