Honed vs. Polished Natural Stone: Which Finish is Right for You?

Marble Table with Honed Finish. Notice the Matte Finish to the Table

When choosing natural stone for your home, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is the finish. The finish will affect the look, feel, and durability of the stone.

There are two main types of finishes for natural stone: honed and polished.

Honed stone has a matte finish that is less reflective than polished stone. It has a soft, velvety feel and is less slippery than polished stone, making it a good choice for floors and countertops. Honed stone is also more resistant to scratches and stains than polished stone. However, it is more porous and can absorb liquids, so it requires more frequent sealing.

Polished stone has a glossy finish that reflects light and highlights the natural beauty of the stone. It is less porous than honed stone and is easier to clean, but it is also more susceptible to scratches and stains.

So, which type of finish is right for you?

The best choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and the specific application. If you are looking for a stone that is durable and easy to care for, polished stone is a good option. However, if you are concerned about slip resistance or want a more natural look, honed stone is a better choice.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between honed and polished natural stone:

FeatureHoned StonePolished Stone
Slip resistanceHighLow
Scratch resistanceLowHigh
Stain resistanceHighLow
MaintenanceMore frequent sealingLess frequent sealing
Polished Marble Floor in a Church. Notice the shiny finish and highly reflective nature.

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing between honed and polished natural stone:

  • The location of the stone. Honed stone is a good choice for areas that are prone to spills or moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Polished stone is a better choice for areas that are not exposed to as much moisture, such as living rooms and bedrooms.
  • The color of the stone. Honed stone can make a lighter-colored stone appear even lighter. Polished stone can make a darker-colored stone appear even darker.
  • The budget. Honed stone is typically less expensive than polished stone.

How to choose the right finish for you

To choose the right finish for you, it is important to consider your personal preferences, the specific application, and the budget. If you are still not sure which finish is right for you, it is a good idea to consult with a professional.


Honed and polished natural stone are both beautiful and durable materials that can add a touch of luxury to your home. The best choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and the specific application. By considering the factors discussed in this blog post, you can choose the right finish for your home and enjoy it for many years to come.