What is Honed Marble?

Posted 06/12/2020 by Arizona Tile

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FW Morocco Imperial Danby Honed, Reside Beige 24” x 24” Marble Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile
Featured Image: FW Morocco Imperial Danby Honed, Reside Beige 24” x 24” Marble Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile

So you’ve done the research, explored the slab yard and narrowed down your top marble varieties to a favorite one. But there’s still at least one choice to make before that beautiful marble graces your kitchen or bathroom countertops: do you want a polished or honed finish?

Since most people go for the traditional polished countertops, it may be news to you that there’s more than one finish option for some varieties of marble. Depending on the style and aesthetic you’re going for in your upgraded space, the finish of your countertops can make all the difference. Here’s a quick guide to honed marble, what it looks like and how it’s different from polished marble.

Image: Imperial Danby Honed Marble Kitchen Countertops from Arizona Tile
Image: Imperial Danby Honed Marble Kitchen Countertops from Arizona Tile

What Does Honed Marble Look Like?

The classic polished finish that most natural stone countertops have is a glossy surface, which reflects light and highlights the natural color, veins and characteristics of the stone.

On the other hand, a honed marble is a marble that has not yet gone through the polishing process. Many homeowners like the look of honed marble because it appears natural. It has a soft, matte and velvet-smooth appearance, reflecting little light. Usually, honed marble will look lighter in color than a polished marble, giving it a satiny, more rustic aesthetic. Some varieties of marble, including the popular Carrara and Calacatta, are beautifully soft and raw-looking with a honed finish.

Opal White Polished Marble Bathroom Sink from Arizona Tile
Image: Opal White Polished Marble Bathroom Sink from Arizona Tile

Honed vs Polished Marble

While neither honed nor polished countertops are inherently better than the other, there are a few key differences you may wish to consider before choosing the right finish for you. 

  • Scratch Resistance: While both polished and honed marble can be scratched or etched over time, scratches are usually more visible on polished stone. This is because a scratch leaves a dull mark, which contrasts a polished finish more than a honed surface. Despite the differences between the two, it's important that both honed and polished finishes be sealed, and re-sealed routinely.

Calacatta Umber Marble Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile
Image: Calacatta Umber Marble Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile

  • Stain Resistance: While it may seem like a polished finish would add an extra layer of protection to your marble, it is actually a purely aesthetic feature and does not aid in sealing the stones pours. Therefore, neither finish is more stain resistant than the other and both honed and polished slabs need to be sealed routinely. Be sure to use a proper marble sealer to protect your countertops as best as possible from stains – and always wipe up spills right away!

Whether you ultimately prefer the matte, velvety texture of honed counters or the shiny look of polished stone, your new marble countertops are sure to bring a timeless style to your home.

Hear what Yelper Christin F. of Tempe, Arizona had to say about our selection at our Tempe location:

This is like a candy store for adults. Unlike most stone and tile stores, they give you a map/checklist/hard hat and send you off on your own into the warehouse. It was awesome getting to walk around and look at the various options vs. Going in to look at one item. The staff was very friendly and I would Definitely recommend this business.

Want to see what honed marble would look like in your home? Check out our Just Imagine Visualizer.