Honed vs. polished marble

Written by holly huntington
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Honed vs. polished marble
Polish your marble floors for shine; hone them to protect against scratches. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Marble flooring is a sturdy natural stone material, but it can be damaged and lose its natural lustre. Consumers have options when repairing minor damage and rejuvenating the look of the flooring. One option is honing and one is polishing. Both improve the stone's appearance and offer other benefits. The main difference between the two is that polishing adds a material to the top of the stone; honing removes the stone's top layer.

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Marble stone flooring can have two finished looks: a shiny look and a matt look. The shiny, high-gloss look is often preferred in high-end settings or businesses. Matt-looking marble has a flatter look, as its shine is derived from the natural stone's own crystals. Use polish to create a shiny look. Use the honing finish process if you prefer the natural marble shine instead.

Regular Cleaning

Regular foot traffic affects the look of a marble floor. Therefore, both shiny and matt-looking marble floors must be cleaned to keep them looking good. Shiny marble floors are cleaned the same way honed marble floors are: with a wet string mop and lukewarm water (minus harsh or other chemicals). You can use a little ammonia in the water, if needed, but only a few drops.


Polished marble floors have a sheen, which can help keep dirt from directly being absorbed or tracked onto the marble itself. Matt floors don't have this polish between the stone and foot traffic. Marble stone floors (shiny or matt) that collect scratches need to be honed rather than polished to remove the upper damaged stone layer during maintenance. Honing is also the needed finishing process if it's necessary to remove a stain.

Damage Prevention

Consider the amount of foot traffic your marble floor will receive when deciding upon polishing or honing. Heavy foot traffic areas are more prone to scratching, making a honed marble the better choice. It will show less dirt than a polished marble floor and be less likely to scratch.

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