Honed vs. Polished Marble: Understanding the Differences

Marble has become an increasingly popular material for flooring in homes across the country, with homeowners using it in bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms, as well as for kitchen countertops. This metamorphic rock is available in two finishes: honed and polished. This article will explain the differences between honed and polished marble to help you decide which type is best for your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Honed marble has a matte look and is more porous than polished marble, requiring more frequent sealing.
  • Polished marble has a mirror-like finish and is smoother, with a sealed surface that repels moisture.
  • Builders prefer honed marble for kitchen countertops because it does not stain easily, while polished marble is ideal for hot climates due to its cooler surface.

Honed Marble

Honed marble undergoes a finishing process that gives it a matte look. The mined rock is ground and sanded before being cut into large pieces, which are then sold to homeowners and builders for flooring purposes. Honed marble has a smooth outer surface, but it does not have the shine of polished marble. Since its surface is quite porous, honed marble requires frequent sealing to maintain its finish. However, it shows fewer scratches and requires less maintenance compared to polished marble.

Polished Marble

The polished surface of marble is achieved through buffing after the marble has been ground and sanded. This buffing gives polished marble its characteristic sheen and luster, which can be maintained for a long time with proper care. The finish is a result of using progressively finer heads for polishing the marble’s surface. Polished marble has a mirror-like shine and a surface that is sealed, making it moisture-resistant and less prone to weathering.

Differences between Honed and Polished Marble

The primary difference between honed and polished marble is the buffing process applied after grinding and sanding the stone’s surface. If buffing is not done, the marble has a honed finish, while buffing with progressively finer heads results in a polished surface. Additional differences include:

  • Honed marble’s softer look and increased porosity compared to polished marble.
  • Polished marble’s mirror-like finish, smoother surface, and sealed pores that repel moisture.
  • The preference for honed marble in kitchen countertops due to its resistance to staining, and polished marble’s cooler surface making it ideal for hot climates.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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