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Surface Finishes

Common Finishes for Stone
POLISHED High shine. The polish may last a long time or may be unstable depending on the type of stone. Granite, marble and limestone are frequently polished, and require varying degrees of maintenance to preserve the shine.
HONED This satin finish looks very "soft", shows few scratches, and requires very little maintenance. Marble, limestone, and slate are appropriate stones for a honed finish.

ACID-WASHED Shiny with small etching marks (pits in surface). An acid-washed finish shows fewer scratches and is much more rustic in appearance than a honed finish. Most stones can be acid-washed but the most common are marble and limestone. Acid washing is also a way to soften the shine on granite.

SAW-CUT REFINED Matt finish. After initial cutting, the stone is processed to remove the heaviest saw marks but not enough to achieve a "honed" finish. Granite, marble, and limestone can be purchased this way, typically on a special order basis.

FLAMED Rough texture, very abrasive. This finish is used mostly for exterior applications as flooring or as facing on commercial buildings, is labour intensive, and can be costly. The texture is achieved by heating the surface of the stone to extreme temperatures, followed by rapid cooling. Flaming is primarily done to granite.

SPLIT-FACED Rough texture, not as abrasive as flamed. This finish is typically achieved by hand cutting and chiselling at the quarry, exposing the natural cleft of the stone. This finish is primarily done on slate.

TUMBLED Smooth or slightly pitted surface, broken rounded edges and corners. There are several methods used to achieve the tumbled look. 20mm thick tiles can be tumbled in a machine, or 3cm tiles can be tumbled and then split, creating two tiles that are tumbled on one side. Marble and limestone are the primary candidates. for a tumbled finish.

BRUSHED A worn-down look achieved by brushing the surface of the stone, simulating natural wear over time.

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