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Honed Marble Countertops (Pros and Cons)

Here’s our honed marble countertops design guide including their pros and cons, durability, and sealing tips and ideas for better-looking kitchen countertops.
White and brown kitchen with stainless steel appliances pendant lights cabinets island brick backsplash and marble countertops One of the most attractive materials for countertops has got to be natural stone, and one of the most beautiful natural stone countertops out there are honed marble countertops.

Marble is a widely used natural stone building material that has been used by cultures all over the world for centuries now. Currently, it’s a popular material for countertops, especially for kitchens and bathrooms. 

Marble’s popularity can be chalked up to its attractive appearance. The most common color for marble is white, often with black or grey streaks or veins giving it a unique subtle pattern or mottling. Some also have goldish, bluish, or reddish streaks.  

Other natural colors that marble can come in are beige, grey, black, brown, green, yellow, and blue. There are some manufactured marble products out there that come in more colors, but for this post, we’re focusing on natural marble.

What Is A Honed Marble Finish?

Luxury kitchen with pendant lights white cabinets wood floors stainless steel appliances tile backsplash and island with honed marble countertops While marble can come in many colors, there are only two common types of marble used for countertops, honed and polished. 

Polished marble is marble that has gone through a polishing process. This creates a surface that is shiny and almost reflective. 

Honed marble, on the other hand, has a matte looking surface. The surface of the stone is ground and sanded to create a flat and relatively smooth surface. Honed marble countertops are less reflective than polished marble and look a little more natural. Read more about honed vs polished marble for more related information.

Honed Countertops Pros And Cons

Kitchen with custom white shaker cabinets long marble topped kitchen island with black leather stools over wide planked hardwood floor Beautiful surface – Honed marble countertops are durable as well as beautiful. As long as they are properly sealed, you should have no problem with staining, scratching, or etching.

Hide scratches – One reason why honed marble is popular for workspaces such as kitchen countertops is the fact that the matte surface of honed marble hides scratches. In contrast, the shiny reflective surface of polished marble will make scratches stand out and dull the marble.

Easy to clean – Marble is relatively easy to clean, all you need to do is use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe it down. First, wet the countertop with hot water, then follow that up with some non-acidic cleanser. 

Can stain – The matte surface of honed marble makes it a little slippery when wet. It is also more likely to absorb liquid, so, you should clean up spills as quickly as possible to prevent staining.

Spills should be cleaned immediately – It’s especially important to clean up any acidic liquids that land on your honed marble countertop. Acidic liquids can wear down calcite stones like marble. 

Is Marble Good For Kitchen Countertops?

View from kitchen to living room with grey tile floors sofa wood dining table marble kitchen counters and pendant lights in a modern flat interior If you are considering honed marble for your kitchen, you might be wondering, is marble good for kitchen countertops? Read more about the types of kitchen countertops here.

As we mentioned, the matte surface of honed marble is good for hiding scratches. This makes it a good material for a workspace, such as a kitchen counter. 

Marble is considered a particularly good material for kitchen countertops because it is naturally cool to the touch and relatively heat resistant. 

Though you want to avoid placing a pot or pan that came directly from the stove on your marble countertop, a slightly hot or warm dish – like a cooling pie — can safely be placed on your countertop. 

The fact that it is easy to clean also makes honed marble kitchen countertops attractive for the home cook or baker.

What might give some people pause over using honed marble for kitchen countertops is its porous nature and susceptibility to staining and etching. However, as long as you regularly seal your countertops and clean up quickly after any spills, honed marble should stand up to regular food preparation activities. 

Are Honed Marble Countertops Durable?

Kitchen with grey cabinets hardwood floors pendant lights island with marble countertop and bar stools and view of the stairs Honed marble countertops are durable and easy to maintain. As we mentioned, their matte surface ensures that any scratches that may occur are not as noticeable as they would be on a reflective surface such as polished marble. 

As long as they are regularly cleaned and sealed, marble countertops should last a lifetime. After all, the National Association of Home Builders states that natural stone countertops should last over 100 years and marble monuments and statues have been around for centuries. 

Sealing Honed Marble

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One disadvantage to honed marble countertops is that the surface of the marble is porous. Since it is porous, liquids can penetrate the surface of the countertop.  This is why sealing honed marble is an important part of marble countertop maintenance.

You should, of course, ask if the honed marble you are installing is sealed or not. Sealing marble is relatively simple, you or your contractor just needs to apply sealing material. You are then going to have to reseal your countertops every few years or so. 

One way to test if the sealing of your countertop is wearing out is to place a glass of cold, ice water on the surface. If the glass leaves behind beads of water or condensation, the seal is working. If, however, you see a dark ring, then you need to reseal your countertop.

If you know the sealant that was originally used in your countertop, you can also just check the label.  Depending on the sealing material that you use, you can probably get away with sealing honed marble countertops only every three to five years. 

Empty open space kitchen with two pendant ligths hang above kitchen island range brick backsplash hardwood floors grey walls and honed marble countertops Resealing your countertop is a relatively easy DIY project. First, you’re going to need to clean your countertop. This will ensure that the sealant is absorbed evenly by the marble’s surface.

Wait for your counter to dry, sealants adhere best to dry stone surfaces. When the counter is dry, apply a coat of the sealant using a soft cloth or soft brush. Again, read the label of your sealant to know the proper application technique.

The sealant label will also be able to tell you how much sealant should be applied. Some sealant manufacturers will advise you to apply only one coat of their product, other’s however, might recommend you apply two coats or more. 

Leave the sealed counter alone to dry. Again, the manufacturer label will have a recommended period for you to leave their product on. Then wipe down the countertop to remove any excess sealant or residue. 

Visit our guide on the cost of marble countertops for more related content.

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