Honed vs. Polished Marble Countertops

Honed vs. Polished Marble Countertops

So, you’ve decided that you want marble countertops. That’s exciting! Marble is a classic choice and one of the most beautiful options that exists in the world. It’s also a tough stone that can work well in kitchens and bathrooms. You’re going to enjoy having marble, but before you do, it’s important to understand that your decisions are not quite finished.

Among marble countertops, you have plenty of options, and most of them can be placed into two categories: honed and polished. Honed and polished marble represent different approaches to crafting the countertops, and those differences will matter in your daily use of the stone and their lifelong care.

What Is Honed Marble?

The name is not mysterious in this case. We’re talking about marble that has a honed finish. Let’s be more specific. When honed marble is produced, the crafters grind the surface of the stone until they produce a smooth, consistent surface. That’s the honing part of the equation.

Once the marble is honed, it is sealed. You might notice that there is nothing regarding polishing in this sequence. The lack of polish produces a matte finish that has a velvety feel when you touch it. Aside from the aesthetics and textures, honing marble produces some interesting pros and cons.

Benefits of Honed Marble

Let’s start with the pros. Honed marble is fairly scratch resistant for a stone countertop. The dull finish doesn’t take scratches nearly as easily as a polished surface, and even when honed marble is scratched, the scratches are typically hard to see. From a maintenance perspective, this makes honed marble a low-effort stone countertop.

Another benefit of skipping the polish is that honed marble is less slippery — especially when wet. 

For these reasons, honed marble is preferred for high-traffic use. Those with kids might prefer the scratch-resistant option. Honed marble is also great for bathroom countertops because the presence of water doesn’t create dangerously or frustratingly slippery surfaces.

Drawbacks of Honed Marble

On the con side, honed marble stains much more easily than polished stone. That’s the primary trade-off. Your honed marble is easier to maintain in all ways except this one, and it means that you want to wipe up spills very quickly. The marble is still finished, so it doesn’t stain instantly, but if you want to prevent stains, you need to be aggressive about cleaning spills.

Honed marble also needs to be resealed more often than polished stone. Typically, you only need to reseal it every six months to a year, but that will be more frequent than if you choose polished marble.

What Is Polished Marble

Once again, you can derive a lot from the name. To keep it simple, polished marble is completely identical to honed marble with one exception. After the stone is honed, the marble is polished before being sealed. That one step makes all the difference.

As you can guess, polished marble is much shinier than its honed counterpart. Polished marble also has a smooth feel when you touch it. Aside from these points, polished marble presents some changes in care and maintenance.

Advantages of Polished Marble

The advantages here are largely the inverse of the disadvantages of honed marble. Polished stone is much less likely to stain, and it doesn’t have to be resealed as often. Because of that, polished marble tends to be used for kitchen countertops. This is where staining spills occur the most, so having a polished finish can save a lot of maintenance.

Drawbacks of Polished Marble

Conversely, polished marble does scratch and takes marks with a lot less effort. That can be worrisome for kitchen use, as food prep and eating mark up counters pretty easily. Ultimately, when choosing between these two, you are comparing the risk of stain to the risk of scratching.

The propensity for scratching makes the maintenance of polished marble trickier. You may find yourself treating superficial scratches and marks somewhat regularly.

Making a Decision

Knowing the trade-offs between these two types of marble can help you make an informed decision. You have to decide which look you like more. From there, you can compare costs while considering the pros and cons of each.If you want a little help browsing your selection, contact Wholesale Granite Direct. We can show you a massive range of options and provide expert insight into each. Once you choose your countertops, we will professionally install them for you.