Differences Between Honed and Polished Stone Finishes, Part 1

When you’re selecting a given stone for a new custom stone countertop, one of the most important factors to keep in mind will be finish type. Across several such stones, there are two common finish styles you’ll generally choose between: Honed and polished stone finishes.

At Creative Granite, we’re happy to offer a huge variety of custom granite, marble and quartz countertops, plus several other options. On top of our basic material choices, we’ll also spend time with you detailing your finish options and how each will impact your overall countertop desires. In this two-part blog series, we’ll start by going over some of the primary differences between honed and polished stone finishes, then spend part two digging into how to make your choice between the two based on some marble countertop examples.

differences honed polished stone finishes

General Aesthetics

The primary difference between honed and polished stone finishes, at least for most buyers, is their general appearance. Polished finishes, as the name suggests, come with a shiny, glossy look that both reflects light and highlights the colors and veins present in the stone slab; honed finishes, on the other hand, have a less reflective “matte” aesthetic, similar to satin and smoother in many ways.

For those looking to really emphasize their colors and stone details, including the vein structure, the polished finish is usually the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a countertop that will appear lighter in color and show fewer details, honed finishing is the right choice.

Scratch and Damage Resistance

Another major factor for many buyers here will be the care and future quality of the countertop, where finish plays a big role. If scratch and etching resistance are your primary concerns within this realm, you’ll usually want to go with a honed finish.

Why is this? Well, because honed finishes are already matte style, meaning any scratches or etches are far less likely to be seen. It’s also scratch-resistant as a material. On the flip side, polished finish is not scratch-resistant at all, plus tends to show off scratches or etch marks far more easily than the honed finish.

Stain Resistance

What about stains? Many buyers are already aware that both polished and honed finishes can be sealed using the proper product – but it’s important to recognize that such sealing makes stone countertops stain-resistant, not stain-proof.

If stains are a major concern for you and you aren’t 100% comfortable with sealing alone, the polished finish is the right choice to make. The polishing process itself actually creates a protective layer in the stone, giving it better protection from stains than honed finishes.

For more on choosing between polished and honed finishes for your stone countertop, or to learn about any of our custom granite, quartz or other countertop materials, speak to the staff at Creative Granite today.