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Natural Stone Finishes- Polished, honed or brushed? Which finish is the right choice for you?

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

Here is a primer reviewing the three basic categories of natural stone finishes: polished, honed, and brushed.


A polished finish is very smooth and reflective. Polishing a natural stone finish involves grinding, sanding, and buffing the stone with a series of increasingly fine diamond grit pads or compounds to a high-gloss surface. A final process using Oxalic acid or a crystallising compound is sometimes used to increase the mirror-like effect.


Honed finishes still involve grinding and sanding, but not to the point of a glossy finish. They are created in a similar way to the polished above but the process stops with a coarser grade of grit. This means unlike polished finishes, they lack the shininess and reflective qualities that polished marble has but still smooth and velvety to the touch that may have a small degree of sheen. Honed finish is very scratch resistant because it lacks the glossy surface of a polished marble.


This finish is obtained, as the name suggests, by brushing the stone with a coarse rotary-type wire brush, steel or hard nylon brushes. It leaves a lightly textured surface that tends to be more resilient to scratches and marks. The brushing adds texture by gently removing the softer parts of the stone leaving a rippled surface.

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