Natural Stone Finishes

Know Your Options

If you’re ready to select natural stone floors, countertops, or other surfaces for your home or business, and you already know what type of stone you want, the next step is to select the finish, that is, the appearance and texture of the surface of the stone. Natural stone is incredibly versatile and the exact same stone can offer a variety of different looks depending upon how it is treated.

Common Finishes

Standard finishes include highly polished, honed (a.k.a. matte or satin finish) and varying degrees in between. Polished finishes have an elegant, reflective, glass-like shine. They are often paired with sleek, modern decor. Honed finishes, also called satin finishes or matte finishes, have a more subdued appearance. They are less reflective and go well with shabby chic, rustic, or farmhouse decor. Low-polished or high-honed finishes offer the best of both extremes.

Natural, Aged, and Other Finishes

The rough-hewn look characteristic of cobblestones and cladding is achieved by cutting the stone and leaving it that way. In other words, a natural finish is the absence of a finish. Aged finishes, achieved by intentionally roughening the surface of the stone, give natural stone a leather, river wash, or antique appearance. Stone tiles may be tumbled so that bits and pieces break from the edges. Other weathering techniques include chiseling, hammering, sand blasting, grinding, and flaming.

About Travertine Finishes

Travertine actually has a few additional finish options due to the way the stone forms – it has natural holes throughout. It comes in filled and unfilled. The holes in unfilled travertine can be left alone or filled in and then finished like other types of natural stone. You can even choose the color of the filler to match, contrast, or accent the stone.


If you have slate, flagstone or other surfaces with subtle coloring, the application of color enhancing sealers will intensify the vividness of the naturally occurring colors in the stone.

Now that you know you have options, don’t hesitate to contact us to ask questions and get further the details.

This is one of a series of articles written and published  on behalf of surpHaces Partners.


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