Most Common Finishes: What is the difference?


March 9, 2021
There are numerous factors to consider when you are going through the process of selecting the perfect stone for your space/project. One of those factors is deciding which finish you prefer for your stone. The stone finish is an imperative detail that will certainly impact the ambiance of your space. The three main types of finishes to choose from are: Polished, Honed and Leathered.


The most used finish with natural stone is polished. A polished surface presents a glass-like smooth feel and a glossy, reflective appearance. The highly reflective surface brings out the color of the stone which truly enhances it’s vibrance and radiance. This type of surface finish is often seen as bathroom and kitchen countertops, interior flooring, and wall dressings. We don’t recommend using this as outdoor flooring though due to its minimal slip resistance nature. To maintain the glossy surface, repolishing is advised.


A honed stone surface offers a satiny touch and soft, less formal matte-like look that is certainly becoming more popular. Since this finish has less of a polish it gives the appearance of the stone a more natural and rustic look. You can often find this type of surface finish is utilized for high foot traffic floorings such as lobby floors. If a marble is being considered in the kitchen, a honed finish will show less etching, since it is already dull, but on the other hand it is more susceptible to stain, and for this reason it needs more attention for cleaning.


The process of leather finish, also known as brushed finish; leaves the stone with a silky texture, often described as a “pebbly” feel. Although it can be different levels of texture. High quality equipment is used to achieve this surface type by using diamond tipped brushes to chip away and get a matte, undulating texture. A leather finish blocks the pores which makes the colors of the stone stand out. While a leathered finish does not have a reflective finish, it does enhance the natural qualities of the natural stone, especially for granites and other darker stones with a non-uniform structure. Leathered texturing on natural stone imparts a rustic, inviting warmth to any space. Leathered surfaces still need to be sealed, with a proper seal that will not change the original characteristics of the stone. Leathered finish can be a great choice for an outdoor application such as bar tops,and BBQ areas among others.

When it comes to deciding which finish you would like it is important to remember that there are no wrong choices! This decision is all about what works best for you and your space.

The Silky Texture of a Leathered, or Brushed, Finish