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Understanding natural stone finishes.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to surface finishes. When choosing a natural stone, initial considerations are its colours, texture, and format. However, whether the project is commercial or residential, it is imperative to understand the stone’s finish and select one with an appropriateness for the intended space and its intended use(s). Australia has one of the strictest guidelines around slip ratings in the world, under scoring the importance of selecting the appropriate finish to attain the correct slip rating.

The following serves as a guide to aid in understanding finishes and choosing the right one for your project. The below textures are applied to Adelaide Black for example purposes. Any of the below finishes can be applied to any other Australian stone. It is also important to note that any of the finishes listed below can be used in combination with each other resulting in altered colours and textures of the stone.


External Finishes

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    Adelaide Black
    Exfoliated South Australia
  • StoneScanner-Adelaide-Black-Bushhammered-1.jpeg
    Adelaide Black
    Bush Hammered South Australia
  • Adelaide-Black-Sandblasted.jpeg
    Adelaide Black
    Sandblasted South Australia


The exfoliated finish, also referred to as flamed, is commonly applied to granites to enhance their slip resistance. This finish is achieved by subjecting the surface to a high-temperature flame, inducing thermal shock causing the inherent crystals to fracture, resulting in a deeply textured and rough finish.

Bush Hammered 

The bush-hammered finish is a texturing method applied to stone surfaces. It utilises as pecialised tool, whether operated by hand or machine, with pointed, hammer-like tips to produce a rough, pitted surface. This finish typically crystallises the stone’s surface, resulting in a lighter colour in comparison to other external finishes.


Sandblasted finish is achieved by using high-pressure air and sand to blast the surface of the stone. This process creates a textured, matte appearance by wearing away the outer layer of the stone, leaving a rough and buffered looking surface.

External Finishes

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    Adelaide Black
    Pineapple South Australia
  • StoneScanner-Adelaide-Black-Scratched-1.jpeg
    Adelaide Black
    Scratched South Australia
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    Adelaide Black
    Natural Split South Australia
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    Adelaide Black
    Tumbled South Australia

Natural Split 

A natural split finish is a process that takes advantage of the stone’s natural grain and inherent fractures. This method typically involves splitting the stone along its natural bedding planes or cleavage lines, creating a textured, rocky and uneven surface. The result is a rustic and organic appearance with irregularities that showcase the natural character of the stone.


Scratched finish is a texturing technique that involves intentionally creating a series of shallow scratches or grooves on the surface of the stone. This process is typically achieved using abrasive tools, such as brushes or diamond pads which are applied to the stone surface. The result is a textured appearance with visible linear scratches, adding a distinctive and tactile quality to the stone. Scratched finishes are often chosen for aesthetic reasons, as they can provide a unique and contemporary look to surfaces textures.


Resembling the texture of a pineapple, the Pineapple finish is crafted by hand, employing a chisel and hammer to carve sizable pits into the stone’s surface. The finish is time consuming and achieves a highly textured surface.


Tumbled finish is achieved through a tumbling process that imparts a weathered appearance to natural stone, rounding off edges and creating a smooth, aged texture. Popular for its rustic charm, this finish can be used in diverse number applications, both internal and externally.


Sawn finish is achieved by using a diamond saw embedded with industrial diamonds. These diamond-tipped saws precisely cut the stone, creating a buffed and uniform surface with a high slip rating.

Internal Finishes

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    Adelaide Black
    Polished South Australia
  • StoneScanner-Adelaide-Black-Honed-1.jpeg
    Adelaide Black
    Honed South Australia


Using grinding and sanding methods with different abrasive grades, honed finish on natural stone presents a smooth, matte and satin like appearance. The finish typically dulls the prominence of veining and imparts a subdued tone to the overall colour of the stone.


A polished finish for natural stone is achieved through a process of grinding and buffing, resulting in a glossy and reflective surface. This highly smooth and lustrous appearance enhances the stone’s colours and patterns, making it a popular choice for interior applications like kitchen bench tops and internal flooring.


Resembling the weathered look of an antique finish, the brushed stone finish is achieved by mechanically brushing the stone with hard nylon or steel, often combined with water. The degree of brushing determines the texture, typically resulting in a smooth and rippled surface. This finish is commonly employed in conjunction with various internal and external finishes.