Surface finishing brings out unique aesthetic features of stone materials. The ornamental function and other technical characteristics, like slipperiness and resistance to wear and weather conditions, are strongly influenced by which type is applied to the product. The following are the most common finishes for stone:
Undoubtedly the most widely used finish for granites and marbles. Polishing uses high-grade machines and polishing abrasives to produce highly reflective brilliance on stone surfaces. It highlights the stone’s full color and crystal structure.
Moreover, it is the least porous of all the finishes available. This does not mean, however, that it won’t be required sealer application. Some stones are porous and will need to be sealed regardless of their surface finish.
Honed finish provides a soft, matte-like appearance on stone surfaces. It produces a smooth, non-reflective surface ideal for floors, stairs, and other high traffic areas where the presence of water might make a polished finish too slippery.
This is acquired by using varying grades of abrasive polishing pads until a matte flat surface finish is achieved.
Honing fades out the color while maintaining the stone’s natural look.
Achieved with repeated impact of a multi-pointed tool– done either manually or mechanically– on a granite or marble surface. Bush hammering creates a rough, pockmarked texture that resembles naturally weathered rocks.
This surface finish is best used on exterior flooring applications because of its non-slip texture.
Primarily done to granite, this treatment provides a rough, highly textured, non-slip surface finish which is ideal for exterior flooring applications as well as shower areas and poolsides.
It is achieved by heating the surface of the stone to extreme temperatures, followed by rapid cooling. However, due to stress fractures caused by the flaming process, flamed granite is porous. It should be properly sealed to maintain the original color and the appearance of the stone over time.
Because of marble’s softness, this surface finish is often applied in replacement of flamed and bush hammer finishes to create a rustic or antique appearance. Etching wears down the surface to provide a rough, uneven texture. Because of this, any acid that may spill on it will hardly produce any additional or noticeable damage.
Do note, however, that this type of surface treatment is more prone to staining. Sealer application is very much required.