First Polished and Honed marble are two different types of finishes. Polished marble has a high gloss and reflectivity and enhances the color of any stone. Some people describe polished stone as looking deeper. Honing gives a satin look with low reflectivity and softens the shine and lowers the reflectivity. You can often hear people call this look as a warmer.
When you are talking about marble restoration honing and polishing refer to two different steps in the process. Honing is used to remove the top surface of the marble. Professionals use diamond pads to cut down the top of the countertop or flooring. This removes any deep scratches along with any surface stains on the marble. Because marble is porous, dirt has a tendency in high traffic areas to darken the color of the stone, honing will brighten its appearance.
Polishing uses either a paste or dry powder to remove scratches from the surface. Usually a 3-5 step polish using a mechanical polisher can restore marble to a like new appearance. Polishing results in that timeless mirror finish brings class to any room.
When should you Hone Marble vs Polish it?
If you have been regular maintaining your marble floors polishing in most circumstances along with applying a good sealant every 6 months is all that should be required. If your granite has been neglected or is in a busy retail space it may be require honing. This is something that should be done by a professional. As described above, honing removes a significant portion of the marbles top surface and an inexperienced operator can cause low spots. It’s also important you have a professional inspection before you hone, because if you think it’s necessary there’s a good possibility the marble could be damaged. Honing damaged marble takes expertise on repairing the damage and how much can be honed.