Honed Marble Kitchen Countertop

by CS
(Seattle)

QUESTION:

I am wondering about honed marble kitchen countertops. I have been told that the honing can be done with a 400 grit rather than the 200 grit that is typically offered.

I am unclear what the advantage of this would be. I would like to know more about the maintenance and advantages/disadvantages of honed marble in the kitchen. Thank you.

ANSWER:

A "honed" finish can encompass a range of surface finishes that are all essentially smooth, but non-reflective.

You can have a rough hone or a high-hone or anywhere in between. The higher the grit number the finer the finish.

A high-hone will come the closest to a shiny surface a step before polishing marble and will show etch marks from acidic corrosion more than a rough hone would.

Etching is essentially unpreventable in the kitchen. A kitchen countertop is exposed to far too many acidic foods and drinks to avoid the dull spots and glass rings that occur from acids.

This is the main reason marble kitchen countertops are not recommended.

You'll find more information about this and marble repair and characteristics in general by browsing our website.

Also, if you'll find many other answers to questions regarding marble maintenance, marble in the kitchen and marble etching on the previous page at the bottom.

So, I wouldn't recommend you install marble in the kitchen. But if you insist on doing it, then a rough hone will hide etch marks better and also be easier to remove the etch marks. You'll need to seal it though.

Honed marble can be absorbent while polished marble is essentially non-absorbent and typically does not need sealing.

granite countertop cleanerGood Luck,
Ryan

P.S. Get all the facts and simple step-by-step solutions to any problem with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.

Find the recommended best product brands for cleaning marble, sealing, cleaning granite countertops, quartz and all natural stone.


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Honing Polished Marble Countertops

by Kathy
(Starkville, MS)

QUESTION:

Can marble countertops be honed without removing the top and taking it to a shop?

ANSWER:

Yes, polished marble countertops can be honed (or vise versa) in place. Attempting to remove them would most likely damage them anyway.

You'll need to hire a marble maintenance or restoration professional and you'll want to do your homework here.

Honing or re-finishing stone is not an easy job. You'll want to find someone with plenty of skill, experience and references.

If all you want to do is remove the marble polish, then you can simply etch the entire surface by washing with vinegar.

Now, acids like vinegar corrode, damage and etch marble, so typically you want to avoid using any such product, but it will work in this case by damaging the surface enough to destroy the shiny layer that results from polishing marble leaving the more raw and dull marble underneath.

Of course, you won't get nearly as nice a finish as honing by an experienced pro. You'll likely get some uneveness of color and/or texture, but it may not be that noticeable and it will be far cheaper than hiring a marble maintenance pro.

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Honed Marble Kitchen Countertops Rough Streaks


(Toronto, Canada)

QUESTION:

I just had a new crema marble countertop installed and it looks streaky, almost like it wasn't uniformly sanded. I have cleaned it repeatedly and am convinced these marks were made during the honing process. In certain light I can see arching marks almost like brush strokes. It also feels smoother to the touch in some places, rougher in others. Has anyone experienced this? I love the countertops and hope this problem is fixable.

ANSWER:

From your description it does sound like the honed finish was poorly executed. A honed finish will not be shiny and glossy like when polishing marble, but it should be smooth with an even sheen across the entire surface.

I'd take up the issue with your fabricator. The great thing about stone is that it can almost always be repaired or improved.

In this case, the surface can be re-honed. The only caveat is that not too many stone pros are any good at re-finishing, which is a specialty skill.

Of course, this should have been done right the first time, so make sure you are getting the stone you actually picked out and that you are satisfied with the eventual solution before making final payment.

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Honing Marble Shiny Spot

QUESTION:

I have a piece of marble that is matte finished. There is a shiny spot in the middle, how do I make that matte? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Well it's most likely that the marble was once all shiny and chemical damage has made created the dull "matte" area.

However, if you use the wrong type of marble polishing compound or are too aggressive on a honed marble you can end up creating too much shine.

Anyway... you want the shiny part to match the matte part of the marble. You can pretty easily remove the shine, but getting an exact surface finish match may be difficult without working the whole surface.

I'd suggest you simply sand the shiny area with water and 400 grit metal sand paper. You would likely be able to start with a more coarse grit like a 240 or 180, but you want to test with the finer grit paper first to monitor the effect.

If it looks like you can remove stone more aggressively and still match the matte honed finish, then switch to the lower grits to make the job go faster.

Sand until the shine is gone and you get a similar look and feel as the matte finish. Depending on the size of the piece, you may want to sand a bit all over to better blend if needed.

You could purposely etch the polished area with an acidic substance like vinegar, but this is more risky since it's difficult to control how much of the stone is remove by the vinegar and it can lead to discoloring.

This can work to a degree if you are wanting to produce a somewhat honed DIY surface over an entire area, but you still may get mixed results and for your situation I think the sanding is much better... far more control.

Still, this is a DIY solution, which can yield satisfactory results, but a good marble maintenance professional could re-hone the whole surface for the best finish.

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Restoring Honed Marble Countertops

by Irina
(Excelsior, MN)

QUESTION:

Is it really possible to restore the honed marble countertop to a new-like state by a specialist in our house, not in their shop?

We installed a new honed marble bathroom countertop. The installers left bad scratches and swirls (presumably from the tool they used to remove the scratches) on the surface.

The company sent the specialist to improve the surface. He removed some but left new ones. I also noticed that the surface looks shinier now, more like polished and not honed.

We suggested to remove the countertop and bring it to their shop to re-hone the surface properly. The company rejected our plan and promised to send their best specialist to solve the problem.

We don't know if to give them another chance (wouldn't it be another waste of time and effort?) or to insist on our plan. Thank you in advance, Irina

ANSWER:

Yes, it is possible to fully restore a marble countertop installation in place, but it requires a skilled and experienced marble cleaning, maintenance and restoration craftsman. Meaning someone with years of experience only restoring marble and not just an installation guy who occasionally buffs out scratches caused by the installation.

Based on your description, the people working on your stone are not skilled or experienced.

Most people including many in the stone industry vastly underestimate the difficulty of restoring stone countertops and floors. It is certainly not a DIY job even those who work with and install stone cannot just pick up the tools and expect good results.

Creating an uneven finish and leaving swirls is definitely a sign of an amateur. So, the their "specialist" is likely just the guy with the most experience in their shop, but obviously they aren't any good at marble restoration.

I'd withhold any remaining payment and search for a true marble cleaning and restoration professional. Interview, get references. You want the best. Cost should not be the main deciding factor.

Good Luck!

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