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Welcome back to your favorite stone care newsletter! This week we’re going to be talking about natural stone surface finishes. Particularly, honed and textured finishes.
Throughout the sphere of stone care, there are essentially three categories of surface finishes: polished, which is recognized by a highly reflective glossy appearance. The remaining finish groups are honed, satin and textured. Let’s learn a bit about these lesser understood surface finishes.
Honed materials are growing very popular in the US and have remained a mainstay in Europe throughout the country’s history. In fact, you may not have realized that most of the stone there, which is subject to high traffic, maintenance, and exposure to the elements, is honed. But what’s the logic behind this?
Honed stones generally has a smooth scratch-free finish devoid of shine. When one is removing scratches one is said to be honing. This finish is favored in high traffic areas or areas with a lot of sand, as damage is easier to see on a gloss finish than on a matte finish, as the eye can pick-up differences in a gloss surface than a matte surface. The higher the hone, the more color and reflectivity the stone will have.
There are a few drawbacks to honed material, however. Including greater surface area and exposure of more open and interstitial pores which can potentially result in a greater staining risk, making sealing of greater importance. The rougher surface can hold dirt more readily. For this reason, we recommend honed materials be sealed with an impregnating sealer like MARBLELIFE® Stone Sealer.
You may here people talk about “honing marks” or “swirls.” These are actually areas where the diamond grinding marks are still evident, and are actually a sign of a poor quality hone. These can be removed by a professional craftsman who should be able to blend them into the rest of the floor finish.
Textured is defined as a rough or uneven surface. Some of the most commonly recognized types include flamed granite and natural cleft slate. These surfaces are favored in areas where enhanced slip resistance is sought such as around a pool or an entrance that may see puddling. These may also be employed where an architect seeks to benefit from the lighting contrast.
Textured material has more surface area than honed stone and therefore more open and interstitial pores are exposed. Meaning, again, that an impregnating sealer is essential to its maintenance.
As a rule, textured stones aren’t usually refinished, as the process would remove the contrasting height areas, so surface appearance will be modified using a variety of topical treatments. There are exceptions, however, such as re-flaming granite but this is a very specialized procedure. This underscores the importance of implementing proper maintenance procedures to ensure the natural beauty and longevity of the stone.
All stone surfaces benefit from appropriate daily maintenance using a stone cleaner such as MARBLELIFE® Marble & Travertine InterCare Cleaner, capable of lifting oils, neutralizing seal-damaging acids, and facilitating the removal of dust and other abrasive debris (which is why we recommend damp mopping versus wet mopping). This product is even engineered to drop the captured oils and dust to the bottom of the cleaners’ bucket in order to allow them to work the floor longer between water changes.
It does not, however obviate the need to change water, whenever you can no longer see the bottom of the mop bucket. Our goal is to lift and remove the dirt and place it in the bucket for disposal. The most often seen cleaning error is the failing to change out water frequently enough during the cleaning process. This is a secondary cause to grout staining, the transfer of dirt via dirty mop water from the tile surface to the grout line. The primary cause being the damage of the stone and grout seal by the use of an acidic cleaner. MARBLELIFE Marble & Travertine Cleaner is actually engineered to neutralize acids making it an effective cleanser for cleaning up acidic spills such as juice, tea and coffee. Take care of your floor and it will bring a smile to your face for years to come.
For more information about natural stone, including tips for repair and maintenance, contact your local MARBLELIFE office and a knowledgeable stone craftsman will be happy to assist you.
MARBLELIFE Stone Sealer is a fantastic combination of the strongest features of a superior quality sealer, without the negative features of many popular sealers.