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Honed vs. Polished Marble for Bathroom Floors

Marble can add a magnificent look to any bathroom.

When it comes to marble flooring, there are two main types which are honed and polished. Either finish will have the potential to look exquisite on your bathroom floor. It will come down to the look and finish of the rest of your bathroom and your own personal tastes.

By being informed of the differences between these two types of marble, you can make a wise choice for your bathroom flooring.


What Is a Honed Marble Floor?

Honing is an abrasive machining process used to improve the surface of a stone. Honed marble gives you a satiny smooth finish. Honed marble does not reflect much light and may appear more like a matte finish and be lighter in color.

Pros of Honed Marble Floors

  • Durability

The main reason to choose a honed marble finish is the durability that honed has over polished marble. Honed marble is more scratch-resistant than polished surfaces. Marble also does a great job of hiding or fading any scratches that do occur.

  • Light resistance

Honed marble does not reflect much light. If the rest of your bathroom is in a darker color palette or has a matte finish, you would want the floors to match. A polished floor with matte walls would not blend together.

  • Smooth finish

Honed finishes are known for their velvety finish that is smooth to the touch. Besides durability, the finish of honed marble is a primary reason it is chosen over a polished finish. It will provide you with a softer, more elegant look.

  • Less Slippery

Another benefit that honed marble has over polished is that honed finishes are less slippery when wet. As bathroom floors are bound to get wet, you would want a surface that is less likely to cause an accident.

What Is a Polished Marble Floor?

Stone polishing machines create polished marble finishes. This process results in a piece of stone with a luxurious shine. Polished surfaces are a classic look that shimmer and shine and blend well with stainless steel fixtures and most bathrooms.

Pros of Polished Marble Floors

  • Less Expensive

Polished marble will cost you less than honed marble. This is because polished marble is more common than its honed sibling, resulting in a lower price.

  • Less Maintenance

Though polished marble is more easily scratched, the polishing process closes the pores in the stone. This means that your polished marble floor will require less maintenance and re-sealing than a honed floor.

  • Blends with most bathrooms

Since a polished look is more common, it is most likely to blend with the finishes already in your bathroom. The only exception would be a dark or matte finished bathroom. But other than that, polished marble will look amazing in most bathrooms.

  • Shade and Color Variation

With polished marble flooring, your choices in colors and shades easily outnumber your honed marble options. This also helps assist in blending your floor into the other finishes in your bathroom.

Things To Consider When Choosing Marble Floors

Both honed and polished marble have their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing a stone slab such as marble for your flooring is a durable, long-lasting choice.

But marble is not a perfect material. Regardless of whether you settle on a honed or polished finish for your marble flooring, there are some things, in general, you should consider. 


Maintenance is an essential factor to consider for any marble floor. Though marble is a luxury material once used in castles, it is not the easiest flooring material to maintain. Marble requires regular cleaning, and once a year, it will need to be re-sealed.


Marble is a beautiful material to have in your home, but you will have to pay for this beauty. Marble is more expensive than most flooring options. Laminate, ceramic, and porcelain are all viable flooring options that may not look as marvelous as marble but will cost you less money.

Slip Resistance

One factor to be aware of when choosing a floor for your bathroom is slip resistance. Most slip and fall accidents in your home happen in the bathroom. You will want to be aware of how slippery the marble you are purchasing is. Generally, polished marble will always be slippier than honed marble.


Though stone flooring is thought of as one of the most durable options of all types of stone flooring marble is the most fragile. Marble is a durable material much tougher than fiberglass or acrylic. But marble is not as tough as granite. Marble will maintain its durability over time, but there are tougher stone materials to choose from.

Marble Alternatives for Your Bathroom Floor


Quartz is an engineered or human-made stone that does not occur naturally. Quartz has been used for countertops, but it also makes an excellent material for bathroom floors.

Quartz resembles marble, but it will cost you less. Quartz has the durability and slip-resistance that can be compared to granite and amazingly does not require the annual re-sealing that marble does.

White Concrete

White concrete gives you all the benefits of concrete with a bright white finish. Of all the alternatives on this list, white concrete looks the least like marble, but a small resemblance is there.

White concrete will not cost you much more than regular concrete, making it the least expensive alternative listed here. If you want the bright, shimmering finish of polished marble at a lower price, white concrete would be your solution.

Faux Marble

Faux marble is ceramic or porcelain tiles that are manufactured to look just like marble. Faux marble does a great job at imitating marble and looks strikingly close to the genuine article. With faux marble, you gain the look of marble with all the benefits of tile. This means you will not have to re-seal your floors every year.


Quartzite, not to be confused with quartz, is a stone that you can find in nature. Sandstone under high heat and pressure is transformed into quartzite.

This material is one of the most durable flooring options available. However, quartzite is extremely heavy, which can make for a challenging installation process. Quartzite also possesses a look quite similar to marble.


Marble can supply your home with an exquisite classical look while still retaining a decent amount of durability. There are more durable and cheaper flooring options out there. But if you love the look of marble and have the money to spend on it, re-sealing your floors once a year is a small price to pay for the beauty this stone can bring to your home.

Whether you choose a honed or polished finish, you will have a fantastic floor for your bathroom. And regardless of the finish, with proper care and maintenance, you will have chosen a material that can last for the life of your bathroom.

James B. Parker

At a young age, James' father taught him carpentry, and he was pretty much destined for a career in the construction industry. He worked as a professional remodeling contractor for some of the most prominent construction companies for several years, before deciding to pursue his passion for writing.

A vast amount of construction experience allows James to provide practical advice for those considering a bathroom remodel.

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