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Polished vs. Honed Marble | Differences, Finish and Care Tips

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Thinking about different types of marble such as Honed or Polished version , durability, Care and some other things may feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning.

When we are talking about Marble countertops or flooring, they lend overlall high-end and luxurious appearance to your house. In addition, marble will also increase the value of your home significantly.

On the other hand is a relatively soft material, and so you’ll need to know how to take care of your new kitchen countertops or flooring to avoid causing it any damage. After all, marble countertops and especially floors are a significant investment and one that you’ll want to protect.

You might be interested in my related blog post: What is travertine tile?

What are the Differences Between Polished and Honed Marble? 

In short as the name suggests polished marble is polished to a high shine compared to honed where we want to achieve matte or satin look.

Both have some advantages and disadvantages, we will talk about in this blog post.

Honed marble Polished Marble
Appearance Has no or very little shine High shine
Veins visibility Less but it depend on
level of honing.
Created through chafing by
diamond particles or silicon
carbide. This creates matte
or satin finish to the marble.
Has in addition compared
to honed high-polish shiny
finish done with special fine
pads including diamonds.
Suitable for floors Yes Rather no – very slippery.
Scratches Great at
hiding scratches.
Easily spotted becouse of shine.
Stains Less protected More protected becouse
of extra layer of polish.
Possible to
change finish?
Yes, it can become polish Yes, it can become honed

Check 10 best marble cutting and pastry boards. Best sought is made on a marble plate


Honed marble also has a very rich and appealing look, but it doesn’t have the shine that polished slabs do. It will create a bit more of a subdued yet still highly refined appearance.

Honed marble tyle suitable for flooring. Satin | Matt look.

Overall it tends to look a bit lighter in color than polished varieties.  Depth of veins will be less visible but can find marble slabs with different levels of honing, and it can range from light to heavy.

Polished finished types will reflect light more effectively and create greater saturation of color. Veins are more visible becouse of extra high polish treatment made in production process.

Polished Marble is more luxurious and stain resistant compared to honed type.

Production process

The honed finish is created through chafing by diamond particles or silicon carbide. This eliminates visible scratches and creates a matte or satin finish to the marble. This type of finish creates also a softer, and some would say more modern or contemporary, finish than the polished look. 

Polished marble, on the other hand, has a high-polish, shiny finish that is created through a special method of polishing with fine pads including diamonds. Polished marble in most cases so shiny that you are able to see your reflection in it.

Usability and Durability

As polished marble shows scratches much more easily than honed varieties but on the other hand it is more durable to stains compared to honed version because of it’s extra layer of polish. More in depth explained in “care paragraph”.

I wouldn’t use polished marble for floors because they can be very slippery and even dangerous.

They are especially hazardous when they’re wet.  This is especially important with staircases, as you want to avoid falls and accidents. So with choosing Honed version. You will have less risk of slipping and falling for sure.

Other thing are scratches. We scratch our floors more often than countertops so you want them to be less visible to our eyes. Honed finish can be a great choice to better hide any damage made to your floors.

I think you would be interested also in ms post about cultured marble.

Marble Care

You need to be careful and clean your marble in the appropriate ways to avoid damage. You should ensure that cleaning cloth is entirely non-abrasive. Something like this cloth, found on Amazon. Flooring and countertops should be dusted at least ones per week.

When you want to wet clean your marble countertops or floors, you should use a cleaner with a neutral pH. I like this cleaner, selling on Amazon.

Marble is a relatively soft material (when compared to granite), as it’s comprised of calcium carbonate. This means that it can easily be damaged by acidic substances. It is quite porous as well, which is the reason why it’s so easy to stain. With marble, you may experience problems such as stains, cracks, scratches, and pitting if you don’t take proper care of it. A reduction in shine can be also a common problem.

When we are preparing food, it is usually best to put down a protective sheet made of plastic or silicone before putting any food or beverages on your marble. Of course, you should also use a cutting board.

Like with other kinds of countertop surfaces, you should use a trivet when you place hot pans and pots on your marble. This is true even though marble is quite tolerant of heat. You should also put coasters and placements beneath glasses and plates that you put on your marble countertop. 

In addition – Whatever kind of marble you choose, a sealer, (Amazon link) should be or better, must be applied to it. At the same time, be aware that no sealer will absolutely prevent stains but it will at least buy you a bit more time to clean up a spill before a long-lasting stain sets in.

Remember that if anything acidic gets on your marble, you should clean it up immediately.  Coca Cola, vinegar, salad dressing, coffee, alcohol, and many kinds of harsh household cleaners a include acids.

PRO TIP: There are special Bonastre pads, you can find on Amazon, who can clean Acid stains pretty easily and you don’t need to pay contractor 500-700$ to do the job. See video instruction below.

Polished marble becouse of its extra shiny finish provides a little extra protection against stains. This is because shiny coat or layer covers a little bit more of marble’s natural pores. Becouse of that and luxurious look, polished version are more wanted on kitchen countertops compared to honed one.

Never use traditional cleaning products that are not indicated for marble and stay away from bleach, ammonia, and vinegar.

Can You Change the Finish of an Existing Slab?

Perhaps you’ve found or have a slab of marble that has a finish that you’d like to change. If you’re asking whether you can change from polished to honed or vice versa, the answer is yes. You’ll need to engage the services of an experienced fabricator to do this, though.

It is possible to do it on your own but you have to be great with tools. Marble is expensive stone and you don’t want to mess it up. Exame transforming it from polished to honed in below video.

How is possible that Some slabs of marble are both polished and honed?

It’s because one side is honed while the other has a polished finish. If you select a slab like this, you’ll be able to decide which side (and therefore finish) you want to display in your kitchen. 

Marble: A Lovely Addition to Your Home

As we’ve seen here, while it’s quite expensive, marble is a beautiful choice for almost any home. As long as you know how to take care of it and treat it as you should, your marble countertops or floors will last. 

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