Nothing says luxury quite like marble. The good news is you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy the natural elegance and luxurious aesthetic of natural stone, such as marble. There are various types of marble or other natural stone to choose from to create a timeless look in your home. But don’t think you’re done making decisions once you have chosen the perfect stone for you. There’s still one more choice to make…. The finish. There are various ways to finish natural stone, and two of the more popular finishes are polished or honed. So how do you decide? We have broken down some characteristics of both to help make your decision a little easier.
A polished finish is smooth, shiny, and glossy. It creates a high end and luxurious feel. Polishing natural stone actually creates a barrier that helps protect the stone from stains. On the other end, a polished stone is prone to scratches and scratches are more visible due to the reflective property of the finish.
Polished finishes are not suggested for high traffic areas due to the high visibility of wear and tear. It is also not recommended for floors that are prone to get wet, such as the bathroom. Polished floors are extremely slippery when wet and can be hazardous. Polished finishes are ideal for powder rooms, countertops, walls, and fireplaces.
Spills on polished marble should be wiped up immediately to avoid damage from etching or stains. Polished finishes require less re-sealing than honed finishes do. Avoid using harsh products and abrasive materials on polished surfaces. Strong cleaners or rough brushing can damage the finish.
A honed finish has a satin like feel that is velvety and smooth to the touch. Honed finishes are not reflective and shiny like polished finishes are. Honed finishes are ideal for high use areas due to being visually scratch resistant. Because the finish is not glossy, scratches are not as visible. On the other hand, honed finishes do not have the natural barrier that polished stone does, so it will absorb liquids more quickly and easily.
Besides hiding scratches better than polished stone, honed finishes are also a lot less slippery than polished stone when wet making is a safer option for floors. It is suggested for use in high traffic areas such as bathroom floors, living area floors, foyer floors, and countertops.
As stated before, honed finishes absorb liquid more easily and quickly than polished finishes, so it is critical to wipe up spills right away. Don’t use regular soap to clean honed marble because it will get absorbed and affect the color of the stone. Using a mildly abrasive detergent with bleach is appropriate for cleaning. Honed finished does require more frequent re-sealing than polished finishes do. It is important to note that regardless the finish you chose you should always ensure that the surface is cleaned thoroughly prior to re-sealing.
Lastly, besides the differing characteristics of honed and polished finishes, the material may be the same and because of this there are everyday items that can cause damage. The following items can damage natural stone and should be avoided on the surfaces or used with care:
Now that you’re "honed in" and "polished" on types of finishes (see what we did there?), feel free to stop by our location to check out natural stone materials for yourself! Please stop by G.M.S. Werks and check out our showroom for your natural stone needs today! Our hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can also reach us by phone during our normal business hours at 402-451-3400 or email us by going to the contact page of our new site!