Have you fallen in love with one stone, but wish that it had a different finish? Finish on a stone is something that can be changed. The quarry chooses what kind of finish they would like on the slab before sending, but that doesn’t mean it is your only option. The surface of your stone, whether, honed, polished, leathered, or brushed, is easily customizable to your personal preference. A skilled fabricator with a large shop with up-to-date machinery will often have the ability to change material from a polished finish to a honed or vice versa.

In the video below, the quarry has chosen to polish the slab before sending it to Aria Stone Gallery.

What does it mean when a slab is labeled both, “polished and honed”?
When a slab is labeled both polished and honed, this means that one side of the slab is polished and the other is honed. In this case, you can choose which side you would like to display. See, for example, 2cm Colorado Gold Polished and Honed.

What is the process from taking a stone from polished to honed?
The fabricator will use a machine that is smaller, yet similar to the one that polishes the slab at the quarry. Instead of thick bristles that polish the slab, the fabricator will attach coarse pads on the machine that move over the stone to slowly grind off the polished base. Water is sprayed onto the stone throughout the entire process. Sometimes a fabricator will put a small amount of powdered acid on the stone to help eat away at the polished surface.

How long does the process usually take?
To give you an idea, for about a 60 square foot kitchen, the process of changing a polished slab to a honed slab could take about 5-6 hours, pre-installation.

Is there anything that a fabricator can do to make sure the stone comes out correctly?
Using plenty of water helps to ensure that the machine and the coarse pads do not grind into the stone, which can cause an unwanted swirl pattern to form on the stone. Also, the water helps for safety reasons to keep the dust settled and not floating in the air.

Does honing the slab make it more susceptible to staining?
A polished finish acts as a protective layer against stains. As you grind off the polished finish, you will inevitably open up and expose more pores than if you left it polished. To help avoid stains, the fabricator will most likely coat the slab with a penetrating sealer on the honed stone before the slab leaves the shop. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a stain proof sealer, but a penetrating sealer will help to fill in some of the exposed pores, leaving you with more time to clean any spills.

Note that the longer that you leave acidic liquid sitting on the surface of your natural stone, the more likely it is going to stain. See here, how do I clean my natural stone? 

Will honing the slab effect the color?
When a stone is polished, you will most likely see more pronounced colors and hues. When a slab is taken from polished to honed, you are essentially taking away the depth and hues that are brought out by the polished coat. The result is that you may end up with a lighter colored slab. Many people hone their stone to make it lighter and brighter. Others, may want to keep some of the colors and hues. In this case, a fabricator can use a color enhancing sealer, which mimics and restores the color without actually restoring any of the shine that is typical of a polished surface.

What is the difference between a honed an polished finish?
What type of sealer should I use?
How to clean your natural stone.