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Polished vs Saw Cut: Learning about the Finish Detail of Norstone Planc Large Format Tiles

Having cut our teeth in the stone industry for a decade plus focusing primarily on ledgestone style products like our Standard Series Rock Panel, when we first started playing around with prototypes of our Planc Large Format Tile products we needed to educate ourselves on all the finishes available for smooth face stone products. After lots of market testing and feedback we landed on two primary finishes for the Planc Series – polished for the Graphite Lavastone, Ebony Basalt, and Grey Basalt colors and saw cut for the Platinum Lavastone and Silver Grey Quartz colors. Let’s take a look at what each of those finishes entails and what to expect when using one of these finishes in the Planc Series.

Close up of Norstone Ebony Planc Large Format Tile with a polished finish

Polished finishes have a few distinct characteristics, including a reflective surface and smooth to the touch texture. Most of the time stones that have a polished finish are not very porous, however that isn’t a hard and fast rule. A product like our Graphite Lavastone has a polished finish but also has all of the surface striations consistent with Lavastone that make it so unique looking. One of the nice things about polished finishes is that they tend to be easier to keep clean and avoid staining since the polished and smooth texture of the finish itself is harder for dirt, dust, grime or anything else to attach itself to. The aforementioned Graphite Lavastone color as well as both the Ebony Basalt and Grey Basalt colors in the Planc Large Format Tile Series all have polished finishes.

Close up of Norstone Platinum Planc Large Format Tile with a saw cut finish

The saw cut finish is more or less what the name implies – the finish of the stone is essentially a simple saw cut, there is no additional polishing or fabrication that occurs. The finish itself is achieved by using a large diamond blade that cuts the stone leaving a slightly rough finish with minimal to no saw or cut marks. The finish itself will generally be flat and level, but will be rougher to the touch than a polished finish and won’t reflect any light. A saw cut finish would certainly be considered a more basic finish but that doesn’t necessarily mean the look you can achieve isn’t as impressive or as dramatic as with a polished finish. When it comes to finishes, it’s more about matching the right stone with the right finish. Our Platinum Lavastone and Silver Grey Quartz colors in the Planc Large Format Tile Series both have saw cut finishes.

One of the cool things about the Planc product and the colors with saw cut finishes is that since both the face of the stone and the saw cut edge of the stone will both generally look the same, these colors and finishes are easier to form on site overlapping corners with. We’ve covered outside corner options for the Planc series in the past, but the general idea is that if an alternating overlapping corner method is used, the cut edge that faces out on the corner should be the same finish as the face of the stone. With the colors that have a saw cut finish, no extra work is necessary to achieve that consistency from face of stone to cut edge.

The spectrum of stone finishes is really interesting and wide ranging. While we’ve focused on only two with our Planc Large Format Tile Series, we routinely flame finish custom bluestone caps we custom fabricate for projects and have considered other finishes like sand blasted and bush hammered for many of our Basalt products. Similar to sealers, finishing a stone one way versus another can dramatically alter the look of the finished product so its really worth exploring various finishes to offer a wider range of looks or to find the best looking finish for the stone at hand.

Our stone experts are here to help you understand the different finishes of our product and learn why one finish might be a better fit than another based on the specifics of your project. Reach out to us to get your questions answered and find the finish that’s perfect for your next stone veneer project.

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Norstone's New Dimensions in Natural Stone blog aims to discuss design themes, sources of inspiration, and how the world around us influences our creative interpretation and buying preferences.

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