Kitchen with natural stone details

Natural Stone Finishes

In the not too distant past, the world of home design limited the use of natural stone to a few materials—namely marble, limestone, or travertine for walls. Similarly, floors only had a few finishes: polished, honed, or brush hammered. 

Today, that’s not the case. The selection of available materials and finishes has expanded. Now, homeowners, builders, designers, and architects have several types of finishes to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics.

With so many options, it’s easy to grow overwhelmed. Fret not. Today, we’ll review our favorite stone finishes so that you can find the best option for your project. 

#1 Antico

A popular choice, an Antico finish sandblasts the stone’s surface, cutting crisp, square edges. This matte-textured surface is produced by projecting sand at the stone at high velocities. 

After the work is done, the result is a beautiful, textured, non-reflective exterior. Or, depending on your design preferences, you can also add designs or etchings to the surface. The square edges allow for precise tessellation, which provides a clean, geometric pattern when installed. 

This finish can be used on all stone but is ideal for:

  • Bone
  • Empire
  • Matchstick

#2 Artisan 

Exuding an old-world look, an Artisan finish replicates a time-worn feel you’d find with original and reclaimed flagstones. The stones are chipped by hand to provide an elegant, aged look that perfectly balances honed and distressed. 

Each stone has the look, tone, and texture of a classic stone but is still durable enough to withstand a modern building environment.

This finish is available for all stones.

#3 Brushed

To achieve a Brushed appearance, the stone is finished with a bush hammer. Pounding the stone’s surface breaks up the even perfection, giving the stone a fairly smooth, yet uneven surface with some texture and square edges. 

The Brushed finish emphasizes the depth, variation in color, and tone of the stone. This lets it complement a wide range of aesthetics, creating a naturalistic and “rougher” feel to the design of a space. This finish can be used on all stone but is ideal for:

  • Antique pewter
  • Bone
  • Charcoal
  • Danby
  • Empire
  • Latte
  • Matchstick
  • Montclair

#4 Chateau

A Chateau finish provides a polished, elegant look that’s a perfect pairing for bathrooms, powder rooms, and kitchens. The rounded edges soften the look, blending a contemporary style with old Italian luxury. It has a lightly abraded surface that’s completely tumbled.

This finish can be used on all stone but is ideal for: 

  • Carrara
  • Charcoal
  • Danby

#5 French Quarter

This finish replicates the authentic imperfections of an antique stone floor—weathered over time—with a rough, uneven surface and heavily chipped edges. 

French Quarter is an ideal choice when taking inspiration from Old-World Style—whether a French chateau or a Spanish plaza. The hand-chipped edges mean each piece has a unique design that gives every surface lived-in character.

This finish can be used on all stone but is ideal for:

  • Antique pewter
  • Charcoal
  • Crema
  • Latte
  • Montclair
  • Nero stones

#6 Flamed 

This is a difficult finish to create since it requires an intense heat application followed by immediate cooling. The unique process gives the stone a porous, rough, and textured surface. 

In the end, the finish blends a glassy modern and rustic aesthetic. The process can only be done with certain types of stone, and is ideal for Granite.

#7 Honed

One of the most popular finishes on the market, a Honed finish creates a smooth, filled surface with square edges. Smoother than Brushed—and with natural imperfections filled in—the Honed finish is among the most versatile and unobtrusive finishes available. It highlights the beauty inherent in natural stone while complementing nearly all surfaces.

This finish can be used on all stone but is ideal for: 

  • Bone
  • Empire 
  • Latte
  • Matchstick
  • Terrazzo tile

#8 Leathered

A Leathered stone finish is achieved by brushing the stone with several different types of brushes. The leathering process creates an undulating, pebbled surface with a soft and warm texture. It ends up looking like a matte piece of leather. This makes it ideal for bathrooms, bar tops, fireplaces, and certain tables. 

This finish can be used on all stone but is ideal for:

  • Granite
  • Quartzite
  • Some marbles 

#9 Maison

Like the French Quarter stone, this finish is meant to transport you back to a 17th-century villa or chateau. It replicates that Old-World Style with a time-worn and weathered look; however, it’s slightly more refined thanks to brushing. This technique gives a light smoothness to the surface that you won’t find with French Quarter. 

This finish can be used on all stone. 

#10 Matte

A matte finish has the lowest level of hone, giving it a clean and even design across the entire surface. In the right lighting, this gives the stone a soft glow, a subtle accent, and an understated elegance to any design. 

This finish is exclusive to Gesso tile.

#11 Metallic 

This type of special polished finish pairs perfectly with metallic paints, giving it a unique tactile and visual texture. The shiny quality makes it luminous and can be used with an array of bright metallic stone paints. 

Like Matte, this finish is exclusive to Gesso tile.  

#12 Polished

Our Polished finish offers a satin-smooth, glossy, and highly reflective surface with square edges. This finish reveals the true depth of colors and tones in natural stone, and the highly reflective surface can create a sense of high-end refinement. The square edges allow for clean lines and exact installation.

How To Select Your Very Own Hand-Hewn Stone Finishes 

When selecting a stone finish, it’s essential to consider both the design and the specific application. We recommend you adhere to a few guiding principles:

  • When selecting a finish type for flooring, you must consider the amount and type of foot traffic the area will receive. The rough surfaces of finishes like Antico or Chateau can be worn down over time in high traffic areas, while a glossy finish—like Polished—may create a slipping hazard if used in areas such as a wet bathroom floor.
  • Naturally, the concerns for a vertical application differ; while traction is no longer a consideration, the weight of the stone becomes a factor. Some finishes like French Quarter and Maison may have different minimum thickness requirements, which can increase their weight. 
  • The location of the installed project should also inform the finish selection. Interior projects are often more protected than those installed outside. Over time, those finishes can be worn away by elements like saltwater, freezing, or thawing.
  • Consider the frequency and ease of cleaning required when selecting a finish option. Those with rough surfaces—Antico, Artisan, Suede, etc.—may capture more dust and debris than others, while those with smoother, more polished surfaces—Honed, Polished, etc.—are more resistant to staining from spills.

Marketing Materials—Masters of Natural Stone Finishes 

Today, there’s an array of stone finishes available. From a bush hammered finish to a sandblasted finish, each one has its own unique character, design, and feel. This might leave you unsure how to proceed with your home design. However, understanding the different finish options available is the first step.

Do you need help deciding what the perfect natural finish is for your space? Are you interested in learning more about the nature of stone?

At Marketing Materials, we have the experts you need to select the perfect stone slab and finish for your project. To find out more, speak to one of our experts today!