There is an additional benefit to polishing natural stone. We all know that when natural stone is polished, you see more shine (duh). Polishing also removes light scratches as well as acid etch marks. However, did you know that polishing stone also brings out the natural color of the stone? The colors become enhanced and the color appears more pronounced. Reds become deeper, fuller reds; grays become darker and bolder, and so on.



The Marble Institute of America (now the Natural Stone Institute) defines Polishing as “a process using specially formulated polishing powders, other abrasives (such as diamonds), or crystallization in order to restore any stone floor to its original shine and luster.”

They also go on to define a “Polished Finish” as “A glossy surface finish that brings out the full color and character of the stone.”

Zebra limestone
Zebra Limestone Floor


One small exception is the stones that do not have a pronounced color, for example Carrara white marble. When natural stones do not have an obvious color, the color does not enhance when it is polished. This is one of the reasons why many customers choose a honed finish over a polished finish when it comes to lighter colored stones. Whether Carrara marble is honed or polished, you can still enjoy the bright, clean color of the white marble.


Going back to our stone surfaces with bold colors: as a natural stone floor wears, the shine and the color diminish. It is our job, as a stone restoration company, to polish these worn areas to restore the stone to its original shiny and colorful appearance.  If you have a colorful stone countertop, such as a black or dark gray marble, you may also notice that acid etch marks not only remove the shine, but also dull the color. Again, this is when the stone would need to be re-polished in order to re-instate the color and shine.

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Etched Black Stone Bar Top


For my readers that have a textured stone floor such as flamed granite, slate or flagstone, you also have a way to enhance the color, but the process is very different. Check out our blog, “Don’t Just Seal It, Enhance It.


If you have a dulled stone surface that is in need of restoration, please give International Stoneworks a call or e-mail us. We would be happy to come to your home or building and restore your natural stone to a gorgeous finish.

Travertine polished honed
Polished and Honed Travertine