What type of finish do you have?
Honed surfaces have a very smooth, matt or silky, low sheen appearance. A honed surface can be quite porous and therefore needs to be sealed with a penetrating sealer. Floor areas prone to high traffic will often have a honed surface. The colour of a honed surface is not quite as bright as a highly polished surface. It has a soft appearance and doesn’t show marks and flaws like a highly polished surface.
Polished surfaces have a very smooth finish and a glossy look, however they are not as porous as a honed surface. Polishing powders and diamond abrasives are used to achieve varying levels of shine. The gloss is not a topical coating though. The polished crystals in the stone reflect light and produce the high shine. Polishing also accentuates the natural grain and makes the colours more vibrant. A polished surface is very durable, however the gloss will fade if incorrect cleaning products are used, if grit and dirt is not cleaned off the surface and with heavy wear over time.
Sand blasted surfaces have a dull, matt and irregular appearance. Sand or other gritty material is sprayed onto the surface of the stone using a high pressure hose or spraying device. The roughness of the finished product depends on the size of the grit used. This process is often applied to sandstone in outdoor areas to give a slightly textured look and provide some slip resistance.
Flamed surfaces have a texture that is not rough but not quite smooth. The look is between that of a bush hammered surface and a sandblasted surface. It is achieved by applying extreme heat to the natural stone. A textured surface is created when a flame is passed over the stone causing the crystals in the stone to burst. This is often applied to granite in outdoor areas to create a non-slip finish. A flamed appearance often gives a rustic feel to the stone and can also fade the colour.
Bush Hammered surfaces are rough and dimpled. This effect is achieved by beating the natural stone with a mechanical implement like a hammer that has teeth. This effect can aid in making a surface more slip resistant and is often applied to outdoor surfaces such as paving, steps or even walls.
Acid Washed surfaces can have a weathered, slightly corroded look or a mildly antique look, depending on the chemicals used, how long they are left on the stone and the type of stone being treated. A rugged effect can be achieved by leaving acid on the surface for longer and by using a stronger solution. Acid washing to achieve an antique look is an alternative to the bush hammered treatment. Acid washing is often used on floors, walls and paving. Acid in a mild form can also be used just for cleaning the surface and stripping oils and grease.
Unfilled surfaces expose the natural holes in the stone. Travertine can remain unfilled to retain its unique flaws. It is sometimes left in this state when used on exterior cladding to give a natural look.
Saw Cut surfaces show the parallel saw marks on the surface of the stone and also expose the grain in the stone. A gang saw is usually used to cut across the surface of the stone. It is then roughly polished to give a more rugged look.