Glossary of Terms

Acid wash: A treatment applied to the face of a stone to achieve a texture or finish that is distressed. Chemical treatments are more effective when applied to limestones and travertines than to granites and quartzites.

Backsplash: The area located between the countertop and lower cabinet usually decorated with tile or stone. Normally 16-18 inches in height.

Baluster: A short post or vertical member in a series that supports a railing or coping, thus forming a balustrade. May be curved or straight.

Balustrade: An entire railing system with top rail and balusters, and sometimes including a bottom rail.

Bevel: A sloped surface contiguous with a vertical or horizontal surface.

Bookmatching: Refers to the process of taking two consecutive slabs from a block of stone and “opening” them out to reflect a mirror image like the wings of a butterfly. This is done so that veining and coloration are continued throughout all the pieces that have been put together. (Bookmatching is sometimes referred to as butterflying.)

Bullnose: Convex rounding of a stone edge, such as an edge on a stair tread.

Bush hammering: A mechanical process which produces textured surfaces that vary from subtle to rough.

Brushed finish: Obtained by brushing the stone with a coarse rotary-type wire brush.

Caulking: Making a marble joint tight or leak-proof by sealing with an elastic adhesive compound.

Cladding: Non-loadbearing stone used as the facing material in wall construction that contains other material.

Fabrication: The final step before installation, fabrication is when our stone artists cut, polish, and finish your stone project.

Granite: A fine to coarse-grained igneous rock formed by volcanic action consisting or quartz, feldspar, and mica, with accessory minerals. Granite-type rocks included those of similar texture and origin.

Honed finish: Honed is a super fine smooth finish, but does not have the shine of a polished piece.

Lamination: A thick edge created by attaching an additional layer of stone to the existing edge with resin.

Limestone: A sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate; includes many varieties. Limestone that contain not more than 5% magnesium carbonate may be termed calcite limestone, as distinguished from those that contain between 5% and 40% as the mineral dolomite (dolostone, formerly known as the rock dolomite). Recrystallized limestone and compact, dense, relatively pure microcrystalline varieties that are capable of taking a polish are included in commercial marbles.

Nesting: The process of hand-selecting the area of the stone that you wish to use in your project. Nesting allows you to visualize exactly what the end result will be.

Marble: A metamorphic recrystallized limestone composed predominantly of crystalline grains of calcite or dolomite, or both, having interlocking or mosaic texture, marble that contains less than 5% magnesium carbonate may be termed calcite marble.

Miter: The junction of two units at an angle of which the junction lines usually bisect on a 450 angle.

Movement: The unique flow of the naturally occurring patterns that exist in natural stone.

Onyx: So called in trade, is a crystalline form, commonly micro crystalline, of calcium carbonate deposited usually from cold-water solutions. It is generally translucent and shows a characteristic layering, the term onyx marble is technically a misnomer, as true onyx is a variety of cryptocrystalline fibrous silica (chalcedony), and is closely related in form and origin to agate.

Polished finish: The finest and smoothest finish available in stone characterized by a high luster (gloss) and strong reflection of incident light, generally only possible on hard, dense materials.

Processing: The work involved in transforming building stone from quarry blocks to cut or finished stone. This includes primary sawing into slabs, it may also include both hand and mechanical techniques such as sawing, drilling, grinding, honing, polishing and carving.

Quarry: The location of an operation where a natural deposit of stone is removed from the ground.

Quartz: A silicon dioxide mineral that occurs in colorless and transparent or colored hexagonal crystals and also in crystalline masses. The stone is generally quarried in stratified layers, the surfaces of which are unusually smooth. Its crushing and tensile strengths are extremely high; the color range is wide.

Return: The right angle turn of a moulding.

Return head: Stone facing with the finish appearing on both the face and the edge of the same stone, as on the corner of a building.

Reveal: The depth of stone between its outer face and a window or door set in an opening.

Rodding: Reinforcement of a stone that is narrowly cut or is prone to cracking or breaking by cementing reinforcing rods into grooves or channels cut into the back of slab.

Shop drawing: A detailed fabrication and installation drawing showing dimensions and methods of anchorage.

Shop ticket: Also referred to as a “cutting” or “cut” ticket, it is generally produced by stone fabricator or shop for in-house use and reference. A shop ticket is produced for each differing piece of stone required for a project and is referenced to shop drawings, which are used for communicating intent with parties outside of the fabricating team or shop.

Slab: A lengthwise cut of a large quarry block of stone produced by sawing or splitting in the first milling or quarrying operation. A slab has tow parallel surfaces.

Soapstone: A massive variety of talc with a soapy or greasy feel used for hearths, washtubs, table tops, carved ornaments, chemical laboratory counter, etc., and known for its stain-proof qualities.

Templating: A measuring process that aids us in creating a pattern using the precise dimensions of your countertop. This pattern is then used during the fabrication process.

Travertine: A form of limestone precipitated from ground waters as in caves or in orifices of springs.

Tread: A flat stone used as the top-walking surface on steps.

Trim: Stone used as decorative items only, such as sill, coping, enframements, etc., with the facing of another material.

Vein: A layer, seam, or narrow irregular body of mineral material different from the surrounding formation.

Vein cut: Cutting quarried marble or stone perpendicular to the natural bedding plane.