Materials and finishes

By Marble Unlimited Inc. /


Materials and finishes

The utility of a space is vital when choosing the materials to use when designing a project. Polished and matte are the most common surface finishes we see in the market, but there are many other finishes that can be applied to stones depending on the use and look we want them to bring into the project.


We’ve put together a small list with the top stone finishes, which material works for them, and how to best incorporate them into your design:


Natural Cleft: When stones like limestone or marbles are extracted with a parallel cut of their layers they can be used without any artificial finish. This type of finish or none finish - to phrase it correctly- will bring a natural and rustic matte look to your home and is a great application for exteriors like paths, patios or swimming pools as it will provide a natural anti-slipping quality. 



Polished Finish:  Grinding, sanding and buffing produces a high gloss, mirror-like surface. Polished stones are extremely resistant. Colors and markings of natural stones are enhanced through this process. However, this type of finish can only be used in crystallized stones, such as marble and granite. A polished finish is recommended for indoor fireplaces, countertops, lavatory and table tops and wall coverings. This particular stone aesthetic is associated with high luxury so it will add an extra value to your stone and therefore your property. 



Matte Finish: In the stone industry, matte finish is referred to as a honed texture finish.  Usually, honed stones are slip-resistant and scratch-resistant making them a great addition for high traffic applications. It is recommended for indoor flooring, bathrooms and kitchen splashes. It works great in almost every natural stone; it can remove the natural shine on stones like marble, quartzite or granite and enhance the beauty of travertine and limestone. It is one of the finishes that best absorbs the sealers that are applied to protect the stones. 



Leather Finish: As its name implies this type of finish will give your surface a leather look and feel. It works better in granite but some varieties or marble and quartzite can also be submitted to this process. It is ideal for bathrooms, bar tops, living room details and fireplaces.  A leather finish will bring a very unique aesthetic to your home as its texture can vary from slab to slab.  



Sandblasted Finish: The sandblasting process consists on exposing the surface of a natural stone to a high pressure jet of water mixed with sand. This treatment softens the color and characteristic of the original stone giving it a smooth granular relief.  It is an ideal technique to create slip-resistance surfaces and it is used for exteriors or outdoor areas. It works particularly well for outdoor showers and bathrooms. Marble, limestone and quartzite can be subdued to this process.  



Split Face:  This treatment is achieved by splitting the stone to exhibit a natural quarry texture uncovering reliefs and irregularities, it creates an uneven look of bricks. Mainly used for cladding although it can be used for interiors with a rural design aesthetic. It works great for kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls. Not all stones can be subjected to this process, it only works with marble, limestone and certain granites. 



Flamed:  The flamed finish gives the rock a rough and very natural appearance. Applied mostly to granite. High heat from a direct flame is applied to the stone causing the mineral crystals to pop out creating a glassy surface with a rustic look without changes in color or characteristics. Great for exterior purposes like walkaways or patios. 



Enter our virtual library and find beautiful stones for your upcoming project. Don't forget to talk to your fabricator and contractors! They can guide you in choosing the finish that best matches your design aesthetic and usage.