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NATURAL STONE INDUSTRY GLOSSARY

Glossary is usually defined as an alphabetical list of technical terms in some specialized field of knowledge. This Natural Stone industry glossary provides a collection of industry terms that define many products and technical terms. These terms are arranged alphabetically, but you can quickly jump to specific term by selecting its first letter from the index of the glossary below.

Search Results: 32 Terms Found

ABRASION RESISTANCE

The natural or finished property of a surface by which it resists abrasions from friction.

ABRASIVE FINISH

Non-reflective and flat finish.

ABRASIVE HARDNESS

Abrasion resistant properties of stone or tile for floors, stair treads, and other solid surfaces.

ABSORPTION

The state or process of moisture or liquids being soaked up and held.

ABUTMENT

A support structure such as arches, beams, trusses or masonry

ACCELERATOR

A substance that accelerates the setting of epoxy, resins and mortar

ACID WASH

Chemical based acids or mechanical method used to distress stones and other surfaces to achieve the desired etched or distressed finish.

ACRYLIC EMULSIONS

Resins comprised from acrylic acids that are carried in water or solvent solutions. Acrylics are found in a variety of coatings including paints, grouts, and caulk.

ACTIVE SOLIDS

The ingredients in a coating composition that are measured as a weight percent of the total.

ADHERED

Secured and supported stone veneers are attached (adhered) with bonding agents

ADOQUIN

Colored aggregates, pumice and quartz from volcanic based quarries are available in several colors.

AGATE

A quartz stone with veins and clouds. Available in a variety of colors.

AGGLOMERATE

Fabricated stone product designed to look like quarried stone comprised of stone chips that are embedded in resins and mortar.

AGGREGATE

Man-made and natural fragments added to mortar and resins to create solid surfaces.

ALABASTER

Fine grained white gypsum typically with transparent qualities that is easily carved for special design products.

ALTERATION

Change, adjustment or addition to any room or building.

ALUMINA

Aluminum oxide.

ALUMINUM STEARATE

Anti-settling agents in paint, varnish, water repellents and cement for pigments and other colorings.

AMBIENT TEMPERATURE

Environment temperature

ANHYDROUS

A compound substance containing no water molecules.

ANORTHOSITE

Igneous rock characterized by large matrix grains that is dark in color.

BACK ARCH

A hidden arch that carries the load of a wall when the exterior face is carried by a lintel

BACK FILLING

The process of refilling dirt removed during construction or the masonry built behind a facing.

BACKING ROD

Also known as a filler strip that is composed of a compressible and flexible substance often installed at joints.

BACKING

The exterior facing of a veneer that is designed to resist load.

BACKSPLASH TILE

Tiles that are used for kitchen wall areas - above sinks, ranges, and other areas.

BANKER

The surface (often times a workbench) where stone is cut, polished and finished.

BASALT

A volcanic rock with fine grains that often has a columnar structure. Low in silica and is generally charcoal or black in color. Unlike granite, it contains little or no quartz or feldspars.

BASE BLOCK

A block at the base of a column or casing which the baseboard abuts.

BASE COURSE

Sub layer of walls, supports or piers.

BATTED

A finish applied to stone type surfaces featuring parallel tool marks.

BED JOINT

A joint, normally horizontal, between stones that is filled with sealant or mortar.

BEDDING PLANE

The sedimentary stone in its original horizontal plane.

BED

Geological formation of rock marked by planes separating layers from layers as in sedimentary strata. Beds can be differentiated by particle size, mineral type or rock.

BELT COURSE

Romanesque style of architecture that features continuous layers or rows of tiles, bricks, shingles, or stones on a vertical surface.

BENCH

A seat of cubic stone or the steps that are formed in quarries as a result of the removing of stone slabs in bed joints.

BERM

Raised banks or a strip of land that borders a river or canal.

BIOTITE

A micaceous mineral that is black, dark brown or green.

BLACK GRANITE

A deep black igneous rock with medium to coarse visible grains and veins.

BLEED

The staining of surrounding areas caused by putties, mastics, paints, caulks, and other compounds.

BLENDS

A water repellent mixture comprised of raw materials.

BLUESTONE

Sandstone that is quarried exclusively in western Pennsylvania or New York state.

CALCAREOUS

Substance that is contains calcium carbonate, calcium, or limestone.

CALCITE LIMESTONE

Limestone that does not contain more than 5% magnesium carbonate.

CALCITE MARBLE

Crystalline marble that does not contain more than 5% magnesium carbonate.

CALCITE STREAKS

The white or milky streaks naturally occurring in stone.

CALCITE

A colorless or white mineral compound containing calcium carbonate found in marble, granites and limestone.

CALCIUM OXIDE

Caustic white alkaline solid

CAMBER

Convex or arched shape of a horizontal surface.

CANTERA

A quartz volcanic stone quarried in Mexico

CAP STONE

The top stone of a vertical structure, such as a wall or arch.

CAPACITY INSULATION

The innate ability of stones and masonry to store heat based on the density and mass.

CAPILLARY ACTION

A phenomenon marked by dry materials absorbing moisture through the movement of liquids through porous materials.

CARBONATE

Chemical compound most often salts.

CARBONIC ACID

Very weak acid formed when water dissolves carbon dioxide.

COBBLESTONE

Rounded rough finished granite or other stones used for paving pathways, sidewalks and driveways.

COMMERCIAL FLOORING

Flooring products that are designed for commercial applications that have specialized Coefficient of Friction and other industrial standards.

COMMERCIAL MARBLE

A rock capable of taking a polish that is composed primarily of serpentine, dolomite, or calcite, or a combination of these minerals.

COMPACT LIMESTONE

Non metamorphic rocks with natural sedimentary nature that are traded as marble.

COMPOSITE

As in masonry, a surface that is comprised of various minerals bonded together into a composite form.

DAB

A process to dress the surface of a stone through the use of a sharp pointed hand tool.

DACITE

A volcanic fine-grained extrusive rock somewhere in composition between the rhyolite and basalt.

DAMP COURSE

A layer of impermeable material laid to prevent moisture absorption in foundation walls.

DAMP PROOFING COURSE

A layer of impermeable material that prevents the entrance of moisture through both horizontal and vertical joints.

DEFLECTION

The fluctuation a horizontal structure bends in the middle under stress.

DELAMINATION

The result of a faulty lamination process that results in loss of adhesion, separation, or splitting.

DOLOMITE MARBLE

A variety of limestone that contains in excess of 49% of magnesium carbonate.

DOLOMITIC LIMESTONE

Found in ledge formations of limestone it is rich in magnesium carbonate available in a wide array of textures and color tones.

DRESSING

The squaring and shaping of stones, rocks, slabs and blocks for easy shipment and storage.

DRY WALL

A stone wall that is constructed without the use of mortar.

EFFLORESCENCE

A deposit of white carbonates or sulfates that form on the surface of brick, concrete, mortar or stone when moisture is absorbed.

EGGSHELL FINISH

A finish for woods, walls, or stone that is matte in appearance, like an egg shell.

EMULSION

A mixture of particles, liquids and binders where particles are suspended.

ENCRINAL MARBLE

A marble saturated with shells and fossils creating unique patterns and colors.

ENGINEERED STONE

A man-made composite material that is comprised of resins, rocks, glass, epoxies and other ingredients.

ERECTION

The process of building or setting a stone into place in the vertical plane.

EXFOLIATION

The peeling off of flakes of stone or mineral in thin layers cause by chemical reaction, weather, or heat.

EXPANSION

The enlargement (in all directions) due to natural phenomenon including absorption of water or rise in temperature.

FABRICATION

In masonry, the process of transforming quarry stones into finished stone.

FACE

The exposed surface of a structure or stone.

FACIES, METAMORPHIC

Groups of mineral compositions in metamorphic rocks that come from specific pressure temperature areas.

FACTOR OF SAFETY

The mathematical calculation by which the expected stress or weight is multiplied to determine the strength or resistance required for safety.

FACTORY-FINISH INSTALLATION

Stones, tiles, floors or walls that have surface finishes manufactured and tooled in a factory, and not onsite.

FALSE JOINT

Also known as a dummy joint; refers to the lines and grooves that appear on stones or other surfaces.

FINISH

The final coating and texture applied to the surface of stone, walls, or wood.

FIREPLACE

A fire-proof structure engineered for the purpose of housing an intentional fire.

FIXING

A European term referring to the installation of stone work.

FLAGSTONE

Stone cut into thin slabs primarily used for patios, walkways and driveways.

FLOORING

Materials used to cover floors. These can include granite, tiling, marble and wood.

FOUR-CORNER FINISH

A coarse hammered finish.

GABBRO

A coarsely grained plutonic crystalline rock containing pyroxene, plagioclase and feldspar.

GABLE

A part of a wall that enclose the end of a pitched root from the eaves to the apex.

GALLET

A chip of stone

GANG SAWED

The rough surface of a stone after having been gang sawed.

GAUGED

The grinding process that makes all pieces of material are the same thickness.

GLASS MOSAIC

Tiles of a mosaic design made from glass. Can be translucent, textured, and mounted to mesh backings for easy installation.

GRANITE COUNTERTOP

A flat working surface area composed of natural coarsely grained igneous rock composed of quartz, feldspars and mica.

GRANITE SLAB

A slab of igneous rock that can be used for countertops, walls, flooring, table tops, and other design projects.

GRANITE

A very dense igneous rock comprised mostly of quartz, feldspar and magnesium.

GRANULAR

The innate and natural texture of stones characterized by small grains and particles.

GRAVEL

Small aggregate stones of quartz, limestone, basalt, and granite used for landscaping and driveway applications.

GREENSTONE

Natural or altered igneous stones that have a greenish hue.

GROUT LIFT

The height in which grout is placed in joints or cavities.

GUIDE SPECIFICATION

The recommended specifications for the installation of stone and other masonry products.

HAIRLINE CRACKING

The naturally occurring superficial thin cracking of a concrete surface.

HALF ROUND

An edging option for stone or other hard surfaces such as a countertop that as a semi-circular finish.

HALITE

Colorless cubic crystals including rock salt.

HAND CUT RANDOM RECTANGULAR

The process in which stones are hand-cut into geometric shapes with consistent joints for a patterned finish.

HARDNESS

The measurement of hardness in stones and other surfaces as determined by the Mohs Scale.

HEADSTONE

The principle stone in a construction project such as a keystone or cornerstone.

HEAD

In masonry, the end of a stone or rock that has been machine or hand-tooled to match the face of the stone. These heads are used as corner pieces for door jams, windows or other areas where corners are visible.

HEARTH

A fire-proof, typically raised, section of the floor directly in front of a fireplace or wood-burning stove.

HERRINGBONE

A pattern for setting tiles or stones in a slanted design in alternating polarities.

HONE FINISH

A type of finish available for stones and other hard surfaces that has a smooth satin appearance.

HONES/HONE FINISH

A type of finish recommended for commercial flooring constructed from marble, granite and quartz that has a smooth satin finish.

IGNEOUS ROCK

A rock that is formed by the solidification of molten magma.

IMPORT BROKER

A professional that acts as an import agent for foreign sourced products.

IMPORTER

A business or individual that purchases, distributes and resells foreign sourced products.

IMPREGNATION

The process of applying a chemical compound to penetrate a stone for a variety of purposes including stain inhibition.

IMPREGNATOR

Chemical compounds that are engineered to penetrate the surface of a stone. Typically applied to reduce absorbency rate inherent in stone.

INCISE

The action of cutting or engraving a stone or other solid surface.

INDENTING

The intentional practice of omitting stones in a pattern to allow for future bonding work.

JOINT REINFORCEMENT

A steel reinforcement that is placed in mortar bed joints.

JOINTING SCHEME

An architectural drawing of location, dimensions, design and configuration of stones indicating the joints in the pattern.

JOINTING

A process in which the joints of masonry are finished before mortar has completely hardened and cured.

JOINT

In masonry, the space between stones or tiles and the abutting materials.

JUMPER

A piece of a stone that is raised in comparison to the adjacent stones or material. Typically used in horizontal joints.

KAOLINITE

A mineral that is white or light gray comprised of aluminum silicate.

KERF

A slit made by cutting with a saw blade.

KEY BLOCK

The first block removed from a new ledge in a quarry that is removed by lateral shifting, undercutting or drilling.

KEYSTONE

A wedge-shaped stone placed at the top of an arch.

KING CLOSURE

A brick that has been crafted to have one 2-inch end and one full-width end.

LAMINATION

The process of adhering two pieces of stones or other surfaces together.

LANDSCAPE STONES

Natural stones cut for landscaping projects including driveways, outdoor fireplaces, and other projects.

LAP

The process of overlapping one surface with another.

LATERAL SUPPORT

Engineering practice where walls and columns are braced by floors, beams, roofs or walls.

LATEX ADHESIVE

An emulsion of rubbers and resins used to adhere a variety of surfaces together.

LEDGER PANELS

Ready to install panels of stone for fireplaces and walls that have the appearance of individually stacked or laid stones.

LEDGER STONE

A flat horizontal slab of stone used in foundations.

LEGS

The vertical dimension of a stone used on sides of vertical openings including fireplaces.

LEWIS BOLT

An anchor bolt that has a conical base where concrete is poured to secured.

LIME PUTTY

A hydrated lime in a plastic form ready for the addition to mortar.

LIMESTONE

A hard sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate or dolomite created from the decomposition of marine organisms.

LINE PIN

In masonry, a metal pin that is used to attach a line for alignment.

LINERS

A structured engineered section of masonry structures that are constructed to give strength, increase joint depth and in the cases of chimneys provides fire resistance.

LUG

In masonry terms, a slightly protruding stone that is used to attach to a bordering structure.

MACHINE FINISH

A finish produced by mechanical planers to create a variety of surface finishes.

MALPAIS

A dark colored rock found in rough terrain typically from a volcanic source.

MANUFACTURED

In masonry, refers to fabricated stones that are ready for installation.

MANUFACTURER

In masonry, the company that fabricates stone.

MARBLE

A crystalline metamorphic stone with veins and streaks of color and texture that is capable of being polished.

MICRO FIBER

A fabric made from synthetic yarns less than 1 denier.

MOSAIC

A pattern or picture created by arranging small colored pieces of stone, tile or glass.

MOSAIC TILE

Tiles that are mounted on mesh sheets or adhesive strips that have a pattern or picture.

NATURAL BED

Typically stratified materials such as stone that have been set on the same plane.

NATURAL CEMENT

An organic product of lime that has a high clay content.

NATURAL STONE MOSAICS

Stones that are attached by a mesh or adhesive backing in a design or pattern.

NATURAL STONE

A stone, including granite, quartz, slate, marble and others that occur naturally.

NOMINAL DIMENSION

In masonry, a dimension that is greater than the specified dimension as determined by the mortar joint thickness. In carpentry, the labels given to lumber prior to finishing.

NON-COMBUSTIBLE

Materials that will not ignite or burn when subjected to extreme temperatures or flames.

NON-FERROUS

A metal, including alloys that does not contain appreciable percentages of iron; it includes nickel, titanium, zinc, lead and many more.

OBSIDIAN

A dark, hard volcanic rock (normally black) formed by the rapid solidification of lava.

OFFSET

A design feature when pieces of material including wood, stones and tiles are intentionally set in an opposite manner.

ONYX MARBLE

A dense and semi-transparent crystalline rock comprised of calcite and sometimes aragonite.

ONYX

A semiprecious agate stone that is a variety of quartz featuring different colors and layers with varying degrees of translucency,

OOLITIC LIMESTONE

A sedimentary rock formed from spherical grains in concentric layers. This calcite calcareous limestone is often formed from shells and is available in some areas of Indiana, Texas, Alabama and Kansas.

ORGANIC

Naturally occurring compounds that are biological in origin.

OUT-CROP

Rocks or stones that appear above ground level.

OVER BURDEN

The waste stone in quarries that covers the useful or prized underlying stones.

PALLETIZED

The system for safely stacking stones on wooden pallets for storage or shipment.

PANEL

In masonry refers to a fabricated unit of stone veneer.

PARGING

A cover of plaster or mortar that provides damp proofing.

PAVER

A fabricated interlocking stone used for pathways, patios and driveways.

PEDESTAL

A supporting structure crafted from stone or wood.

PERMEABILITY

The state or quality of a material that causes it to allow gases or liquids to pass through it.

PHENOL

A mild acidic toxic white crystalline solid used in the manufacturing of resins.

PICKED

A finish for stone that has been dressed with a masonry point.

PIER

A support structure made from stone that is smaller than a column.

PILASTER

From classical architecture, a rectangular column that projects 1/3 of its width from a wall.

PITCHED STONE

A finish for a stone crafted by a pitching chisel creating a rough cut face.

PITCHED

A finish for stone that resembles a rock face that is crafted with a pitching tool.

POINT FINISH

A finish for stone that is rough and tooled.

POINTING

In masonry and tiling, refers to the final finishing and filling of mortar joints.

POLISHED

A finish that has been rubbed or sanded to a smooth shiny finish. Can be accomplished on dense materials such as granite, marble, and others to bring out full character and colors inherent in stone.

PORCELAIN

A ceramic made from clay and fired to over 2500 degrees for strength and toughness.

PREFABRICATED COUNTERTOPS

A mass produced countertop that is cut, finished and polished at the factory. Can be granite, marble, composites, quartz, or other countertop materials.

PREFABRICATED GRANITE

A mass produced granite product that is cut, finished and polished in the factory.

PRODUCER

In masonry, the individual or company that quarries stone.

PROJECTIONS

In masonry, refers to the process of removing stones or rocks in veneer walls to create rough visual characteristics.

QUARRIED STONE

A stone that has been removed from the natural planes in a quarry by use of machinery and tools.

QUARRIER

The individual who works in a quarry.

QUARRY BLOCK

A rectangular piece of stone that comes from a quarry.

QUARTER ROUND

A convex molding.

QUARTZ-BASED STONE

A sedimentary stone such as sandstone or a metamorphic stone as in quartzite.

QUARTZATIC SANDSTONE

A metamorphic sandstone that consists of quartz fine grains that are cemented with silica.

QUARTZITE

A compact, extremely hard granular rock that consists of quartz crystals. Most often it is quarried in stratified layers

QUARTZ

A white or colorless mineral found in sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks typically responsible for the natural veins and streaks.

QUEEN CLOSURE

A brick that has been cut with a two-inch face dimension.

RABBETT

A recessed groove cut into the edge of wood or stone to form a match with another piece.

RACKING

In masonry, the process in which successive courses are stepped back from the face of the wall.

RANDOM MASONRY

When stones and rocks are laid in varying heights.

RANDOM

In masonry, a pattern where joints appear web-like.

RANGE

In masonry terms, the course of thickness across the façade. All range courses are not necessarily of equal thickness.

RE-CRYSTALLIZED LIMESTONE

The crystalline patterns in limestone that have be replaced with crystals, fossils or other materials.

RE-POINTING

The process of raking out, refilling or finishing joints with mortar.

REINFORCEMENT

The process or act of strengthening and structure.

RESTAURANT FLOORING

Flooring that is engineered specially for the necessary requirements needed in a restaurant such as anti-slip and skid.

RESTORATION

In masonry, the process of cleaning, finishing or repairing stone.

RETAINING WALL STONE

The stones that are used in retaining walls engineered to resist lateral pressure.

ROCKED FINISH

A finish for stone that leaves a bubbled and textured appearance.

ROCK

Solid mineral materials that are part of the earth's crust.

ROSE WINDOW

A circular window or stone that radiates in a pattern suggestive to the petals of a rose.

ROUGHING OUT

The process of cutting or carving a raw stone to remove the unwanted bulk.

RUBBED FINISH

A finish for stone where machinery rubs for smoother finish.

RUBBING STONE

The abrasive stone that is used to finish and smooth the edges of stones and tile.

RUBBLE

The term used for dimension stones that are used for building walls and foundations that include irregularly shaped pieces.

SAND BLASTED

A finish for stones that is matte in appearance created by the application of sand under high pressure

SANDSTONE

A sedimentary rock that consists of quartz, feldspar and sand. Available in a wide array of colors and designs including reds, yellows and browns.

SAWED FINISH

A finish for stone that features textures from rough to smooth accomplished by chat sawn, shot sawn, diamond sawn, or other processes.

SEDIMENTARY STONES

Rocks that have been formed by the natural sedimentation process within the Earth's surface. Can include rocks or fossils.

SLATE

A fine-grained bluish, gray or green metamorphic rock that is easily split into smooth flat plates.

STONE CARE AND MAINTENANCE

The process of caring for natural stones, tiles, grouts and mortars. Maintenance can include period re-sealing as with granite.

STUNNED CRYSTALS, (MARKS)

Whitish markings in stones that are the result of damage occurring to the crystals when subjected to high stress.

TCA (Tile Council Of America)

The professional association of manufacturers of ceramic and porcelain tiles. The leading resource for education and installation techniques.

TEMPLATE

A pattern made from plastic, wood, or metal that is used to apply a repetitive pattern through chemical process, drilling or cutting.

TERRAZZO

A hard durable flooring material comprised of chips of granite and/or marble set in concrete and then polished.

TEXTURE

The appearance, consistency and feel of a surface.

THERMAL FINISH

A finish for stone that is rough and non-reflective that is achieved through the application of intense heat or flames.

TILE

A thin composite of clay or porcelain used for flooring, walls and countertops.

TRAVERTINE

A white or light colored calcareous rock that is a variety of limestone.

TUMBLE FINISH

A finish for stone that is produced by machine tumbling creating an uneven surface.

TUMBLED TRAVERTINE

A travertine finish that has a rough textured finish and rounded edges.

TUMBLER

A drum like rotating machine used to produce the tumbled finish on stones including marbles and travertine.

VEIN CUT

The process where a quarried stone is cut perpendicular to natural bedding or cleavage.

VEIN

A naturally occurring seam or layer of minerals different from the surrounding material.

VENEER

A thin facing stone used for vertical coverings including exterior and interior walls and fireplaces.

VITRIFICATION

The result of high temperature firing that causes grains and pores of clays to fuse.

WALL TILE

Tiles that are used for kitchen backsplashes, bathroom and shower walls.

WARPED

In masonry terms, a natural condition of slates and flagstones that are not treated with rubbing, honing or polishing.

WASH

In landscaping, a sloped area where water will run.

WATER BASE

A solution that contains a water soluble or water dispersible binder.

WATER MARK

Stains on woods, tiles, stones or other hard surfaces caused by acid in water.

WATER OF CRYSTALLIZATION

The water molecules that form as an essential part of the crystal structure of compounds.

WATERPROOFING

The process of making a surface impervious to water.

WAXING

In masonry terms, the process of filling natural voids with shellac or cements.

WEATHERED JOINT

A mortar joint that has an outward and downward slope to shed water.

WEATHERING

The process in which the appearance or texture of a surface is changed by natural atmospheric phenomena or by chemical or mechanical processes.

WEDGING

The process of splitting a stone by driving wedges into the planes of inherent weaknesses.

WHOLESALER

A person or entity that purchases a product for resale.

WIND (WINED)

The warp in a semi-finished slab of stone that is removed during further fabrication.

WINDOW STOOL

A narrow horizontal shelf fitted across the inside of a window opening.

WIRE SAWN

The method of cutting a natural stone with wire that has been immersed in abrasive liquids to create various effects.

WIRE SAW

A tool with one or more wire cables that run on a pulley system to cut natural stones into slabs and blocks.

WRAP AROUND

The ability of a coating or film to cover all areas of a substrate including edges and sides.