Polishing or Honing Your Stone

There are many finishes available for stone tiles and countertops. Depending on the stone you’ve chosen, it may be available in a polished finished, a honed finish, or a high-hone finish with a light sheen. Some people may have some misconceptions about these finishes, however, and may therefore hesitate to use one or the other or may choose a finish that doesn’t complement their home the way they thought.

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In terms of maintaining your stone, there is no difference between polished and honed finishes. Some people may mistakenly believe that a polished stone is more durable, or that it may require less sealing or resist scratches more. Some polished stones may reflect light better than others, which can hide or disguise scratches better than a honed stone will, which is what may lead to this confusion, but both types of finishes will require the same care.

For some softer stones, such as marble, which can etch or dull when it comes in contact with an acid, honing may help to disguise this better than polishing. For example, a Carrara marble counter may look better longer when honed, because etch marks may fade into the overall finish more easily, while the same counter when polished may have more obvious etch marks.

Stones that have a very granular surface or that have a lot of mica in their surface may not hone as well as stones with a more regular surface texture. This is because polishing reflects light off of surface irregularities, such as pits and natural fissures, while honing may expose them. So, stones such as Labrador Antique may look better polished than they will honed.

If your stone doesn’t have these issues, then polishing or honing may be a more personal choice. Honed stones have a softer, more natural appearance to them, which makes them a good fit for some Country and Farmhouse style kitchens, while polished stones look better in more traditional and formal spaces. Either way, your stone counter or tile is sure to give you many years of beauty and use anywhere you install it within your home.

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