Natural Stone Finishes Explained

Stone is a versatile material that can be used in a number of applications across a home including stone cladding, stone flooring, benchtops and even ceilings. However, certain types of stone are unsuitable for certain locations. For example, you may not want to use honed granite in your bathroom, as it can become extremely slippery when wet.

A finish can be applied to alter the surface of the stone, making it more practical to use around the home. A finish will alter the texture of the stone, changing the way it looks, feels and performs to the touch. If you still wanted to use granite for your bathroom floors, you could use a flamed granite finish which is exfoliated and grippy. To help you discover some natural stone finishes that would suit your own interior or exterior walls, we have listed 6 popular stone finishes below for you to explore.


Polished stone is achieved by exposing the natural stone to a number of treatments with abrasives, which are sharpening stones used to wear down and alter the surface of the stone. The stone is subject to friction which produces a sleek, shiny surface.

A polished finish can help to highlight the tones of the stone, bringing out the natural colours. It is commonly used in the interior of a home, either for the walls or flooring. However, using a polished finish in high traffic areas can result in the polished finish becoming worn down, so it’s important to consider where exactly you want to use it. It is also used for many modern bench tops and counters as it produces a smooth, sleek appearance. It is not recommended for outdoor applications due to the surface becoming slippery when in contact with water.


To achieve a honed finish, the stone is grinded and sanded down to produce a smooth surface with a matte appearance to it. Honed stone is considered to be one of the best finishes you can apply for high traffic, indoor areas. It’s also low maintenance as a honed finish is not reflective, meaning that marks become less visible. It’s also a popular choice for stone walling and bench tops due it’s smooth, satin appearance.


A flamed finish is created by applying a high temperature flame to the surface of the stone. This creates something known as ‘thermal shock’ which is essentially the stone rapidly heating up at a certain point. This results in the surface fracturing, which creates a strong, rough texture that is ideal for outdoor applications. Due to the textured surface, the stone becomes exfoliated and extremely grippy, making it great to use for outdoor pavers or around pool areas.


Natural finish is used to describe stone that has been cut by hand. This is generally used for cobblestone and cladding, producing a simple yet eye-catching finish that produces a natural feel to your walls or flooring. A natural finish is a popular choice for veneer stone cladding, mainly used throughout the walls of a home.


A tumbled finish is commonly achieved by placing the stones into a large rubber drum with fine rocks, sand and water. The drum is then turned consistently for up to five weeks to tumble the stone. However, larger sections of stone must be hand chiselled. A tumbled finish is mainly used to create an aged appearance for natural stone. For this reason, it is best suited to highly resistant natural stones, such as travertine, limestone and marble. It is a highly popular finish due to the rustic, timeless appearance. It creates a chalky feel with dulled colours, however the colours can be rejuvenated with the use of topical sealers if required. Tumbled stone is often used for stone feature walls to create a strong point of difference and contrast either inside or outside the home.


A sandblasted finish is used to describe stone that has undergone a high-pressure treatment combining water and sand. It creates a fine texture on the surface of the stone, making it a popular choice for outdoor settings. It is commonly used in stone walling to create textured exterior walls. The sandblasting also reduces the intensity of the colour and the natural characteristics of the stones surface, giving the stone a weathered feel.

With years of experience in the industry, Stone101 is one of the most reputable stone suppliers in Melbourne. Explore our stunning collection of stone walling and veneer stone cladding or pavers to find a stone finish that will suit your interior or exterior design. If you’re interested in learning more about our wide range of natural stone products or you want to discuss some design options for your home, please contact us today.

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