Types of Finishes
Polished – made smooth and glossy with a high degree of shine. Polished is the smoothest finish on stone, typically only on harder more dense stones. The fullest character and color comes thru on polished products. Normally interior usage as it can be slippery when wet. Polished is more of a dramatic elegant or contemporary look with a feeling of cleanliness because of the high shine. Residentially used in all areas of the house and bathrooms. Commercial applications in main areas such as hotel and condo lobbies, entrances to high end buildings like casinos, banks, auditoriums, museums, cathedrals, churches, temples, court houses and other government buildings. Polished stone requires more up keep and maintenance to maintain its shininess. Also used on vertical surfaces inside or outdoors. Not recommended on pedestrian walkways as an exterior product.
Honed/Hone – very smooth satin finish but not shiny. Has a flat smooth look and does not reflect light like polished marble. Requires less care then polished stones as it will not show as much scratching of the surface. It is also less slippery. Applications are the same as polished stone but with better wear ability and can sometimes be used exteriorly depending on the stone itself.
Sandblasted – a machine is used to apply a high pressure “blast” of sand to the stone etching its surface. The texture is very similar to that of a concrete sidewalk. Sandblasted stone can be use anywhere. It is highly slip resistant and very durable making it ideal in wet areas such as pool decks, steps and common areas.
Saw Cut – stone that is cut with a diamond blade. A semi smooth finish that is slightly rougher then honed and yet smoother than sandblasted. Depending on the stone type the blade will leave slightly to highly visible saw marks on the surface sometimes requiring sanding the stone to make it smoother. Can be normally used in all applications.
Acid Washed – liquid acidic rinsing to the surface of the stone. This will slightly to moderately etch the stone according to the acid percentages in the rinse and the type of stone; typically a mixture of muriatic acid and water. This is done a lot to take the shine off of polished stones down to a honed finish. It also can sometimes make the stone more slip resistant. Acid washing tends to enhance the color and character more. Can be used for interiosr and exteriors depending on the stone and the type of acid washing.
Tumbled – this is a very popular process of rounding and chipping of the edges of the stone in an irregular format done once it has been cut down to its desired size. This is surely done in a mixer or other container while the stones themselves rub, knock and beat against each other. This process gives the appearance of a classical, ancient sometime old world look. Tumbled stone is used widely indoors or outdoors.
Cobbled Stone – Chiseled edges and brushed finish. The edges of the stone are either hand or machine chipped, splintered or slightly fractured. Then the stone is brushed with a coarse wire brush smoothing out the rough spots on the surface and the edges also enhancing the color of the stone.
Chiseled Edge – the edges of the stone are either hand or machine chipped, splintered or slightly fractured. The stone is similar to tumbled but edges are not as rounded. Sometimes the stones are brushed or acid washed after the chiseling.
Antiqued – chiseled edge, sandblasted then acid washed. This finish is an old world reclaimed stone look. The stone resembles stone reclaimed from the roads, walkways and courtyards of Europe, Jerusalem and ancient cities.
Bush Hammered – a mechanical process that dimple the surface of the stone making it very non-slip. The finish is one step rougher then sandblasting. This treatment can be used anywhere exterior to interior.
Brushed – brushing of the stone with a coarse wire brush. This technique smoothes out the rough spots on the surface and also enhances the color and character. It can put a slightly semi shiny finish to the stone. Depending on the brushing and the type of stone it can also be used outdoors.
Fine Chiseled – small irregular chips are put on to the surface of the stone. This is one step rougher than bush hammered. It can be used vertically or on flat walking areas but typically not used on interiors except on walls.
Heavy Chiseled – sometimes called rough chiseled because it the most pronounced, roughest surface finish. It has larger, deeper chips to the surface similar that are dugout of the stone. Mostly used on interior or exterior vertical walls or buildings.
Flamed – a process of applying very high tempetures to the surface of the stone using a commercial blow torch. Although a similar finish like bush hammering which put dimples on the surface; flaming takes chips or scales out of the surface. The high heat makes the stone surface scales pop away from the stone. This finish is very durable and very non-slip. Its applications are anywhere vertical or flat.