Looking for answers on the question “what’s better Between Honed vs polished marble? “, you are not alone. This is one of the most common question I get at the design gallery.
If you are caught up in this decision-making whirlwind, you’re in the right place. Let’s simplify it together and help you decide on what type of finish is right for you.
In this article, I will cover :
- Understanding Marble
- Honed Finish
- Polished finish
- Comparing Honed and Polished Finish
- Where to use Honed or Polished finish
- Making the right decision
- Video showing polished & honed marble countertops in the same kitchen
Marble, is not just a sight for sore eyes? Its unique veining and patterns, alongside its cool and elegant touch, makes it a sought-after material in the design world.
Marble is formed when limestone undergoes metamorphism, a process where it’s subjected to high temperature and pressure over a long period.
There are two most common finishes for marble surfaces.
It often comes down to personal preference and where it will be used, when deciding between honed or polished marble.
What is Honed Finish ?
A honed finish is a finish that is flat and smooth, but not shiny.
This smooth finish is achieved by grinding the surface of the marble slabs using a series of abrasive materials, usually diamond pads, to remove small bits of stone.
Honed marble has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high shine.
It provides a more natural or earthy look than a polished finish.
What is Polished Finish ?
Polished finish means that the stone surface has been ground and buffed until it gets a high-gloss finish.
This polishing process includes lot of finer grits of abrasive pad until the surface becomes a highly reflective.
Polished marble stone countertop has a shiny, high-gloss surface that can bring out the colors and veins of the marble.
The beautiful glossy shine makes kitchen countertops or bathroom countertops look more dramatic and elegant.
Comparing Honed and Polished Finish
Here is a comparison of both the finishes:
honed vs polished marble backsplash
Honed marble has a more natural and soft appearance. Its matte finish doesn’t reflect light, giving the stone a flat and consistent color.
The lack of shine can also make the colors and patterns in the marble appear more muted or understated.
The matte finish of honed marble countertops gives a more natural, organic look. The matte look works well with rustic or casual design schemes.
however, it can also be used in variety of styles.
The flat consistent surface of honed marble does not reflect light, which results in a consistent and muted natural look.
In contrast, polished marble has a high-gloss shiny finish that can make the colors and patterns in the marble appear more vibrant and dynamic. The glossy surface reflects light, adding a sense of depth and luminosity to the stone.
Polished marble, with its high-gloss finish, shows luxury and elegance. The highly polished surface is often considered a more high-end look. This makes it a popular choice for luxury homes, hotels, and other upscale spaces.
This kind of finish of marble is highly reflective. It can bounce light around a room, making the space feel brighter and maybe even larger.
Feel and Texture
Honed Marble: Honed marble has a smooth surface, Its texture is more like satin or velvety feel.
Polished Marble: Polished marble, as the name suggests, has a glossy finish which makes the surface of the stone very shiny.
If you are interested in learning about all the different stone countertop finished, you can read my article on ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TYPES OF STONE COUNTERTOP FINISHES
Applications of Honed and Polished Marble
The specific finish of marble has a great effect on where it can be used and how suitable is it for different applications. Lets talk about where and how each might be used :
Honed marble is more stain resistant and less slippery than the polished finish.
Honed marble is often used for high-traffic areas and spaces where water might be present.
This makes it a great choice for bathroom floors, kitchen floors, and entryways.
Marble floors are a classic choice for most traditional styles luxury homes.
Honed marble is also popular for kitchen islands and kitchen backsplash because it’s more resistant to etching from acidic substances (like lemon juice or vinegar).
The matte surface hides scratches and other wear and tear better than a polished finish.
The shiny surface of polished marble enhances the color and veining of the stone, making it a popular choice for areas where the looks are an important factor.
This includes fireplace surround, decorative walls, and formal dining tabletops.
Polished stone is often used in low-traffic areas as it can show wear and tear more easily.
Here is me showing a kitchen which has both polished and honed finish marble countertops.
Maintenance and Durability
Honed Marble Countertops:
These countertops are more scratch resistant due to their matte finish.
They don’t show minor surface damage as noticeably as polished marble.
However, honed surface is more porous and can absorb spills more easily, making it susceptible to staining if not sealed properly.
Acidic liquids like lemon juice, vinegar, or tomato sauce can etch marble, causing dull spots known as etches.
Both honed and polished marble can be etched by acidic substances, but the etches are more visible on polished marble because they disrupt the shiny surface.
Polished Marble Countertops:
Polished marble, with its high-gloss surface, is less porous and thus more resistant to stains.
However, it’s more prone to showing scratches and etches, especially from acidic substances, which can dull its shiny finish.
Regardless of whether marble is honed or polished, it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.
To maintain the marble’s look, here are the cleaning and maintenance suggestions:
- Regular Cleaning: You should Clean marble regularly with a soft cloth and a mild detergent which is a pH-neutral cleaner. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the marble.
- Sealing: Because marble is porous, it should be sealed periodically to protect it from stains. Honed marble is more porous than polished marble and may need to be sealed more frequently.
- Minor Repairs: Minor surface damage, like small scratches or etches, can often be buffed out with a marble polishing powder or an abrasive pad. However, significant damage will likely require professional repair.
The price difference between the two is negligible. However, polished marble can sometimes cost slightly more due to the extra polishing step.
Making the right decision
Choosing between honed and polished marble largely depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and where you plan to use the marble.
Each finish has its unique characteristics. The ideal option depends on which application is it going to be used for.
Here are some basic guidelines for you to make an informed decision.
One of the most important considerations when choosing between honed and polished marble is your personal aesthetic preference.
If you prefer a natural, understated look, then honed marble might be the best choice for you.
If you lean towards a more elegant and formal appearance, then polished marble could be the ideal choice.
Classic Choice vs Ideal Choice
While polished marble is often seen as the classic choice due to its timeless elegance and high-shine, this doesn’t necessarily make it the ideal choice for everyone.
In high traffic areas or areas prone to spills (like a kitchen), honed marble might be the best choice due to its durability and greater resistance to showing scratches.
For areas where aesthetics or looks are very important and the marble will be less subject to wear and tear (like a fireplace surround), polished marble can be an ideal choice.
For bathrooms, where slip-resistance is important but you also want a high-end apperance , a combination could be a great choice – for example, honed marble for the floors and polished marble for the countertops.
Which is more stain-resistant, honed or polished marble?
Polished marble is more stain-resistant due to its glossy finish.
Is polished marble slippery?
Yes, polished marble can be quite slippery when wet, making honed marble a safer choice for high-traffic or wet areas.
What is the main difference between honed and polished marble?
The main difference lies in the finish – honed marble has a matte finish, while polished marble has a glossy, shiny finish.
How often do you need to seal honed marble?
Both honed & polished marble need regular sealing, once or twice a year.
Does polished marble dull over time?
Polished marble can become dull over time, if it’s not maintained and sealed regularly.
The information in this post is for general informational purposes only. The author
and publisher are not responsible for any damage, injury, or loss that may occur from using the
information provided. Readers should follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions
as listed by installation countertop professionals.
OTHER RELATED POST :