Honed vs Acid Washed Bianco Carrara

by Nancy


I have been renovating my kitchen and all is finished except for the countertops. I'm not overly fond of granite and am considering installing the Bianco Carrera. Everyone is telling me something different.

I thought I had made my decision for honed marble and the supplier came back with their recommendation of acid washed if it is to be used in the kitchen. The older generation does not agree with this technique. What is your opinion for the best surface to use in order to minimize the staining/etching?


Well, it sounds like people have at least been telling you that you should NOT consider installing marble in your kitchen since you know about etching and staining issues.

Are you sure that you can't find one granite color you like out of the 2500+ available? You'd save yourself lots of frustration and hassle.

Unless, of course, you are fine with the white Carrara etching and staining and just aging naturally with use. Europeans have taken this approach forever.

Here's the dilemma:

Polished marble does NOT stain easily and so staining is really not an issue with a polished surface. However, polished marble will readily show etch marks... no good.

Honed vs. Acid Washed

Any non-polished surface will conceal etching much more; however, it will be much more porous and prone to staining than a polished surface.

Now applying a sealer will greatly reduce the absorbency and stain-resistance, especially if a few coats are applied. So, staining can be controlled somewhat.

A honed surface is smoother than acid washed and will most likely show etch marks more easily than acid washed (though with white marble they won't be very noticeable with honed), but it will be less porous with greater stain-resistance.

An acid washed surface will be more rough and uneven. It will look more "rustic" or "aged" and will conceal etch marks better, but more prone to staining and the BIG difference.... the more uneven and porous a surface the dirtier and harder to clean it will be.

The reason they are suggesting acid wash is that the acid will severely etch the surface. Any acid that you spill on it will hardly produce any additional or noticeable damage.

Also, do they have samples of honed and acid washed Bianco Carrara that you approve of? I would not buy the slab without knowing what the finish will actually look like, so make them supply a sample.

It may be that they plan to take a polished slab and then acid wash it. That could produce a reasonably smooth surface comparable to a honed surface for hygiene and cleaning considerations.

Bottom line: I'd put in granite. If you insist on marble, then I'd go with the honed surface. Less prone to staining, easier to keep clean and any etch marks that do show can be sanded out and blended without much trouble.

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