3 beautiful surfaces that suit every living style

Surfaces in natural stone are an interesting topic. Whether granite, marble, travertine or limestone, many people buy floors or tiles with the surface polished, honed or brushed (satin).

In the past, the surfaces were finished by grinding with grindstones, different types of sand and lard. The natural stone could be finely polished with this technique. To polish a surface to a high gloss, soaps and beeswax were used to finish the surface. Today, a polished surface is created with the help of modern machines and grinding stones with ever finer grains.

In our online shop you can buy many tiles and floors made of marble, travertine and limestone. Here we briefly explain the differences between the 3 most common surfaces.

Polished surface

A polished surface means it has been honed to the maximum. The degree of gloss becomes increasingly higher, up to polished. A polished natural stone surface is smooth and shiny.

Not every surface of a floor tile can be perfectly polished. The gloss of the polish is different for each natural stone. Depending on the mineral content and mineral distribution, significant differences in gloss are possible in a surface with the same finish.

With soft natural stones such as marble, a real polish can sometimes only be produced with the help of oxalic acids or even clover salt.

Honed surface

In contrast to a polished surface, ground tiles or floors are also smooth, but not shiny. Visible sanding marks in backlighting or grazing light are possible and do not constitute a defect.

Even with a honed surface, significant differences in a surface are possible depending on the mineral content and mineral distribution.

The surface is ground with finer and finer grits until the desired result is achieved. Due to the varying mineral distribution, it is never possible to determine the exact surface roughness.

Brushed surface

The brushed surface in natural stone, also called satin, is a perfect solution especially for softer natural stones for private use. Many customers like to buy this surface because it has a pleasant feel. The surface is slightly rough and not shiny. Grinding marks are usually not visible, in contrast to a honed surface. The processing of a brushed natural stone surface is, as the name already mentions, done by machines through grinding and brushing.

Other surfaces

Some other designations and treatments of surfaces in natural stone are listed here:

  • flamed
  • flamed and brushed
  • sandblasted
  • hydrofinish
  • bush-hammered
  • lether finish
  • riven finish

This list is not complete. Due to new techniques, there are always new surface finishing possibilities.


The 3 finishes polished, honed and brushed (satin) are the most popular finishes for marble floors or tiles. Many customers buy these attractive surfaces.