Once you’ve chosen your stone type, the next decision you have to make is what sort of finish you want on it. There are 3 main types of finishes available for natural and engineered stone slabs: polished, honed, and brushed.
Polished: This is the high gloss finish that most people automatically associate with granite and marble. The finish reflects a lot of light and can create an almost mirror-like effect on dark stones. Dark stones with a polished finish, much like black cars, will readily show dust and fingerprints. A polished finish is a great option for stones with the minerals mica and pyrite as the polish allows them to really sparkle!
Honed: This finish gives your stone a matte look. The difference between honed and polished stone is much like the difference between a matte and glossy photo. Honed finishes still reflect light, but not nearly to the extent as a polished stone. It’s a softer look than polished stone. Many people hone darker granites if they love the softer look of soapstone but can’t afford it. We recommend a honed finish for marble especially as it helps to disguise the etching that can occur with this material.
Brushed: This finish is also sometimes referred to as “satin” or “antiqued”. It’s created by brushing the surface of the stone to create a textured finish. Each stone will react differently to this process depending on what minerals are present. Basically, soft minerals will be worn down more than harder minerals, creating a textured surface. Because each stone behaves so differently, it’s also a texture that we can’t create on all stone types. But for most, it’s an option. This surface reflects the least light of all. For black granites, that means it’s the easiest to clean as it doesn’t show fingerprints and dust like honed and polished finishes do. The brushing process does expose more pores in the stone however, so it’s even more important to apply a good sealer.
Pictures don’t really do these finishes justice. You need to see and feel them in person. Come by our showroom and we’ll be happy to show you examples of each on a variety of materials.