Different Stone Finishes for a Variety of Looks
From hand tools to machinery—and even open flames—the process for finishing natural cut stone products is one of the many ways Kafka helps customize your project. And while each of these approaches differs from start to finish, they share one thing in common: every finish adds multi-faceted value to your stone projects.
Also known as a flamed finish, a thermal finish is produced by running a high-temperature flame over a moistened stone surface. Layers of the stone flake away due to the expansion of the moisture, resulting in a textured surface. This material loss causes the blunt edges and corners to slightly soften and smooth. Once treated, the thermal finish process produces a subtle, non-skid texture that is an excellent choice for stone walking surfaces like flagstone and thermal-top steps and treads. The act of thermalling also further accentuates the natural character of the stone, which also makes it a preference for purely aesthetic reasons.
Bush Hammer Finish
Stones are “bush hammered” using a repeated impact method, which causes the surface of the stone to develop a rougher texture. Consequently, bush-hammered finished stone provides more slip resistance than other finishes while still achieving a visually appealing, robust texture. Bush-hammered stone finishes are a popular choice for natural stone steps and flagstone, especially in commercial or high traffic areas.
The sawn finish gets its name from the means by which it is applied – that is, the sawing of the stone to create a flat, sleek surface. Unlike some other methods, the process of applying a sawn finish doesn’t require treatments. You’ll find that many stone products will come standard sawn on one or more sides, depending on the order or purpose. When sawn on top and bottom, stone slabs may be easily stacked and installed for a variety of applications. Sawn finishes will show fine lines of the saw on the surface of the stone.
For a stone surface with a clean, contemporary, and easy to clean surface, a honed stone finish is a classic option. Finished by way of grinding and sanding, these surfaces are smooth but not glossy and complement both exterior and interior environments. Honed finishes are commonly applied to more contemporary coping and sill, or to elevate fireplace mantels and hearths.
Using a rock hammer or pitching tool, our experts chip away at the face of the stone slab to produce a rugged-yet-crafted, natural appearance. This process is known as rock-facing. Rock-facing is typically reserved for the edges or faces of a natural stone product. You’ll commonly find rock-faces on Kafka’s natural stone thermal-top steps, treads, caps, and sill.