Stone Finishes Various Stones

Close Up of Split Face Stone

Finishing Natural Stone in Various Ways

When researching your new stone counter top selection, no doubt you will be learning about the different kinds of stone. There are many kinds of stone available and the color choices are numerous. Yet, a stone’s appearance can also be impacted by the kind of finish that it has. This post will look some of the stone finishes that are found in the stone industry.

In this series of articles, I will talk about some industry terms that describe  different cuts. These cuts contribute to the variety of stone finishes that are seen in homes all over.

The first aspect of stone finishes that we will talk a bit about is the method that is used to cut the stone. Then in the next article I will talk a little bit about the various treatments that affect the stone’s finish.

Cut Affects Stone Finishes

How a stone is cut leaves a distinctive pattern on that stone’s surface. The pattern can be visual and then be treated afterward, or it can be textured from the the cut itself.

  • Split Face
  • Fleuri Cut (A.K.A. Cross Cut)
  • Vein Cut

Let’s take a look at these three kinds of cuts briefly.

The Split Face Finish

Stone Finishes - Split Face
Stones with a Split Face finish look very rustic and have texture. This cut can be created by hand or by a machine, but either way, it has a simple rough face and looks primitive, yet appealing. As a result, it is featured in any outdoor structures and decor. The split face finish looks like it just came out of the quarry. This finish is often used for cladding.

Fleuri (or Cross) Cut

Stone Finishing - Cross Cut or Fleuri Cut
The Fleuri Cut is very noticeable and easy to spot once you learn what it looks like. So, with a little research, you can identify a Fleuri Cut stone easily. The marks of this style of cut produce markings on the face of the stone that follow a ringed pattern as opposed to a linear pattern. This cut can be used for travertine and other limestone to highlight color variations in a pattern that is less uniform than others.

Vein Cut

Vein Cut Shows Banding
The Vein Cut results in a much different pattern from the Fleuri Cut and give s a unique look and feel to the stone. It is the opposite of cross cutting the stone and involves cutting it in such a way that the resulting pattern is more linear and less wavy in its appearance.
So, as we have seen, something as simple as how the stone gets portioned can have a tremendous impact on the finish of the stone. Yet, the method of cutting the stone is just one factor. How the stone gets treated after it is cut can also reveal the effects of the treatment as we will see in the second part of this article.

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