We offer the following surface finishes for stone in addition to the factory finish: polished, honed, leathered, carresed, Tuscan, bush-hammered, raked, scarpaletto (course & fine) and flamed. Please refer to the definitions below for more information on each finish. Additionally there are pictures of finished kitchens in our gallery with the leather finish. Note that some finishes are only available as factory finishes.
It should be noted for countertop use that only the polished, honed, caressed and leaterhed finishes are recommended. The Tuscan finish can be used for countertops as well, but in lower use areas. The bush-hammer, rake, scarpaletto and flame finishes are all rougher raw finishes recommended for decorative uses (vertical surfaces or anti-slip exterior and/or commercial walkways)
- The finish put on the slab at the processing facility (factory) before being exported. Generally polished for most marbles and granites, and honed for most shist and limestones. Slates mostly come as cleft face. Additionally some materials are available in multiple finishes (ie a stone may be mostly exported polished, but a smaller quantity is exported honed).
- This is the standard factory finish for most granites and marbles. A polished surface is highly reflective and the least porous of the finishes available. Polished marbles can be etched with many household acids and cleaners. On-site surface refinishing is NOT recommended and can be spotty at best.
Leather Finish on Ubatuba Granite
- This finish adds texture to the surface. Additionally, it closes the pores (compared to honing) and retains the color better than honing. While a leathered finish has a sheen to it, it is no where near as reflective as a polished surface. A good analogy would be that a leathered finish is like a matte finish on a photograph whereas a polished surface is like a glossy photograph. Please note that the amount of texture will vary from stone to stone and some stones will not leather (especially extremely uniform materials). Leathering is preferred to honing for blacks and other very dark materials. For example the amount of texture on Absolute Black is minimal and very fine grained, and the finish is much more uniform than honing Absolute Black. Leathering starts with a honed surface and adds texture, and is a completely different process than river washed (see below).
- This finish adds gloss to the leathered finish above. Starting with a leathered finish and then "polishing" the high spots. This of couse closes the pores more than the leathered finish, but not as much as a polished finish.
- This is the standard factory finish for schists and most limestones (most of which will NOT take a polish). Honing a polished material opens up the pore making it more susceptible to staining than the same material in a polished finish. At home re-finishing is possible, and the end result will vary from stone to stone (see re-finishing in our care and cleaning section). Honing will "grey out" or fade the color of the stone, this is more noticeable on darker materials than on lighter materials. A color enhancing sealer is available and may be used to restore the color (if desired). Also note that very dark materials (especially blacks) tend to end up with an un-even finish and a honed finish is not recommended.
- Bush hammered:
- Another textured finish. This is best for external use. Bush hammering will "grey out" or fade the color of the stone to an even greater extent than honing. This finish is rougher than leathering and more uniform. This finish can be done to virtually any stone.
- The Tuscan finish is similar to the River Wash finish in that it is a brushed finish. However the Tuscan finish starts with a bush hammered finish rather than a flamed finish (that is the basis of the river washed finish).
- A flamed finish is created using an extremely hot flame. The heat stresses the material causing crystals to pop out. Flaming creates a very rough texture best used for exterior purposes only. A flamed finish is excellent for exterior walkways. Flaming can only be done on granites.
Many of the following finishes are only available as factory finishes. We can NOT offer any of these finishes UNLESS the slabs you select already have the desired finish on them.
- This is actually a style of finishes rather than a particular finish. Leathered, river washed, and tumbled finishes are all examples of an antiqued finish. A factory finish smiliar to a leathered finish is sometimes called an antiqued finish.
- This term is sometimes used to refer to either a leather finish or a river washed finish. Unfortunately, this leads to ambiguity as there are distinct differences between leathered and river washed finishes.
- Cleft face:
- This is most commonly seen on slate and sandstones. Cleft face is simply the natural splitting along the layers as the stone is removed from the quarry. This is a factory finish only.
- This textured surface can vary (like leathering) based on the composition of the stone being blasted. Also other blast media (instead of sand) may be used creating differences in the end result. Blasting will also "grey out" or fade the color (even more so than honing). A blasted surface is extremely porous and will be very hard to keep clean. Recommended for decorative use only.
- River washed:
- This finish is the pre-cursor to the leather finish. Before a slab can be river washed it must first be flamed. The river washing process simply smooths out the roughness of the flamed finish. River washed surfaces are good for interior or decorative use and NOT recommended for countertops. River washed is only available as a factory finish at this time.
- This finish applies to marble tiles that are literally tumbled to create a weathered or distressed look. There is some texture as well as softening of edges on the finished tiles.
Other articles and resources about surface finishes
- Percoco Stone Finishing - Percoco Marble pioneered the surface finishing concept in Denver with the leather finish and then spun off Percoco Stone Finishing as a seperate company in 2008 to service all the wholesalers, distributors, and fabricators in the rocky mountain region. Percoco Stone Finishing's finishes (2.3MB) brochure is availabe in .pdf format.
- New Trends in Natural Stone blog entry - Surface Finishing and Texture
- New Trends in Natural Stone blog entry - Finishing Absolute Black (and other black granites)
- Construction Deal blog entry - What's Hot in Countertops? New Finishes