When you go shopping for natural-stone tiles, slabs, or panels for your home, you’re likely to be offered various types of finished surfaces. There are various kinds of finishing styles that can be applied to natural stone, but most stores offer just a handful, which can be divided into two main categories: honed and textured. As its name suggests, a textured finish features a tactile element, while a honed finish is smooth to the touch. Both honed and textured surfaces can be glossy, but this is more often the case with the former than the latter. Modern finishing techniques can be applied to just about any stone, but some are more adequate than others in terms of form and function.
No matter what type of finish you have, you’ll need to clean it regularly with a specially formulated granite countertop cleaner like Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®. All of the products offered by Granite Gold® can be used on any type of finish as well as any type of stone, including granite, marble, slate, and travertine.
When stone blocks are initially cut into slabs and tiles, their surfaces will be naturally textured. If you prefer a smooth and even look, this will require grinding and sanding, which in turn results in a honed look. You can expect some level of gloss after honing, particularly with stones such as marble, granite, and quartzite, but if the desired effect is a mirror-like surface, honing will require an extra step.
Whatever finish you have on your natural-stone countertops, here’s a video explaining the quick and easy 3-step process for caring for your stone properly:
This is the look most homeowners think of when they envision marble floors and granite countertops. The polished look starts off with honing, but the sanding and grinding of the surface is augmented with a few more abrasive processes plus a lot of polishing. This finishing technique has been used for centuries. When it’s applied to white marble, the colors and veining really come out and light is reflected in a very attractive manner. Frequent sealing is a must for homeowners who want to preserve polished surfaces. If you want a polished floor, seek the help of a professional. It’s not recommended to polish stone floors yourself because it will make them very slippery.
Various finishing techniques can be applied to achieve a textured surface that approximates the natural look of the stone upon being quarried. For example, the split-face method creates a slightly rough surface ideal for interior décor that favors a rustic look. Vertical panels generally look better with a natural finish. An example would be a fireplace surround or decorative entrance columns in a foyer. An advantage of natural finishing is that it tends to be more affordable.
The textures created by the split-face technique may be a little too rough for flooring and counters. A better option would be to expose the stone surface to very high temperatures, thus creating a reaction among its crystalline elements. The result is an attractive look that’s imperfect, slightly textured, and somewhat glossy. Limestone, marble, and granite surfaces with a flamed finish can still be buffed and polished without diminishing their traction properties.
If you’d like to learn how to clean granite and other types of natural stone correctly, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. We have plenty of amazing tips and other information on our blog, or you can give us a call at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter, in which you’ll receive additional tips on caring for natural-stone and quartz surfaces.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.