What is the Difference Between Polished and Honed Marble for Worktops?

Durable and incredibly beautiful, marble has been across civilizations, and remains the most popular of all-natural stones. It is known to retain its timeless beauty and elegance for several years, making it an excellent choice for installations in homes and kitchens like worktops. But once you’ve selected a marble worktop for your kitchen, the step is to pick the right finish.

Polished and honed are two popular stone finishes which applies to both natural materials such as marble, granite and limestone as well as with engineered products such as quartz, ceramic or porcelain, and most of the buyers struggle to decide between of the two they should purchase for their project. Let us have a look at some of the differences between a polished and a honed finish in the different type of stones, to help you make the right decision.

What is Honing and Polishing?

The honing process involves the use of diamond particles or silicon carbide which is chaffed on the surface of the stone to eliminate scratches, impurities (should the surface present any) and to remove some amount of soil that is deep-seated on the surface of the material. After the honing process takes place, the stone looks less-glossy and more natural; providing a satin-like, smooth (eggshell) non-reflective finish to its surface. It is a labour-intensive machining process that involves an industrial head that creates a matt surface by scrubbing an abrasive stone against the surface of the slab, resulting in an improved texture of the stone’s fascia.

In contrast, the polishing process uses abrasive products on the head of an industrial machine to turn the stone from a rough unaltered state into a surface that has a radiant and shiny appearance, providing a high lustre and reflecting light on to the surfaces with an almost mirror-like effect. A polished finish completely transforms the appearance of the stone, creating a reflective surface and removing natural marks and contamination from its fascia, resulting in a flat surface with a glossy look.

Caesarstone Cloudburst Concrete honed worktops

Caesarstone Cloudburst Concrete honed worktops

Style and characteristics

A stone that is honed has a consistent and smooth surface which is soft and velvety to touch. A lot of homeowners prefer natural stone such as marble, slate and limestone with a honed finish, as it adds a more unaltered and delicate look to the house.

Polished marble, on the other hand, has a luxurious and richer appeal which applies to both natural and engineered stones. Polishing results in a shiny surface which can rightfully blend in any kind of decor. Polished marble, as an example adds a natural glitter to the surface, that highlights the features of the stone applied, working well on contemporary and modern designs.

Maintenance and Care

Marble requires minimal maintenance if you want to retain its original beauty for a long time. Both polished and honed marble needs a little bit of care.

  • Re-sealing: When compared to polished surfaces, honed ones require more regular re-sealing. This is because the polishing process closes most of the pores which reduces absorption and the need for sealing. It is probably a good idea to re-seal your marble worktops approximately every 18 months for honed marbles and every 24 months for polished ones. The regularity of the re-sealing varies according to how much use the surfaces receive daily.
  • Stains and Scratches: A polished marble surface is also more resistant to stains when compared to honed surfaces for the above reasons, although it is actually is more prone to scratches, when compared to honed marble.
  • Cleaning Precautions: Marble with any of the two finishes should only be cleaned with a light, natural cleanser, and non-abrasive pads. As most of the marble is made from some type of mineral, avoid using any kind of acidic cleaner, vinegar, coffee, alcoholic beverages, etc. may damage the surface marble if spillages aren’t cleaned away when they occur. Marble is not a sponge and spillages would not immediately stain it but it is always recommended to clean these as soon as possible rather than leave these on the surfaces for hours or days.

Carrara marble polished worktops

Carrara marble polished worktops by My Kitchen Worktop London

What should Influence your Decision

These are some of the most important things that one should know when selecting the finish of a marble. Now that you know the major differences between the two, select based on several factors. Some important factors that you should consider are; location where the stone is to be installed, its use, and the rest of the decor.