Honed or Polished Marble? - Please help!

kfroddyFebruary 26, 2010

I've decided on all carrara marble tiles in the two bathrooms we're remodeling. In the master, I'm going with a herringbone mosaic (1x2") on the floor and subways (3x6) with a mini brick trim on the walls. In the hall bath, I'm using subways on the walls and a basketweave mosaic with black accents on the floor.

Should I choose honed or polished? Is one more durable/less susceptible to etching and stains? Does one respond better to sealing? Should I use honed on floor and polished on walls? Because I'm using mosaics on the floors, I'm not concerned about the floors being too slippery if we go with polished, and I'm not really that concerned with stains -- (although I do have a toddler boy learning to potty train and a puppy is in our future, so maybe I should be worried about urine stains.)

Any guidance you can give would be great! Thanks!

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rookie_2010

I have 2 bathrooms that are getting quite a bit of calacatta gold marble in them. I did a ton of research, I don't have any practical experience with them since the tiles aren't in yet. I'm also putting it on the floor (1'inch hex), shower walls, vanity tops. I guess I fell in love with it.....
What I've learned is that the polished shows etching more than a honed finish will. I went with all honed because I noticed that my mother-in-law's polished marble bathroom has worn polish in concentrated, more heavily used areas. It's not that her stone is worn, just the polish. I think the polish just adds another layer of maintenance. I could be way off point though, since, again, I have NO experience with it yet.

The polished floor mosaics looks so pretty with all the light reflecting off of them though! I thought about it myself but had already exhausted my courage and bravery by selecting marble in the first place.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 9:57AM
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mongoct

Polished can show off the veining of marble better than honed.

Polished will be more slippery than honed, especially if wet.

Polished will show dirt, scratches, smudges and smears more than honed.

Honed is more porous than polished, so it's easier to stain.

Etching that occurred on polished would be more visible than etching on honed.

Polished on walls and honed on floors is fairly common in bathrooms. Once or twice when polished has been installed on floors I've come back and sanded the polished to knock the "gloss" down to "honed".

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 10:11AM
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sweeby

If you're doing a marble mosaic, I'd choose:
- polished for WALLS for the 'sparkle' factor, and
- honed for FLOORS for the superior slip-resistance and wear-gracefully aspects.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 12:10PM
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busybee3

mongoct, did you sand the polished floors to make them less slippery??? when we lived in ct, we had polished marble floors in the m bathroom(there seemed to be ALOT of marble used up there) and i don't remember them being slippery at all. we always use a bathmat... i am planning to use polished marble on our floors again, with the use of a couple of rugs...wasn't worried until have been browsing the forum...are certain polished marbles more slippery than others???

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 1:52PM
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mongoct

busybee,

The polished was taken down to honed because the owner got tired of seeing any imperfections in the reflection on the polished marble. Smears, smudges, etc.

The more a floor is polished, the finer the surface and the more slippery it could become, so it depends on the degree of polishing.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 5:41PM
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blondelle

Honed floors can go in the opposite direction which is they might get shinier in areas of more wear. I was told that honed granite can do this and that's much harder than marble. Polished marble floors that show wear areas can always be repolished again to bring up the gloss to an even level. If it's a small area it might even be DIY with the right tools.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 12:01PM
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busybee3

thanks! think i'll go with the polished.........

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 1:34PM
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writersblock

Have you seen this in real life, blondelle? Just curious. I can see it as a theoretical possibility but all the old marble floors I've ever seen just look worn, not shiny.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 11:08AM
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mondragon

I put in Home Depot polished marble tiles on the bathroom floor and shower walls. I understand the hypothetical issues but since I've usually got bath rugs down and the marble (it's the pink stuff from a few years ago) has some movement, I don't notice any specific wear.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 5:41PM
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kfroddy

Thanks everyone! I got some samples, and I'll have to say that the polished really does show the veining off so much better than honed. The honed carrara I'm looking at is much more white than the same tile polished. That said, I think I'm going to go with honed on the floors and tub deck, and polished on the walls for maintenance reasons.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 10:32AM
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