Choosing the Right Finish: Honed vs Polished – Which is Right for You?

Choosing The Right Finish: Honed Vs Polished – Which Is Right For You? - Portland - Quartz, Countertops and Installations

Introduction to different finishes for surfaces

When it comes to choosing finishes for surfaces, it’s important to consider not only the aesthetic appeal but also the functionality and practicality. Two popular options to consider are honed and polished finishes. Each offers a unique look and feel, and understanding the difference between the two is crucial in making the right choice for your space. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both honed and polished finishes, factors to consider when choosing between them, popular applications for each, and ultimately help you determine which finish is right for you.

Understanding the difference between honed and polished finishes

Honed and polished finishes refer to the treatment applied to the surface of materials such as stone, concrete, or wood. A honed finish is achieved by grinding the surface to a smooth, matte appearance. This finish is achieved using abrasives that remove a thin layer of the material, resulting in a flat and non-reflective surface. On the other hand, a polished finish involves mechanically grinding and polishing the surface until it becomes smooth, shiny, and reflective.

Pros and cons of honed finishes

Honed finishes offer a more natural and understated look compared to polished finishes. The absence of shine and the matte appearance of honed surfaces create a subtle and elegant aesthetic that can complement a variety of design styles. Additionally, honed finishes are less prone to showing scratches or wear and tear, making them a practical choice for high-traffic areas. However, it’s important to note that honed surfaces may be more susceptible to staining than their polished counterparts. They can also require more frequent sealing to maintain their appearance and protect against stains.

Pros and cons of polished finishes

Polished finishes are known for their luxurious and sophisticated appearance. The reflective surface of polished materials adds a touch of elegance to any space and can make it appear more spacious and bright. Polished finishes are also highly durable and resistant to staining, making them ideal for areas that are prone to spills or heavy use. However, the glossy surface of polished finishes can highlight scratches, smudges, and fingerprints more easily, requiring regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Factors to consider when choosing between honed and polished finishes

Several factors should be taken into consideration when deciding between honed and polished finishes. The first is the overall design aesthetic you wish to achieve. If you prefer a more natural and subdued look, a honed finish may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you want to create a luxurious and glamorous atmosphere, a polished finish may be more suitable. It’s also important to consider the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake. Honed finishes may require more frequent sealing and can be more prone to staining, while polished finishes may require more regular cleaning and upkeep to maintain their shine.

Popular applications for honed finishes

Honed finishes are particularly popular in spaces where a more relaxed and casual vibe is desired. In kitchens, honed countertops can add warmth and character, while also providing a functional and durable surface for meal preparation. In bathrooms, honed tiles or vanities create a spa-like atmosphere, enhancing relaxation and tranquility. Honed finishes are also commonly seen in outdoor spaces such as patios or pool areas, where a natural and rustic look is desired.

Popular applications for polished finishes

Polished finishes are often chosen for spaces that aim to make a statement and exude luxury. In high-end kitchens, polished countertops add a touch of glamour and sophistication, becoming a focal point of the room. Polished floors in entryways or living areas create a grand and impressive entrance. In commercial spaces such as hotels or restaurants, polished finishes are frequently used to create an upscale and elegant ambiance.

Honed vs polished: Which finish is right for you?

Ultimately, the decision between a honed or polished finish comes down to personal preference and consideration of the factors mentioned earlier. If you prioritize a more natural and low-maintenance look, honed finishes may be the way to go. However, if you want to create a luxurious and glamorous space that requires regular maintenance, polished finishes may be more suitable. It’s important to consider the specific needs and style of your space to make an informed decision.

Maintaining and caring for honed and polished surfaces

Regardless of whether you choose a honed or polished finish, proper maintenance is essential to keep your surfaces looking their best. For honed finishes, regular sealing is recommended to protect against staining. It’s also important to clean up spills promptly and use mild, pH-neutral cleaners to avoid damaging the surface. Polished finishes, on the other hand, require regular cleaning to remove smudges and fingerprints. It’s important to avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners that can dull the surface. Additionally, periodic re-polishing may be necessary to maintain the shine of polished surfaces.


Choosing the right finish for your surfaces is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your space. Whether you opt for a honed or polished finish, understanding the pros and cons of each, considering the specific needs of your space, and taking into account your personal preferences will help you make an informed choice. Remember, both honed and polished finishes have their own unique charm and can create beautiful and functional spaces when chosen wisely.

Contact us today to discuss your project and find the perfect finish for your surfaces.