Indoor flooring requires polished surface for easiness of cleaning as well as appearance. Honed, silk or leather finish is also popular for similar areas. Polished finish is not recommended for outdoor flooring or flooring in wet areas such as swimming pools or spas, due to slippery surface. Outdoor flooring and wet areas require a finish with higher friction, such as flamed or hammered finish.
Countertops/worktops are recommended to be polished due to sanitary causes. A polished countertop is easier to maintain and to clean.
Polished finish is the most common for cladding facades and shop fronts. But sometime this type of finish gives a high reflection or mirror effect, and therefore not suitable for cladding. It is quite common to use the same stone on a façade, but with different finish to give a contrast between different areas.
Another issue could be the cost, since e.g. hammered or flamed finish ‘hide’ defects in the stone and therefore stone of lower quality and cost could be used without affecting the appearance significantly.