Honed vs. Polished Marble

Posted on Jan 21, 2022
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Calacatta Umber Marble Slab Kitchen Countertop with Calacatta Umber Fan Marble Backsplash
Featured Image: Calacatta Umber Marble Slab Kitchen Countertop with Calacatta Umber Fan Marble Backsplash from Arizona Tile

Does your next home project involve marble? Marble is a stunning natural stone that offers timeless beauty and can be used in a range of ways around the home, from countertops to showers, and more.

Once you’ve narrowed down your favorite marble varieties for the project at hand, you might realize there’s more to the decision than just choosing a color. Some types of marble are also available in different finishes, such as honed, polished, tumbled, or brushed.  Since there are several options to choose from, let’s just take a look at the differences between honed versus polished marble to help you choose the best one for your needs and aesthetic.

Bianco Carrara Honed Marble Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash
Image: Bianco Carrara Honed Marble Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash from Arizona Tile

Appearance & Shine

Since honed marble is simply marble that hasn’t gone through the polishing process, the primary difference between honed and polished is the level of shine on the surface of the stone. The choice you make between the two will have an impact on the style and look of the room, as sometimes you will want a sleeker, glossier surface, while other times you may want something more subdued.

Traditional polished marble has a glossy, shiny surface that reflects light. This classic finish highlights the stone’s natural color and characteristics. Most people opt for polished marble for its traditional look and simply because it’s more available.

On the other hand, honed marble is a relatively newer finish that has been rising in popularity due to its more natural, “raw” stone appearance. It is still smooth, but has a softer, more matte appearance than polished stone and reflects little light.  The colors in a honed marble may also appear lighter. Some homeowners choose honed marble like Carrara Extra Honed or Bianco Carrara Honed because it offers a more rustic, natural aesthetic that complements the style of their home. When choosing the right marble for your space, consider the style and décor of the room around it.

Durability

Honed marble and polished marble, despite their visual differences, are still the same type of stone. It is recommended that a sealer be applied soon after installation to protect against stains, scratches and etching. Because honed marble has not been polished, the pores of the slabs are open leaving it more susceptible to staining; therefore, honed marble will require more frequent maintenance and sealing. It is worth noting that polished marble may show scratches more noticeably than honed marble. This is because a scratch leaves a dull mark, which contrasts a polished finish more than a honed surface.

Calacatta Setai Honed Slab Wall-Mounted Bathroom Sink as well as Thassos White Polished & Bardiglio Polished Marble Floor Image: Calacatta Setai Honed Slab Wall-Mounted Bathroom Sink as well as Thassos White Polished & Bardiglio Polished Marble Floor from Arizona Tile

Uses

There are no major differences in the ways in which honed and polished marble can be used throughout the home. Whether you’re remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, floors or another space, the choice between polished or honed marble depends on the look you are going for as well as use. Given the information above, you may want to use honed marble for a countertop other surfaces that get a lot of use so it doesn’t show scratches as much. It’s really just a matter of personal preference.

If you’re upgrading your bathroom, a polished white and grey marble like Bianco Venatino is a timeless choice. However, if your kitchen décor is more organic and minimalist in style, a honed marble variety like Calacatta Setai Honed offers a softer, more natural look.

Bianco Venatino Marble Shower Wall and Shelf Image: Bianco Venatino Marble Shower Wall and Shelf from Arizona Tile

Whether you prefer the classic sheen of polished marble or you ultimately fall for the velvet texture of honed stone, marble in any form is sure to bring a timeless look to any space in your home. At Arizona Tile, our team of experts is always available for a consultation to help you with the selection process of your next project.  Discover your favorite stone varieties at one of our slab yard locations, or explore our virtual design tools for inspiration.

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