Honing Travertine…Travertine Honing
What IS travertine honing and do you need to hone YOUR travertine or natural stone floor? Well, if you have an uneven shine, etch marks, dull spots or scratches, then yes, honing is a necessary step prior to polishing. Many of our clients confuse polishing and honing. They go into our appointment thinking that their floor just needs a good cleaning & maybe a light polish to remove those nasty drip marks and dull spots. “Why can’t I wipe this spot off my floor with a paper towel or a rag?” I wind up breaking the bad news…cleaning and polishing will not remove those small dull spots that can only be seen at certain angles. They must be honed out.
Honing is a term we use to describe a process whereby we remove the damaged layer of stone. We do this by using a very abraisive pad on our floor machine followed by our rinse extraction machine. This honing process removes etch marks, small scratches and allows for a more even finish. We encourage honing in high traffic areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms and walkways. If you decide not to hone your travertine prior to polishing your floor, then the finish may not be as even and the deeper etch marks will be seen at certain angles. Honing travertine, or any natural stone, prior to polishing will give the best results.
Polishing is just the opposite of honing. Polishing travertine, or any stone, is meant to bring the shine level up. If you were to look at the surface of travertine under a microscope, dull travertine would be very bumpy while shiny travertine would be very flat. This ‘flatness’ enables the stone to reflect light, which makes it shiny. We polish travertine, marble, and limestone using a series of diamond abrasives which allow us to offer a variety of finishes to our customers.
In closing, honing removes the damaged top layer allowing for a beautiful shine after it is polished. It removes dull spots, minor scratches and gives you an even shine after polishing. Honing will not remove lipage. Lipage, is when one tile is higher than the next. Lipage removal requires grinding using extremely aggressive abrasives.