When selecting natural stone for interior or exterior flooring, there are many things to consider. Color options are endless, and sizes as well. Where will it be used? Is it suitable for the kitchen, bath, living, bedroom. How the stone will look, feel and perform under-foot, is integral to the stone’s finish.
Finishes refer to the worked surface area of the stone tile, based on your requirement and stone suitability. Below are the industry standards common today.
Acid-Washed: This finish takes the shine off polished stone and leaves small etching marks (pits in the surface). It gives the stone a rustic or antique appearance and shows fewer scratches. Most stones can be acid-washed, most commonly used with marble and limestone
Brushed Finish: is a worn-down look achieved by applying heavy-duty plastic or metal brushes to the stone. Creates a shine from the natural reflection of the stone crystals. Best suited for; granite, marble, limestone, and requires maintenance to keep the finish.
Flamed finish: achieved by heating the surface to extreme temperatures, followed by rapid cooling. The surface pops and chips,leaving a rough unrefined texture. Usually done with granite. Ideal for slip resistance concerns like shower areas.
Honed Finish: produces a flat, matte, or satin finish by stopping short of the last stage of polishing. A more informal look, shows few scratches, require less maintenance. Preferred stones are marble, limestone, travertine and slate.
Polished Surface: A beautiful mirror-like finish achieved from polishing until the stone’s crystals shine brilliantly.It is the result of using progressively finer polishing heads during the polishing process. Granite, marble, limestone are typically used and requires maintenance to preserve the shine
Saw-cut, refined: a matte finish,where the stone is processed to remove heavy saw marks, but not enough to be honed. Granite, marble, limestone.
Split faced: a rough texture, not as abrasive as flamed. Achieved by hand cutting and chiseling at the quarry which exposes the natural cleft of the stone. Primarily done on slate.
Tumbled: smooth or slightly pitted surface, broken rounded edges and corners. Achieved by putting stones together in a machine and tumbling. Best suited to marble and limestone.
Stone flooring finishes also include the outer edge of each tile.There are two basic choices; straight edge or bull-nosed. The curved degree of the bull-nose can vary depending on your needs. There is also a chiseled edge which is a process that creates a weathered or antique look along the outer edges.
There is plenty to consider before a final stone floor decision can be made. But since quality stone tiles will last the lifetime of any house, its an investment that is well worth it. Contact your nearest designer, flooring store or Monarch Stone International for help in finding the stone that is right for your project.