Marble tiles and slabs can be provided in a different number of finishes. Depending on your application we can provide polished, honed or tumbled.
Although it is a naturally occurring stone, marble is a soft substance with a surface that is easily worn down with regular usage. Dirt and scratches can affect marble’s appearance, clogging the crystals that reflect light and give the stone its beauty.
The most popular finish for marble, polishing gives the stone a highly reflective sheen that produces the least porous finished surface. Before polishing, thoroughly clean the surface of all dirt, waxes and sealants. Floor and hand buffers used in conjunction with specially formulated buffing powders can accomplish the job. The most effective technique, however, is industrial diamond polishing. This precise, multistep process uses metal-bonded diamond discs to level the floor, followed by resinous diamond discs in conjunction with polishing compound to produce the shine. Because of its durability, polishing is used to finish marble floors.
Honed finishes are actually a form of polishing, but with a major difference: The final operation uses abrasives to remove minute amounts of stone, leaving the surface with a smooth, matte finish. Honing is often used to restore damaged surfaces. Many different processes, materials and equipment can produce this finish. Honed finishes leave marble less prone to scratches and grime, so less maintenance is necessary. This process opens the stone’s pores, however, making the surface more susceptible to staining. Honing also tends to fade the stone’s natural color.
Even with a professionally applied finish, marble stains easily when it comes into contact with acidic substances, such as vinegar, orange juice, ketchup, soda and lemonade. Cleaning marble with harsh chemicals can eat into the surface. Sealants work by filling the pores in the marble, making its surface impervious to staining. Sometimes a slight darkening occurs following application. Some manufacturers recommend that sealing be performed annually. It is an important step in the restoration of marble floors, vanities and countertops.