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Honed or Polished Stone

This is a common question we get from our natural stone restoration customers:

Although I’m using this marble kitchen as an example in this blog, everything I discuss below holds true for honed vs. polished if it were another space, or natural stone like a granite master bath.

So first the question is: What is honed versus polished?

The photo below is of a kitchen island after marble honing.

Its qualities reflect:

  • Matte
  • No luster
  • No shine
  • Low surface reflectivity

The following photo is also marble though it is after a marble cleaning and polishing service:

Its qualities reflect:

  • Highly polished
  • Very high surface reflectivity
  • A mirrored finish

Two very similar stone examples, but a very different look and feel so-to-speak. So, the first answer to how do you choose, is that it is a preference issue first and foremost given the design and aesthetic elements you desire.

Resistance to Damage

In the kitchen, for example, the surfaces invariably will be succumbing to:

  • Water
  • Oil
  • Cocktails
  • Fruit juice
  • Everyday living activities

With that said you need to ask yourself:

How will they hold up?

What will your surfaces encounter over time and what challenges will you have keeping them clean?

Polished surfaces will always “show” imperfections in the finish more than honed surfaces,  so that is important to keep in mind.

And there are other issues such as:

  • Hard water spots
  • Accidental etching from oil
  • Citrus
  • Wine glass rings

These will all pretty immediately effect the finish whether it is polished or honed and regardless of it having been sealed properly. Those “spots” would otherwise tend to “blend into” a honed surface or at a minimum be less obvious, but the damage will still be there.

Keeping the surfaces cleaned is going to be the same whether they be honed or polished.

Make sure to keep up with these important maintenance practices:

  • Use of a natural stone cleaner
  • Wiping up spills promptly
  • Not allowing water or other fluids to linger on the surface 

Its About What You Want!

Get the stone you love and install it where you want it!

Any issues that arise out of everyday living can be remedied.

Yes, a professional natural stone restoration tech can remove etch marks as well as hard water spots, scratches, and the like, regardless of the polished or honed finish.

However, the best practice to employ right away is having the stone properly sealed. In most cases, proper sealing buys you time to address a spill or accident.  Make a habit out of routine cleaning or a good wipe down and dry and you’ll be happy with how it looks for a long time.

If you are looking for a local professional to do some stone restoration, marble polishing or honing make sure to give us a call!

Skip Jankoski

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