Marble is one of the most beloved and sought-after materials on earth. It has long been associated with luxury, elegance, and nobility. It’s no wonder that marble is a favorite high-end material in modern bathrooms and kitchens.

If you’ve made the wise choice to install these countertops in your home, then you’ll have some unique choices to make. For instance, you’ll need to choose the variety and style of marble that you prefer. While some surfaces, like quartz kitchen countertops, are engineered to look a certain way, marble is available in a limited variety of natural forms and colors. After all, it’s a completely natural stone. Of course, this adds to marble’s appeal — each piece is an original.

Once marble is brought to a countertops specialist, though, it can be customized in some unique ways. In particular, you can choose to give marble a honed or polished finish. Here are the differences between honed and polished marble, and some recommendations on which finishing treatment may be right for your kitchen countertops.


Honed and polished finishes are essentially different processes that finalize and spruce up the appearance of marble, as well as making it more user-friendly. However, honed and polished marble can look very different, particularly when it comes to shine.

Honed marble is made to look matte, unpolished, and more natural. But this means that it reflects less light. Polished marble, meanwhile, is more reflective and shiny, and the colors will be bolder and more intense. While polished marble has a more jewel-like brilliance, honed marble looks lighter, untreated, and more natural. This makes your slab look undeniably authentic. Also, honed, low-shine finishes are particularly stylish today.


Marble is a tough and hard stone, but it’s slightly porous, meaning that it can absorb water, stains, and even germs. That’s what your finish is for. It essentially seals the marble. However, it’s important to know that your marble may need to be refinished from time to time. Ask a kitchen countertop expert how often you should be resealing your marble.

Both honed and polished marble will need occasional refinishing. And while they’ll both offer durability and a nice seal, honed marble does tend to hide flaws more easily. Because polished marble is more reflective, flaws like scratches, or etching–whitish stains that are discolorations in the marble–will be more apparent. However, polished marble is even less porous than honed marble, meaning that it’s completely protected as long as you maintain the surface well.

Visual Effects

Marble is certainly gorgeous, and its diverse, natural coloring and detailing makes it so eye-catching in kitchens and bathrooms. However, selecting a polished or honed finish means slightly altering its appearance. Honed marble looks more organic, and this may make it more appropriate for contemporary homes or more rustic designs. The opulent look of polished marble makes it more suited to traditional and Old World designs. If you want a pared-down and simplistic elegance, honed is the way to go. If you want to turn up the charm, polished is your choice.

However, the best way to determine which finish is right for you is to see it for yourself. Visit countertop installers in Alpharetta, like Atlantis Granite & Marble, to explore your countertop options, and find the perfect selection for your home!