issues With Honed and Light Colored Stone


We recently completed a commercial restoration project in Toronto where we ran across some challenges in keeping the honed white marble floor clean at all times, where heavy traffic occurs on a daily basis.


When dealing with a honed floor, low sheen, you should expect that the frequency of cleaning will have to be increased in order to keep the floor looking clean and void of marks, dirt, etc. Low sheen, honed/matte finishes create an open or porous state and are susceptible to attracting and holding onto dirt, grime, etc. Therefore, it becomes a challenge to keep the surface looking clean at all times. As the sheen increases, the surface becomes easier to keep clean and maintains it’s clean appearance for a longer period of time.


A honed finish on the surface of the stone is a satin smooth surface with relatively little light reflection. Our mechanical process can alter the level of sheen, suited to the customer’s preference. Generally, a honed finish is preferred for most floors, where heavy traffic is constant and tends to wear off the polished finish. Additionally, a honed finish provides for increased traction and minimizes the likelihood of slip, trip or fall when the surface is wet caused by a spill or in the course of being cleaned. Honed finishes can also be used on counters and other surfaces.


A polished finish has a gloss surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the stone. This type of finish is commonly found on counters, walls and floors.


It’s necessary to perform maintenance on the floors through scheduled cleaning, specific procedures and inspections performed on a daily, weekly or other regular basis to keep the stone in proper condition. Knowing the type of stain (organic, oil-based, etc.) will help identify the proper stain removal technique needed. Also, the level of stains or spills the stone can be exposed to will play a role in determining the application of the sealer.


Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts


When discussing care and cleaning procedures with your maintenance staff, there are recommended do’s and don’ts that should always be followed:


·         Do dust mop floors frequently

·         Do clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap.

·         Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface with clean, clear water after washing.

·         Do blot up spills immediately.

·         Do protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats or area rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets, or placemats.

·         Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces.

·         Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.

·         Don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.

·         Don’t ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.

·         Don’t use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the stone’s surface.


The following photos will illustrate the different sheen finishes.