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Natural Stone & Porcelain Tile Help & Advice

What Are Honed Stone Tiles?

Honed is a term associated with the finish of natural stone tiles, a honed finish is even, smooth in texture, and generally matte, as opposed to a polished finish which is a shiny and glossy.

Natural stones tiles start life as large blocks typically measuring 3m by 2m, with lighter Travertine blocks weighing from 7000kg, to heavier Granite blocks weighing in at over 18000kg. Blocks are inspected for cracks and flaws, and tested for hardness and durability before being shipped to a processing plant.

Creating Honed Finished Tiles

After the blocks are cut into slabs, the surface finish is decided. Working on one slab at a time, the slabs are laid horizontally on a large conveyor line called a 'polishing' line. The slabs pass under heads fitted with diamond/ grit abrasive pads which grind away the rough surface, starting with very coarse grades and graduating to finer grades. Depending on the finish required, and the toughness of the material, the process is repeated a number of times. If a honed (matt) finish is required the process stops with courser grades than if a polished surface is required.

Travertine and limestone slabs, and some marbles, will receive a cementicous or epoxy compound to fill the naturally occurring pits in the stone. Part of the way through the process, slabs of granite and marble will receive a coating of a resin treatment which will fill in any pockmarks and blemishes which are inherent to the stone.

Honed kitchen floor tiles are particularly popular at StoneStore, where a selection of travertine, limestone and marbles are available in this smooth matt finish. The honing process unveils the natural colour tones and characteristics of natural stone tiles. Marble kitchen tiles which are cut so the intricate detail of veins are exposed, and limestone tiles are cut exposing unique fossil detail, the action of honing enhances the unique properties of all types of rock.

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