There are many different stone finishes. Polished, Honed, Leathered, Brushed…what are the differences?
Polished is the most common stone finish. It’s easy to clean, provides a resin barrier against stains, and is widely appealing. Polishing a stone helps to reveal the depth, color and luster of a stone.
Honed is a matte finish that takes off the “shine”. Most any stone can be honed, but it is typically a labor intensive process to remove the polish from the slabs. Once polished materials are honed, they tend to be more porous and therefore more susceptible to staining,even if treated with sealer. Honed stone may show smudges, fingerprints and latent images more readily than their polished counterparts, especially the darker colored stones. Colors and depth in a stone becomes more muted and “softer” when honed. Be sure to see a sample of a honed stone before selecting this option. This is a popular choice for marble, to minimize the appearance of etching.
Brushed is a more textured finish than honing. It is a quarry process by which brushes are taken to the slab and iron content is removed to achieve the finish. It gives the stone a matte finishes and has many of the same advantages/disadvantages of honing a stone. Additionally though the stones will have a soft textured feel to them.
Leathering is a very similar process to brushing, again it is a quarried process by which the brushes remove the iron content. This is only done on certain stones as the finish is the most textured option. This finish is great on some marbles (like this Brown Fantasy Marble!) as it helps hide the effects of etching. It also gives great texture to the whole kitchen.