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Choosing Between Polished and Honed Natural Stone: A Comprehensive Guide

People use different types of stones to decorate their houses. However, choosing the right stone is not the only thing that is enough; you will also have to select the finish. The difference between honed and polished stone is a big deal in stone finishes. Each finish changes how the stone looks, how easy it is to clean, and how well it works in different situations. How do you make up your mind? In this article, we will look at the differences between honed and polished stone styles so that you can make the right choice!

Polished Finish

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It is smooth, shiny, and glossy to the touch. It gives the room a high-end and fancy look. Polished finishes look great in powder rooms, countertops, walls, and stoves. Many people like this finish on stones like marble and granite. You can get this look by grinding the stone’s surface with finer and finer abrasives until it looks shiny and mirrored.


When you polish natural stone, you actually create a layer that keeps stains from getting into it. A smooth finish brings out the stone’s natural colors and patterns, which is one of its best features. It also makes the stone look more vivid and full. You can avoid stains on polished stone because it closes up its natural holes, making it less absorbent and more stain-resistant. Just buff the surface; a smooth surface is easier to wipe down. It is easier to re-seal polished finishes than sharpened finishes.


Polished stone is slippery when wet, which can be problematic in baths and other places where water is present. Also, scratches and gouges are easier to see on smooth surfaces because they reflect light, especially on marble and other soft stones. Cleaning up spills on smooth marble right away is important to prevent damage. When working with smooth surfaces, don’t use rough or abrasive items. Harsh cleaners or a rough brush can harm the finish.

Honed Finish

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A honed finish feels like satin and is velvety smooth. You can get a polished finish by stopping the grinding process earlier. This gives the stone a more natural, matte look. Limestone, travertine, marble, and granite all do this.


A honed finish is better for wet places because it is less slippery. The matte finish is easier to work with because it better hides scratches and other damage. Additionally, it has a soft and modern appearance. An honed finish can look more contemporary than a polished stone’s high gloss. Honed finishes hide scratches better than polished ones. They also don’t slip as much when they get wet, which makes them a safer choice for floors. An honed finish is best for places that get a lot of use, like bathroom floors, living room floors, foyer floors, and countertops.


A honed finish is more likely to get stained and needs more upkeep. For this reason, the stone may be more likely to get stained since its holes are bigger. Also, a sharpened surface might need to be sealed more often to keep it safe. The natural buffer polished stone is not present in honed finishes so they will soak up liquids more quickly and easily. Honed products need to be re-sealed more often than polished ones. However, no matter what finish you choose, the surface should always be cleaned well before being sealed again. It is very important to clean up spills right away. When you clean the honed stone, don’t use regular soap. The soap will soak into the stone and change its color. For cleaning, you can use a slightly abrasive detergent with bleach.

Cost Comparison Honed and Polished Finish

A number of things can change the general cost when comparing the prices of honed and polished stones. Here are some things to think about when it comes to the cost of each finish:

Honed Finish

Material Cost: Honed stone doesn’t need to be polished as much, which could slightly lower the total cost of the material.

Labor Cost: The labor cost for cutting the stone is less than for polishing it. However, the difference in labor cost might not be that big of a deal since both tasks need skilled work.

Maintenance cost: Honed surfaces usually need less care than polished surfaces. Honed stone may not need to be polished as often, but it may need to be sealed every so often to keep it from getting stained. This could lead to lower upkeep costs in the long run.

Polished Finish

Material Cost: A polished finish usually needs more grinding and buffing, which could slightly raise the price because more people and tools are required.

Labor Cost: To get a polished finish, you must do more work, like grinding, buffing, and cleaning the stone to get the shine you want. Because of this, the work cost may be higher for polishing the stone than for honing it.

Maintenance cost: Polished surfaces need more upkeep than honed surfaces. The surface needs to be sealed and polished regularly to keep the shiny look and protect against scratches and spots. The materials for honed and polished granite or marble may be about the same, but the cost of work and long-term upkeep may differ. 

Honed finishes may save you money in the long run because they require less maintenance and may have slightly lower work costs. However, the exact price difference between honed and polished styles will change based on the project’s size, the chosen stone type, and the state of the local market.

Best Uses of Honed or Polished Finish 

Honed Finish

  • Kitchen Countertops: Honed stone is a great choice for kitchen countertops, especially in areas with frequent use. Its matte surface hides scratches and etching better than shiny surfaces.
  • Bathroom Surfaces: Honed finishes are best for bathroom floors, sinks, and shower stalls. Because they are softer, they have better grip, which makes them less likely to slip and fall, especially in wet areas.
  • Floors: Honed marble or granite is a good choice for floors where not slipping is important, like entryways, halls, and living rooms. Its raw look makes any room feel warmer and more unique.
  • Outside application: Honed stone can be used for patio floors, pool walls, and kitchen countertops. It’s easy to use outside because its surface doesn’t reflect light.
  • Commercial Spaces: Honed finishes are often chosen in restaurants, hotels, and office buildings because they last longer and require less upkeep.

Polished Finish

  • Kitchen Islands: Polished marble or granite is a great material for kitchen islands because it can be the center of attention and give the room a touch of class. The stone’s natural beauty is brought out by its shiny finish, which makes it a stunning focus.
  • Bathroom Vanities: Bathroom vanities look great with polished surfaces because they give the room a sleek and classy look that goes with both modern and classic decor.
  • Feature Walls: Polished marble or granite can be used to make dramatic feature walls in bathrooms, living rooms, or dining rooms. Its shiny qualities help light bounce around the room, making it feel bigger.
  • Statement pieces: Polished stone can be used to make fireplace surrounds, accent tables, or unique furniture that makes a statement. Its high-end look makes any home design scheme look more stylish and sophisticated.
  • High-End Residential Spaces: Polished finishes are often chosen for high-end residential projects like luxury homes, penthouses, and high-end condos because they can make the space look better and increase its value.


Ultimately, whether you choose a honed or polished finish relies on your personal tastes, practical needs, and the exact needs of your space. With their matte look and softer texture, honed finishes give things a natural, understated grace that makes them great for high-traffic areas, outdoor uses, and places where preventing slips is important. 

Conversely, polished finishes look expensive and classy because they are shiny. They bring out the natural beauty of the stone and are great for kitchen islands, statement pieces, and high-end homes. By carefully considering these things and comparing the pros and cons of each style, you can make a choice that makes your home or office look and work better.

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