What is Honed vs. Polished? Seems like an easy questions for most but if you're not familiar with different tile finishes than it might not be so simple. We want to help clarify that for you so you're selecting the right finish for your project. Honed and Polished are both standard finishes for tile when talking about natural stone Travertine, Marble, Granite, Limestone, or Slate.
The biggest similarity between the two finishes is that they are both flat, smooth surfaces. This is in comparison to finishes that are textured like Brushed, Tumbled, Satin, Flamed, Leathered or Natural Clefted. Now that you know you want a smooth surface for your material how do you select between Polished and Honed?
Here's the simple explanation between the two, Polished is shiny and Honed is a matte finish that is not reflective. You will probably be most familiar with Polished finish when you think about Granite countertops because the majority of Granite counters are polished and shiny.
When it comes to flooring though you will probably notice that more tile is Honed as compared to Polished, especially in residential homes. The main factors for this other than look are concern with the surface being more slippery and the shiny finish requiring a little more upkeep than Honed. You will also find the Polished finish a little more in more formal homes. Below is a picture of a Honed Travertine entryway
When it comes to maintenance, sealing your natural stone will be important for both the Polished and Honed finishes. So, after determining if you would like more of a shiny Polished look or a matte Honed finish which are you going with for your project?