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Honing and Polishing: Everything you need to know

Honing and Polishing

What you need to know


While honing can restore brightness, smoothness and that silky touch to your stone benchtop or floor, tile polishing restores its gloss and reflectiveness.

Read on to discover the difference between honing and polishing, the benefits of natural vs faux stone, how damage occurs and what you need to fix it.

Find out more about the honing and polishing services we provide at Tile Cleaning Experts.

The difference between honed and polished finish, simply put is the difference between matte/satin and gloss.

What is the difference between honing and polishing?

It’s a question often asked and while it does come down to the finished look a client wants, it’s also a process.

The difference between honed and polished finish, simply put is the difference between matte/satin and gloss. A honed finish is flatter and will almost always appear lighter in colour. A polished surface uses an extra step and finer grit to make the surface reflective, as well as emphasising the colour and veins of the stone.

In order for a surface to be polished, it must first be honed to even out the surface and remove marks, scratches, etching and blemishes.

Damage caused to natural stone surfaces

Why are the prettiest things in life always the most delicate? While natural stone may be stunning to look at, it’s prone to staining and damage. Oils, etching and dulls spots are caused by acidic foods, liquids, abrasive cleaners or utensils. 

Common natural stone types that can be honed include marble, limestone, granite, travertine, onyx, sandstone, bluestone and terrazzo.

Damaged granite and engineered stone

Engineered stone or man-made stone is a popular choice and offers the look and feel of natural stone without the upkeep or price. Popular options in Australia are Caesarstone, Essastone, Quantum Quartz, Smartstone, HanStone and Silestone. These, along with granite are harder and are less prone to etching but will still scratch and become discoloured from incorrect cleaners such as bleach, scourers and burn marks from hot pots or pans.

Common natural stone types that can be honed include marble, limestone, granite, travertine, onyx, sandstone, bluestone and terrazzo.

Engineered Stone Swatch of different colours
Manmade or engineered stone is often made from concrete or a lightweight aggregate compound. It’s then moulded and coloured to look like marble, granite, and other desirable natural stones.

Honing and polishing natural or engineered stone

Marks, blemishes, scratches and imperfections on your natural or engineered stone, especially if it’s a focal point, like your kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity is annoying. It’s unsightly and… well, your expensive stone doesn’t look as elegant as it once did – it’s an eyesore.

What should you do if you’ve tried everything to get rid of those blemishes?

In the past, restoring engineered stone was near-impossible. This meant that if the stone was damaged or scratched it needed to be replaced. Technology and cutting-edge machinery now allow us to restore engineered stone in addition to natural stone. If you would like to speak to us about restoring your specific surface, contact us for a free quote.

What does honing and polishing do for you?

Besides what Marie Kondo would describe as sparking joy, there are many benefits to having a stone benchtop, vanity, splashback or floor area professionally honed or polished by Tile Cleaning Experts.

  • Honing will remove scratches, etching and marks from your marble, limestone, travertine and onyx kitchen benchtops, bathroom vanities or floor (making it uniform and matte ready for polishing)
  • Restore engineered stone to its original condition, such as Caesarstone, Essastone, HanStone quartz, Silestone and Quantum Quartz kitchen benchtops, bathroom vanities
  • Once polished, high-gloss surfaces such as marble, limestone, travertine, terrazzo and onyx will regain their reflective look and smooth appearance
  • Semi-gloss surfaces, such as your kitchen or bathroom benchtop will be clean and stain-free
  • The ambience of your kitchen or bathroom will be improved
  • It will be easy to maintain and clean your kitchen benchtop, vanity or floor as dirt will no longer sit in the crevices or pours.

See before and after photos of natural stone floor or kitchen benchtops that we have worked our magic on!

Tile Cleaning Experts are Melbourne’s leading stone and tile restoration specialists. We assess your problem area, discuss your desired finish to determine the exact polishing required and transform your stone back to its former glory.

The range of stone surfaces we work on include bluestone, marble, slate, limestone and sandstone. We also work with ceramic, porcelain and quarry tiles.

The areas we specialise include kitchen benchtop restorations, shower restorations, bathroom rejuvenations, kitchen rejuvenations, lounge and dining rooms, entrance halls and stairs, courtyards and driveways as well as commercial areas and offices.

Our services include tile cleaning, cleaning and sealing tiles, stripping and sealing tiles, regrouting, grout colour sealing, anti-slip treatment, silicone repairs, polishing and resurfacing, efflorescence removal as well as minor tile repairs.

Basic Do’s and Don’ts for Natural Stone Floor Care

Natural stone flooring is an elegant, easy to maintain option that will stand the test of time if cared for correctly. Natural stone is versatile enough to achieve the aesthetic, performance, and cost goals on both the exterior and interior of your home over the long term. Here are some basic care and cleaning do’s and don’ts to help you maintain your natural stone flooring:

Use non-slip mats or rugs in high traffic areas and entry ways
Regularly dust, vacuum and mop to clean and slow the wear caused by dirt build up
Clean spills immediately so they don’t become stains, which can be absorbed into the porous material
Hire a professional tile and grout cleaner, in addition to your day-to-day cleaning to ensure that the floor is properly cleaned and sealed to prevent deterioration, stains, make regular cleaning easier and provide healthy surfaces for the home or workplace
Regularly strip and seal your floor instead of coating older sealer with a fresh coat. We recommend using a professional to ensure floors aren’t damaged, you achieve a higher and more even shine and the desired finish is achieved.

Hire any professional. A lot of ‘experts’ have a six week course behind them and no further training. You don’t want to risk damaging and replacing your floors!
Use strong chemicals on soft natural stone. This can no only damage your stone but deteriorate the protecting sealant
Use a damaged vacuum or mop bucket. If it’s missing wheels or the head is worn you will scratch the floor surface which will then require you to strip, buff and seal
Drag furniture. This includes chairs, tables and heavier items. You can get covers for their legs to protect your flooring
All floors have their own unique properties and it’s important that you clean, maintain and follow proper care to ensure their beauty and longevity. Whether your natural stone is inside or outside you will occasionally need an expert to help bring them back to life. Tile Cleaning Experts have over 30 years’ experience and backgrounds in nano chemistry. Meaning, we know how cleaning agents react with your floor – whether it be the existing sealer or natural floor properties. We beat any written quote by 10%. Request a free quote today and fall in love with the restored life and aesthetics of one of the most important features of your home.