Polished and honed finishes are two of the most common and popular types of finishes applied to a stone surface. There are actually many different types of finishes ranging from smooth and shiny to dull and coarse. The surface finish you choose will affect the look and feel of your space and also the maintenance of your stone.
A polished finish highlights the character of your stone by adding a smooth, shiny and reflective surface. The full color, depth, and crystal structure of your stone is visible. It can appear darker and the colors seem richer. This glossy mirror-like finish is considered the finest and the smoothest finish available.
A polished finish seals or fills the microscopic pores on the stones’ surface, making it easier to keep clean and free from staining as well as helping the stone repel moisture. Depending on the type of stone, a polished finish makes a surface nearly impervious to weather and chemical wear.
Even with a polished finish, some stones are extremely porous and still need to be periodically sealed. Not all stones are capable of being polished to this high gloss finish. If you like this look, ask your fabricator before purchasing your stone. The harder the stone is the harder it is to polish, but a polished finish will retain its lustrous shine for a very long time.
A honed surface finish offers satiny, flat look with a low sheen very little, if any, reflection. There are a few variations of honed stone finishes, but all honed stones are smooth with no bumps or ridges.
A honed finish is a wise option for floors, commercial applications, and other areas where the presence of moisture might make a polished surface too slippery, where foot traffic might wear off a polished finish, or where a rough finish is just too rough to walk on. However, honed stone is often used for vanities, kitchen countertops & tables. Using a color enhancer on your honed stone gives it depth and makes it look wet but not shiny. It helps minimize dark spots and marks from the oils on your fingers.
An antique finish has a brushed, soft appearance that is slightly textured. It is produced by first applying a thermal finish, and then a brushed finish to smooth out the characteristics of the stone structure.
A leathered finish is a newer style of finishing granite that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The density of its texture will vary depending on the type and composition of the stone. The leathering process closes the stone pores which helps it to become more stain resistant than the honed surface. A leathered finish retains the stone’s natural color and also hides fingerprints and water spots better than a polished surface.
Rock Tops Fabrication, Inc. offers the largest variety of natural stone finishing options for homeowners and building professionals in greater Baltimore and the surrounding counties, including the eastern shore of Maryland and Washington, D.C. Come and visit our showroom and fabrication shop in Owings Mills to see our wide sampling of natural stone finished.