Focus on the Finish

Polished, honed or leathered… let your personality pick the perfect finish for your natural stone surface.
Aug 1, 2014
Jennifer Blomquist
Steve Vorderman
Focus on the Finish

Mike Sorg believes that when it comes to picking out the finish on a natural stone surface, a picture doesn’t do it justice.

“I highly recommend you come into our shop and look at and touch the different surfaces,” says Sorg, owner of Classic Marble & Stone in Hoagland, Indiana.

“When people come in, we educate them about the different finishes and why they might or might not work for their purposes,” Sorg explains. “But most importantly, we listen to what the customer likes and guide them to something that matches their personality.”

The three choices are polished, honed or leathered.

“Polished is just that, it’s shiny and smooth,” says Sorg. “A honed finish is also smooth, but has a matte look. And a leathered finish is brushed and has some texture to it. I tell people it has an old world look.”

Carolyn Johnson, sales representative for Classic Marble, suggests that you decide on the surface finish you want by considering the room that the surface will be in, because different finishes lend themselves to different kinds of decor.

Johnson says a leathered finish and a casual or rustic style room go hand-in-hand.

“The leathered look is becoming more popular for people wanting something unique,” she says. “It would be appropriate for a bar setting. It also works nicely for an outdoor kitchen or small bathroom.”

Another unique feature that Johnson says works well with a leathered finish is a chiseled edge, or a rocked edge as it’s called at Classic Marble.

“Our shop makes chiseled or rocked edges unique because we have a multiple step process that keeps the edge soft. At a glance, a rocked edge looks like it’s natural and chiseled,” Johnson explains. “But because we can keep the edge soft, you don’t have to worry about snagging your blouse on it.”

Johnson says, by far, the most popular finish is polished, which looks best in a more formal setting. But Johnson says there are a lot of people who don’t like shiny surfaces, so a honed finish takes the edge off that shine.

“Mixing colors and finishes is very popular,” adds Johnson. “You can have a darker, more subtle stone on the outer countertops in your kitchen to frame your island, or you could go with a more exotic stone that has a lot of movement and variation.”

Johnson says the majority of the stone colors brought in for the Midwest are fairly neutral: whites, tans, grays, black, chocolates and golds. That way, it never goes out of style.

“Some products have unique colors, but in time they go out of style and make your house look dated,” she explains.

Both Johnson and Sorg spend a lot of time educating customers about their options and, in turn, they encourage their customers to put a lot of thought into their decision.

“You have to think about this as an investment,” Sorg explains. “Natural stone surfaces are timeless and they can stay in your home for as long as you live.” 

Classic Marble & Stone

Address: 10450 Bruick Drive, Hoagland, Indiana 46745

Phone: (260) 639-3872


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