Polish & Finishing

Polishing and finishing are crucial steps in enhancing the appearance and surface quality of natural stone. These processes involve refining the stone's texture, achieving the desired sheen or finish, and enhancing its natural beauty. Various tools and techniques are used to accomplish these tasks.

Polishing

Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and reflective surface on the stone.

  • Diamond polishing pads: These pads consist of diamond-impregnated resin or metal bond segments. They are attached to a handheld polisher or a polishing machine. The pads are available in different grit levels, ranging from coarse to fine, to gradually refine the stone's surface.
  • Polishing compounds: Specialized polishing compounds or powders may be used in conjunction with the diamond pads to aid in achieving a high-gloss finish.
  • Wet polishing: Water is often used during the polishing process to cool the stone and prevent dust particles from becoming airborne.

Finishing

Finishing involves the final treatment applied to the stone's surface to achieve the desired texture and appearance.

  • Honing: Honing creates a smooth, satin-like finish. It involves using diamond pads with a lower grit level compared to polishing. Honed surfaces have a slight sheen but are less reflective than polished surfaces.
  • Brushing: Brushing involves using abrasive brushes or pads to create a textured or antique finish. It can result in a variety of textures, such as leathered, brushed, or flamed finishes.
  • Leathering: Leathering is a finishing technique that gives the stone's surface a textured, leather-like appearance. It involves using diamond brushes or pads to create a subtle, consistent texture.
  • Flaming: Flaming is a process primarily used on granite. It involves applying intense heat to the stone's surface, causing the crystals to burst and creating a textured, rough finish.
  • Sandblasting: Sandblasting uses a high-pressure stream of abrasive material, such as sand or grit, to create a rough or textured surface.
  • Bush hammer Finish: Bush hammer is a surface covered with numerous pyramid-shaped points or carbide tips. The tool is typically attached to a handheld grinder or a power hammer. The resulting texture of a bush hammer finish can vary, depending on factors such as the hardness and composition of the stone, the size and spacing of the points on the bush hammer, and the force applied during the process. The finish typically has a rough and pitted appearance, resembling the texture of natural weathering.

Tools

The choice of tools for polishing and finishing can vary based on the specific stone type and the desired result. Some common tools used in the process include:

  • Handheld polishers or angle grinders: These tools are often used for smaller projects or intricate areas.
  • Floor polishing machines: These are large, heavy-duty machines used for polishing large surfaces such as floors or countertops.
  • Diamond polishing pads: As mentioned earlier, diamond pads of various grit levels are used to achieve the desired smoothness and sheen.
  • Abrasive brushes: Different types of brushes, such as nylon or steel brushes, are used for brushing or leathering finishes.
  • Sandblasting equipment: This includes a sandblasting gun or nozzle, along with an air compressor and abrasive material.
  • Flaming equipment: This includes a flaming gun or nozzle, along with an oxygen cylinder for the fuel.