Q: What are some common finishes?

A: A polished finish has sharp reflections and is considered a mirror gloss. A honed finish means the stone has been textured with abrasive heads making for a dull sheen that can vary from light to heavy. Flamed or thermal finishes change the color of the stone as the plane surface is finished at a high temperature by mechanically controlled operations that ensure uniformity. Similarly the water jet flamed finish allows for more of the natural color to show through a uniformly textured finish. When a stone is split into any number of thicknesses, a cleavage face forms, this is called a natural cleft finish. Slate is a common example of a material that is cleft or honed.  When a machine is used to grind a material into a specific thickness using circular abrasives the finish is called gauged.