Architect Resources > Stone Glossary
A wooden or metal rack constructed in the shape of an “A” on
stone slabs are shipped and stored.
To cut away so as to leave parts in relief.
A flat non-reflective surface finish. Recommended for exterior
ABRASIVE HARDNESS (Ha):
Refers to the wearing qualities of
stone for floors,
treads and similar uses subjected to abrasion by foot traffic.
The property of a surface by which it resists being worn away
as a result of friction.
A test method for stone from the American Society of Testing
and Materials (ASTM).
Absorption is the percentage of moisture absorption by weight.
The process by which a liquid is taken into (soaked up by)
another substance and held there. The weight of water a brick
unit absorbs, when immersed in either cold or boiling water
for a stated length of time, expressed as a percentage of
weight of the dry unit.
The supporting wall or pier that receives the thrust of an
arch; a solid stone springer at the lowest point of an arch,
vault or beam.
A material used to speed the setting of mortar, epoxy, and
Clear water-based repellents which form a film. The acrylic
resins come from the polymerization of derivatives of acrylic
acids, including esters of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid,
acrylonitrite, and their copolymers. Acrylics resins vary from
hard brittle solids, to fibrous elastomeric structures to
viscous liquids, depending on the monomer used and the method
See polyester resin.
Resins resulting from the polymerization of derivatives of
acrylic acids including esters of acrylic acid, methacrylic
acid, acrylonitrite, and their copolymers. They can be carried
in a water or solvent solution and they are film-forming
Ingredients of a coating composition which are deposited
following co-reaction or reaction with the substrate. Active
solids are usually measured as a weight percent of the total.
Stone veneer secured and supported by adhesion of an approved
bonding material over an approved backing.
Chemical additives included in the mixing batch for concrete
manufacture or applied to the surface during the curing or
setting process of the concrete, which variously accelerate or
retard the curing time, provide coloring, waterproofing,
tearing, special aggregate finishes fillers, etc…
A volcanic quartz-based stone containing a variety of
aggregates and pumice in a quartz matrix.
Quarried in Mexico
and available in several colors.
A variegated variety or quartz allowing colored bands or other
markings (clouded, moss-like, etc…).
A man-made product fabricated to look like
Usually composed of
stone chips or fragments embedded in a
matrix of mortar or thermosetting resins.
Materials that are added to mortar or grout at time of mixing
to impart special properties to the mortar or grout;
quantities of loose
fragments of rock or mineral.
A fine grained, translucent variety of gypsum, generally white
in color. May be cut and carved easily with a knife or saw.
The term is often incorrectly applied to fine-grained marble.
A table form; the center of most liturgical places of worship.
A railing across the chancel, or in front of the altar.
Any project involving change of, or addition to, an
Complex salt or soap of aluminum and stearic acid. Used as a
flattering and anti-settling agent for pigments in paint and
varnish, water repellents and cement additives.
Temperature of the surrounding environment.
One of the two pulpits or raised stands, usually stone, used
in Christian churches.
Metal device for securing dimensional stone to a structure or
The means by which slabs are attached to a self-supporting
A structural steel angle; used for lintels to support masonry
over openings, such as doors, windows or
A hydrate which has given up all its previously held water
An usually dark-colored igneous
mostly or entirely of calcic plagioclase.
Top or peak of a pyramidal or conical form.
Top stone of gable, spire, or pediment.
A trim piece under a projecting stone top, stool, etc…
A translucent white mineral found in calcium carbonate.
A range of arches with their supports; also, a passageway, one
side of which is a range of arches supporting a roof.
One skilled in the design of buildings and having technical
knowledge of their construction.
The art and science of designing and constructing buildings
adapted to their purposes, one which is beauty.
Member of an entablature resting on the capitals of columns
and supporting the frieze.
Stone masonry in compression, using arch and vault.
The surface included within specific boundaries.
A compact metamorphic
mainly of clay or shale, and aluminum silicate minerals.
Similar to slate in appearance and splitting properties, but
usually much harder.
ARKOSE, ARKOSIC SANDSTONE, FELDSPATHIC SANDSTONE:
A quartz-based sandstone containing
10% or more of elastic grains or feldspar.
Hydrocarbon solvents comprised of organic compounds which
contain an unsaturated ring of carbon atoms, including
benzene, naphthalene and their derivatives.
A man-made product that may look like natural quarried marble,
sometimes composed of thermosetting resins as a matrix and
An ugly and poor substitute for natural stone made by casting
selected aggregates and cement in molds.
The angle, corner, or edge produced by the meeting of two
surfaces; the edge of external angle. A natural or applied
line on the stone from which all the leveling and plumbing is
A class of masonry consisting of blocks of accurately dressed,
cut, squared, and finished stone, faced and with clean sharp
arrises, forming perfect courses, laid in mortar. Sometimes
the term coursed ashlar is used for stones having the same
height within each course, but with each course varying in
height. The term
random ashlar is also sometimes used for
rectangular stones that appear to be laid without a specific
The open roofed entrance court of a building.
The surface finish produced by means of masonry axe tool.
An imaginary line in plan or elevation dividing symmetrical
back to top
A concealed arch carrying the back lug of a wall where the
exterior facing is carried by a
Rough masonry built behind a facing or between two faces. Or,
filling over the extrados of an arch; brickwork in spaces
between structural timbers, sometimes called brick nogging.
The part of a
veneer wall behind the exterior facing which is
designed to resist load.
A flexible and compressible type of closed cell-foam
polyethlene, butyl rubber, or open cell and closed cell
polyurethane, rounded at surface to contact sealant. It is
installed at the bottom or rear of joint and often described
as a “filler strip”.
That part of masonry or other type wall behind the
veneer, die, or facing.
A miniature pillar or column supporting a rail usually used in
A railing or parapet consisting of a handrail and balusters,
sometimes on a base member and sometimes interrupted by piers.
A bench of timber or stone (may be a single block) on which
stone is worked.
A dense textured (aphanitic) igneous
high in iron and magnesia minerals and relatively low in
silica, generally dark gray to black, and feldspathic. A
general term in contradistinction to felsite, a light colored
feldspathic and highly siliceous rock or similar texture and
origin. The colors of basalts are very dark green to black and
often sold as granites, but unlike granites, basalt contains
little or no quartz or feldspars.
The bottom course of a stone wall, or the vertical first
member above grade of a finished floor. Or, in a classical
column, it is the part between the shaft and pedestal or
The squared block terminating a baseboard at the opening.
The lowest course, or footing of a wall or pier.
The skirting member at the junction of wall and floor. See
A checkerboard pattern in paving.
Sculpture or carving with slight projection from the
A piece of brick, usually half the size or smaller.
Stone surface finish produced with parallel tool marks.
Recessing or sloping masonry back in successive courses; the
opposite of corbel.
Inward slope from bottom to top of the face of a wall. Or, a
term used by bricklayers and carpenters to signify a wall,
piece of timber, or other materials, which do not stand
upright; the opposite of corbel.
A mason’s chisel several inches wide used to dress stone to a
The shape of a sealant in a joint after application.
A joint with a half-round or half spherical section.
A slot cut into the back of dimension stone to allow entry of
a supporting angle or clip.
A slot cut into the back of dimension stone to allow entry of
a supporting angle or clip.
The top or bottom of a joint, natural bedsurface of stone
parallel to its stratification.
In granites and marbles a layer or sheet of the rock mass that
is horizontal, commonly curved and lenticular as developed by
fractures. Sometimes applied also to the surface of parting
between the sheets. Or, in stratified rocks the unit layer
formed by sedimentation; of variable thickness and commonly
tilted or distorted by subsequent deformation; generally
develops a rock cleavage, parting or jointing along the planes
A horizontal joint between stones, usually filled with mortar,
lead, or sealant.
Horizontal plane of sedimentary stone in the position of its
A continuous horizontal course of flat stones place in line
marking a division in the wall plane. Sometimes called band
course, string course, or sill course.
Steps formed in quarry by removal of stone following bed
joints. Or, a long seat of cubic stone.
A datum point from which differences in level are reckoned.
A bank of earth, such as the piled-up earth against a stone
The angle that one surface or line makes with another, when
they are not at right angles; a sloped surface contiguous with
a vertical or horizontal surface.
A black, brown, or dark-green mica, a magnesium iron silicate.
BIRD’S BEAK MOLDING:
A drip mold found notably in the cap of the pilaster of the
Dark colored igneous
by geologists as basalt, diabase, gabbro, diorite, and
anorthosite, quarried as
building facings, and
specialty purposes and identified as Black Granite when sold.
Staining action caused by corrosive metals, oil-based putties,
mastics, caulking or sealing compounds. Rust-colored bleeding
can also occur from stone that contains a high concentration
of iron pyrite.
Mixes of different generic raw materials to form a desired
Refers to the proper positioning of adjacent
veneer panels, or
floor slabs, or tiles by their predominant color to achieve an
overall uniform pattern.
See Quarry Block.
Internal members of wall furring or the like to afford
fastening and rigidity for the
veneer. Or, to fill a space
within a shipping truck or container with fastened wood to
prevent movement of stone.
A hard sandstone of
characteristic blue, olive green, gray and buff colors
quarried in the states of New York and Pennsylvania
(historically quarried near the Hudson River, Appalachian
Plateau). Bluestone is
most commonly purchased for use as
flagstone and other forms
Film defect which appears as a milky opalescence as a clear
coating or paint film dries.
A free-standing stone post or guard. Or, a stone guard
protecting a wall corner from damage by encroaching traffic.
Normally in tape form. Used to ensure adhesion on both sides
of the joint in joints of limited depth, and where a backing
rod or other joint filler is not practical.
An adhesive material used between the back of the stone tile
or paver and the prepared surface.
Used in varying percentages to anchor or bond the
to the backing material. Bond stones are generally cut to
twice the bed thickness of the material being used. Or, stones
projecting laterally into the backup wall used to tie the wall
Veneer slabs cut and assembled so that one slab will match the
other in the horizontal direction, or in a vertical direction,
but not both. Slabs must have alternate faces finished in
sequence as they are layered in the quarry block.
A flat stone used as an edging material, a border stone is
generally used to retain the field of the terrace or platform.
Usually a flat stone used as a edging material. A border stone
is generally used to retain the field of a terrace, platform,
A rough stone placed in a wall and projecting from it, that is
left to be sculptured at a later time. Or, coursed stone
ashlar with roughly dressed or projecting face.
heavy, rough stones commonly used in
To arrange a course of stone so that its vertical joints are
not in line with those of the course just below.
The passing of moisture in gaseous form through stone. Also
called “vapor transmission.” To a greater or lesser extent all
stone has this process occur.
Marble or limestone in which angular fragments are imbedded in
a matrix of the same of another composition.
Any marble composed of angular fragments.
A saw that powers a circular diamond blade or blades which
travel on a metal rail (bridge), and rests on supports. It is
used to fabricate dimension stone slabs and cubic stone into
square and rectangular pieces. Some models can be used to
fabricate profiles and miters.
To drill or cut out material left between closely spaced drill
holes. Also, a mason’s sharp pointed chisel for dressing stone
and a type of chisel used for working narrow surfaces.
Irregularly shaped stones, generally ½” to 2 ½” thick. See
A sandstone of
characteristic brown or reddish-brown color that is due to a
prominent amount of iron oxide as interstitial material. Or, a
term applied to ferruginous dark brown and reddish brown
askosic sandstones extensively used for construction in the
U.S. during the 19th century Stone for New York City’s noted
“brownstone fronts” came from the Connecticut Valley in
Massachusetts, southeastern Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Obtained by brushing the stone with a course rotary-type wire
British Thermal Unit; the amount of heat required to raise the
temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at sea
level, used as the basic unit of definite heat generation and
Capable of improvement in gloss or general appearance, or
both, of a polish by a mechanical action.
A smooth finish produced by grinding with power sanders.
Natural rock of adequate quality to be quarried and cut as
dimension stone as it exists in nature.
Term indicating the assembly of pieces or layers to complete a
Convex rounding of a stone member, such as a stair tread. A
convex, semicircular molding formed on the end of brick.
A wooden framework in which large stone slabs are packed for
See polished finish.
A mechanical process which produces textures surfaces.
Textures vary from subtle to rough.
To place mortar on a masonry unit with a trowel.
Once thought to be exclusive to the plumbing trade, it is a
visible sign of working with intense concentration and
An external corner formed by the meeting of two square-edged
stones, either one overlapping the other.
Placing mortar on stone on stone tile units with a trowel
before setting into position, to insure adhesion and to aid in
A faulty method of installation which involves the use of
spots of mortar at corners and middle of stone tile.
A projecting mass of masonry set at an angle to or bonded into
a wall that it strengthens or supports. A buttress decreases
in its cross-sectional area form top to base.
A synthetic rubber formed by the copolymerization of
isobutylene and isoprene.
back to top
predominantly of clastic sand-size grains of calcite, or
rarely aragonic, usually as fragments of shells or fossils.
Some calcarenites contain oolites and may be termed oolitic
limestone. Calareous quart-based stone in which the calcium
carbonate is present chiefly as binding material are not
included in this category.
The natural mineral form of calcium carbonate.
A limestone containing
not more than 5% of magnesium carbonate.
A crystalline variety of limestone containing
not more than 5% of magnesium carbonate.
Descriptions of a white or milky-like streak occurring in
stone. It is a joint plane usually wider than a glass seam and
has been re-cemented by deposition of calcite in the crack and
is structurally sound.
A slight rising from the horizontal, to gain an actual or
apparent effect of arching.
A sheltering roof over a niche or a doorway.
A volcanic quartz-based stone with qualities similar to
Adoquin, but not as dense; quarried in Mexico.
A structural member, supported at only one end, that projects
from a wall.
masonry units laid on top of a finished wall, column, door, or
The ability of masonry to store heat as a result of its mass,
density and specific heat.
The movement of a liquid in the interstices of a porous
material, as a result of surface tension; the phenomenon
responsible for dry materials sucking moisture above the
normal water level.
Column cap, the top member or group of members of a column,
pier, shaft, or pilaster.
The crowning stone of a structure; differing from capital in
that it is not a supporting member.
A salt of carbonic acid.
A weak acid.
Shaping by cutting a design to form; the trade of a sculptor.
In the stone industry, the artisan who does carved work.
Cutting of ornamental shapes, figures, etc… from models or
details, which are too intricate to produce from patterns.
A precast concrete
building stone manufactured to simulate
A substance which accelerates a chemical reaction but appears
to remain unchanged itself (i.e. a hardener that accelerates
the cure of synthetic resin adhesive).
A non-staining, non-hardening putty-like mastic, usually
applied to stone joints with a pressure gun.
The application of a sealant in a joint or opening to prevent
the passage of water, air, dust, and noise. Or, making a joint
tight or leak proof by sealing with an elastic adhesive
An opening in joints of veneer to allow the passage of air and
moisture from the wall cavity to the exterior.
An exterior wall, usually of masonry, consisting of an outer
and inner wythe separated by continuous airspace.
The ratio of the weight of water absorbed by a masonry unit
when immersed 24 hours in cold water to the weight of water
absorbed after an additional immersion for five hours in
boiling water. Also called the saturation coefficient.
Cells are distinguished from core holes by being larger in
A hydraulic mixture, without aggregate, consisting of a
calcined mixture of clay and pulverized limestone.
A thick, creamy mixture made with pore cement and water which
is used to strengthen the bond between the stone and the
Made from, or composed of, portland cement.
Temporary formwork for the support of masonry arches or
lintels during construction. Also called center (s).
To bevel the junction of an exterior angle. Or, to cut away
the edge where two surfaces meet in an external angle, leaving
a bevel at the junction.
That part of a church interior reserved for clergy and
containing the alter.
A continuous recess in a wall to receive pipes, ducts,
Description of a textured stone finish, obtained by using chat
sand in the gang sawing process.
CHAT SAWN FINISH:
A rough gang saw finish produced by sawing with course chat.
A rebate, normally larger than a fillet.
Masonry of square-face stones not breaking joints.
A shaft, approximately vertical, which helps create a draft
for conducting the smoke and gases of combustion from above a
fire to the outside.
The exterior face of the wall directly above the
Fire clay, terra cotta, or refractory cement built inside a
That part of a chimney directly above the firebox where the
walls are brought close together.
A small, irregularly shaped stone piece dislodged, usually
from the edge, from a stone piece.
CIRCULAR CIRCULAR FACE:
A stone face worked to convex spherical shape.
CIRCULAR CIRCULAR SUNK FACE:
A stone face worked to concave spherical shape.
Machine with power-driven revolving steel disc, rimmed with
diamond or other abrasive elements.
A stone face worked to convex circular (not spherical) shape.
CIRCULAR SUNK FACE:
A stone face worked to a concave circular (not spherical)
An exterior veneer stone covering that is non-load bearing.
Stone fragments that are derived from pre-existing rocks or
CLASS OF UNIT:
A ranking of masonry units according to their different grades
or types in ASTM specifications, the different raw materials
they are manufactured from, or other characteristics.
Toothed chisel used in roughing out process.
A natural mineral aggregate consisting essentially of hydrous
aluminum silicate. It is plastic when sufficiently wetted,
stiff when dried, and vitrified when fired to a sufficiently
A soft, low lime mortar usually used when lime was expensive
and difficult to procure. Its primary usage was in remote
areas for small scale buildings.
The visible end of a stone laid as a bond stone.
The removal of marks, dust, and other extraneous materials
from the surface of the stone.
Openings at the bottom of a grout space for cleaning mortar
droppings and other debris prior to grout placement.
An invisible to glossy film or penetrate applied to substrates
to protect, repel or resist water and hydration of minerals.
Space allowed to facilitate erection of units and provide for
thermal and other estimated movements in structure.
The ability of a rock mass to break along natural surfaces; a
surface of natural parting. Also used to refer to the plane or
planes along which a stone may likely break or delaminate.
Membrane that provides a separation and slip sheet between the
mortar setting bed and the backing or base surface.
Plane or planes along which a stone may likely break or
The last masonry unit or portion of a unit laid in a course.
Supplementary or short length units used at corners or jambs
to maintain bond patterns.
A protective or decorative covering applied to the surface or
impregnated into stone for such purposes as waterproofing,
enhancing resistance to weathering, wear, and chemical action,
or altering the appearance of the stone.
A usually rectangular stone used in paving. Cobblestones are
commonly used for streets and driveways.
Legal restrictions of a given locality governing the building
of various types of structures.
The vertical longitudinal joint between wythes of masonry
filled with mortar or grout.
An isolated vertical member whose horizontal dimension
measured at right angles to the thickness does not exceed
three times its thickness and whose height is at least three
times its thickness.
A crystalline rock composed predominately of one or more of
the following mineralscalcite, dolomite, or serpentine, and
capable of taking a polish.
A construction unit in which stone that is to be exposed in
the final use is permanently bonded or joined to concealed
Transfer of stress between components of a member designed so
that in resisting loads, the combined components act together
as a single member.
Multi-component masonry members acting with composite action.
A composition material consisting of Portland Cement,
aggregate, and water. When mixed together, will result in a
chemical action that will set and harden into rock-like mass.
CONCRETE MASONRY UNIT:
A masonry unit made of Portland Cement, water, and mineral
aggregates, formed into a rectangular prism.
Dampness of interior surfaces caused by the release of water
as it cools below the dew point; the formation of frost or
water when air carrying water vapor comes in contact with a
cold surface, cooling the air and reducing its ability to hold
A sandstone composed
of rock particles that are rounded or angular gravel rather
than sand; an aggregate of rounded and water-worn pebbles and
boulders cemented together into a coherent stone.
Treatment of the stone surface with a liquid solution which is
commonly brush or spray applied; various stone consolidation
processes can extend the life of stone and retard the decay
process, but they cannot permanently arrest deterioration.
Consolidation techniques employ both organic and inorganic
chemicals. Inorganic processes have long-life and exhibit
similar expansion-contraction behavior as treated material.
Most inorganic processes cannot reattach loose pieces of stone
or fill gaps in large cracks; adhesives may be required for
the purposes. Organic processes are based on the use of
synthetic resins. Their life span is generally less than that
of inorganic material, but they can be especially effective
with porous stone as well as comprehensive strengths. Epoxy
resins, for example, are good adhesives and weatherizers, but
current available epoxies are sensitive to ultraviolet rays
which tend to discolor in time and do not weather well.
Mixtures and combinations of both organic and inorganic
treatments such as ethyl silicate are continually being
developed to take advantage of the benefits of both
An enclosed truck body that is usually used to hold and carry
imported dimension stone into the United States.
A crust forming across the surface of sandstones and
limestones which follows the contour of the surface rather
than the bedding planes of the stones; the result of direct
pollution; the pores of the stone are blocked by formations of
recrystallized calcium sulfates.
Spaces where panels are joined and which expand as the panels
One who erects and installs fabricated dimensional stone.
Provision for the dimensional change of different parts of a
structure due to shrinkage, expansion, temperature variation
or other causes, so as to avoid the development of high
The horizontal top stone of a wall or similar stone
construction , usually flat.
A cap or covering course on top of masonry wall. Designed to
shed water, protect the top and provide a finished, closed
appearance to the wall. Commonly extended beyond the wall face
and incorporating a drip. SECSingle edge coping; DECDouble
predominately of shells or fragments of shells loosely
cemented by calcite. Coquina is course-textured and has a high
porosity. The term is applied principally to a very porous
rock quarried in Florida.
A limestone consisting
of the calcareous skeletons of corals, often containing
fragments of other organisms and usually cemented by calcium
Projecting successive courses of masonry out from the face of
the wall to increase the wall thickness or to form a shelf or
Concealed plates of nonferrous metal fixed into a structure to
support stone cladding at intervals and over openings.
Continuous openings or perforations within extruded clay
A stone forming a part of a corner or angle in a wall. Also a
stone laid at the formal inauguration of the erection of a
A molded projecting stone at the top of an entablature or
Steel items which have been treated or coated to retard
harmful oxidation or other corrosive action.
An added depression below a surface, as to receive the head of
a nail, screw, or bolt; also, the sinkage of a small area
below the surface plane.
A continuous horizontal band of stone of constant height.
This is achieved by using stones of the same or approximately
the same heights. Horizontal joints runs on the entire length
of the veneered area. Vertical joints are constantly broken so
that no two joints will be over one another.
French for the stone at the top of a pier supporting the
lowest stone of an arch.
A concave stone molding.
A concave joint shaped with a tool.
A break, split, fracture, fissure, separation, cleavage, or
elongated narrow opening, however caused, visible without
magnification to the human eye and extending from the surface
into the stone, through the grain, matrix, or vein.
A ‘U’ shaped metal anchor for holding two adjacent units of
A multi-pointed hammer for dressing the face of stone.
A wooden protective case in which stone is packed for
Depression in a coating film usually caused by air or solvent
trapped in the coating, forming bubbles which break after the
film has set sufficiently to prevent leveling.
CRAZING, CRAZE, CRACK:
Fine, random cracks or fissures in a network on or under a
surface of plaster, cement, mortar, concrete, ceramic coating
or paint film; caused by shrinkage.
The permanent and continuing dimensional deformation of
material under a sustained load, following the initial
spontaneous plastic deformation. In structures particularly
concrete, the permanent deflection of structural framing or
structural decking resulting from plastic flow under continued
stress. In roofing, the permanent elongation or shrinkage of
roofing membrane, resulting from thermal or moisture changes.
The arrangements of laminations of strata transverse or
oblique to the main planes of stratification.
(Croissette, Crosset) A side lug at the upper side of an arch
stone, entering a corresponding space on the adjoining stone.
(Stylolite) Description of a dark gray to black zigzag marking
occurring in stone; usually structurally sound.
Limestone, either calcite or dolomite, composed of
interlocking crystalline grains of the constituent minerals
and of phaneritic texture. Commonly used synonymous with
marble, and thus representing a recrystallized limestone.
Improperly applied to limestones that display some obviously
crystalline grains in a fine-grained mass but which are not of
interlocking texture and do not compose the entire mass.
Crystalline limestones are microscopically, or in part
megascopically, crystalline; the term is thus confusing but
should be restricted to stones that are completely crystalline
and of megascopic and interlocking texture and that may be
classed as marbles.)
Dimension units more than two inches thick.
Fabricated dimensional marble units more than two inches in
Material rejected as below the desired or stated grade of
An artificial, manmade product, created by mixing minimal
amounts of marble dust into a resin.
Slabs and blocks of stone bordering streets, walks, etc,
producing the change in level between sidewalk and street.
Formation of a final, more stable, usable state following a
chemical or physical reaction induced by heat, radiation, etc…
or through evaporation of a solvent.
The drying and hardening process of mortar after installation.
Some materials require damp curing.
A course of stones bearing moldings, to produce a string
A lightweight exterior wall system supporting no more than its
own weight, the roof and floors being carried by an
independent structural framework. Sometimes used in reference
to early 19th century brick buildings but more commonly to mid
20th century metal panel and glass exteriors.
A resilient pad to absorb or counteract severe stresses
between adjoining stone units and or other materials.
stone, ready to set in place.
Handwork required to finish a stone which cannot be done by
A term used to describe varying size, finish, and thickness
which are used in fabricating
borders, sills, stools,
mantels and other special
Detailed list for each piece of dimension stone showing exact
dimensions including thickness, face finish, edge treatments,
carving, molding, hole drilling, and any other fabrication
details. These are usually prepared in the drafting department
for use in the fabrication plant or shop. Also called shop
lists, shop drawings, and shop tickets.
back to top
To dress the face of a stone by picking with a pointed tool
Fine-grained extrusive (volcanic) rock, intermediate in color
and composition between basalt and rhyolite.
Stone treatment on interior walls which does not extend to the
ceiling, often ornamented.
A course or layer of impervious material which prevents
vertical penetration of water by capillary action.
Prevention of moisture penetration due to capillary action by
the addition of one or more coatings of a compound that is
impervious to water.
A horizontal or vertical course or layer, usually at least six
inches above the ground level, that prevents the capillary
entrance of moisture from the ground or a lower course.
A horizontal plane elevation used as a reference plane.
Buried cross timbers, or a bulk of concrete or stone, to which
are attached guy pieces of wood, or wire cable, to anchor an
upright post or derrick nearby.
The amount by which a horizontal member bends at the center
A failure in a laminating assembly characterized by the
separation or loss of adhesion between plies, such as in
built-up roofing or glue-laminated timber.
Block projections on an entablature.
Mold course immediately below the cornice, having on one of
its members, small uniformly spaced blocks, referred to as
DEPTH OF GLOSS:
The optical phenomenon of relative depth perceived when
viewing reflective surfaces.
A hoisting device, usually made up of a guyed mast, a boom
hinged to it, and pulley ropes.
To bring into being a mental concept.
A graphic representation of a part, usually at a larger scale
than the design to which it belongs.
A granular igneous rock, dark gray to black, sometimes called
(Quarter matching) A veneer panel matching pattern similar to
book matching, except that the third and fourth panels are
inverted over panels one and two.
Finish produced by sawing with diamond toothed saws (either
circular or gang).
Any continuous pattern in brickwork, usually applied in a
diamond or other diagonal patterns.
A covering layer of interior stone from wall to ceiling.
Stone-Natural building stone that has been selected, trimmed,
or cut to specified shapes and sizes. Final surface treatment,
or finish is as specified.
Granular, crystallized igneous
of feldspar and hornblende.
A brick laid with it’s corner projecting from the wall face.
DOGS AND CHAIN:
Pair of steel hooks with rings attached into which chain is
slung; vertical pull on chain draws hooks together in
horizontal direction to grip stone blocks.
A calcium magnesium carbonate; a crystalline variety of limestone,
containing in excess of 40 percent of magenesium carbonate as
the dolomite molecule.
A limestone rich
in magnesium carbonate, frequently somewhat crystalline in
character. It is found in ledge formations in a wide variety
of color tones and textures. Generally speaking, its crushing
and tensile strengths are greater than oolitic limestones, and
its appearance shows greater variety in texture.
A crystalline variety of limestone,
containing in excess of 49% of magnesium carbonate as the
Another name for dolomite. Often the word dolomite is used
for the mineral dolomite while the name dolostone is used for
the rock type composed of the mineral dolomite.
A splayed tenon that is shaped like a dove’s tail, broader at
its end than at its base, which fits into the recess of a
A molding in which interlocked triangles are used.
A cylindrical metal pin used in aligning and strengthening
joints of adjacent stone units, or to assist in anchoring
Straight metal bars or rods used to connect two sections of
masonry or masonry to other materials.
The tooled strip or border of faced stone, also known as a
One who translates and draws or prepares a design into
DRESSED/ HAND DRESSED:
The cutting of rough chunks of stone by hand to create a
square or rectangular shape. A stone which is sold as dressed
stone generally refers to stone ready for installation.
The shaping and squaring, sometimes called scabbling, of
blocks for storage and shipment.
To cut a cylindrical hole, or a tool used to drill a
A recess cut into the underside of projecting stone to divert
water and prevent it from running down the face of a wall or
other surface of which it is a part.
A molding shaped for drip.
A mason’s blunt chisel for facing stone.
One of the cylindrical stone blocks of a column shaft.
A mixture of Portland Cement and fine aggregate, dampened, but
not to the extent that it will flow. It is usually rammed or
packed in a hole to secure a bar or anchor, but it is also
packed under base plates.
Unhealed fracture which may be a plane of weakness.
Dry wall is a stone that is constructed one stone upon the
other without the use of any mortar. Generally used for
Two finishes on one piece of stone, such as thermal and
The measure of the ability of dimension stone to endure and to
maintain its essential and distinctive characteristics of
strength, resistance to decay and moisture, and appearance.
A small, matching piece of dimension stone that is cut,
finished and attached with the tightest possible joint to a
floor, wall, top, or other larger piece of stone to increase
its length or width or to repair or replace a missing or
damaged area. Dutchmen are usually affixed in the fabrication
shop with epoxy or polyester resin.
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The distance between a vertical load reaction and a centroidal
axis of masonry.
A brick set on its narrow side instead of on its flat side.
The height of a member that is assumed when calculating the
A deposit or encrustation of soluble salts generally white,
usually carbonates or sulfates, that may form on the surface of
stone, brick, concrete or mortar when moisture moves through and
evaporates from the masonry.
Dull polish or matte surface.
Fine, bush-hammered; interrupted parallel markings not over
3/32″ apart; a corrugated finish; smoother near arris lines and
on small surfaces.
The conic section resulting from cutting a cone obliquely
through its curved surface.
Marble deriving decoration from fossils or shells.
The process of adding color to incised lettering in stone.
A horizontal, projecting group of stones immediately above a
column capital. Consists of three major partsarchitrave,
cornice, and frieze.
The curve resulting from the gradual diminishing in the diameter
of the upper two-thirds of a column.
Mixture of solid particles of binder and the liquid carrier in
which they are suspended but insoluble.
A class of synthetic, thermosetting resins which produce tough,
hard, chemical resistant coating and excellent adhesives.
A flexible, usually thermal setting resin made by polymerization
of an epoxide and used as an adhesive. They are characterized by
toughness, good adhesion, corrosion, chemical resistance, and
good dielectric properties. Most epoxy resins are the two-part
type, which harden when blended. It is used as surface coatings,
adhesives for composites and for metals, floor surfacing and
wall panels, cements and mortars.
The process of and setting vertical dimensional stone in place.
Peeling, swelling or scaling of stone or mineral surfaces in
thin layers, caused by chemical or physical weather or by heat.
Enlargement of length and bulk by reason of temperature rise or
absorption of water.
A metal expandable unit inserted into a drilled hole that grips
stone by expansion.
An anchoring device; a socket that grips a drilled hole in stone
by expanding as the bolt is screwed into it.
A joint designed to expand or contract with the temperature
One who clerks and hastens the arrival of
building materials or
equipment to meet a progress schedule.
Phrase applied to the larger pieces of stone aggregate
purposefully exposed for their color and texture in a cast slab.
Can be done by casting on a slab or by application to an
existing wall over epoxy or cement coat.
The outside of a building or situated on the outside.
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stone cut, chopped, or machined in some way and ready for
The work involved in transforming
building stone from quarry blocks to cut or
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.
A face of a building, usually the front.
Refers to the exposed surface of stone on the structure. Or, a
horizontal belt of vertical face, often used in combination with
The wall of a hollow masonry unit, on its front and back
FACE SHELL BEDDING:
Mortar applied only to the face shells of hollow masonry units.
Any material forming a part of a wall, used as a finished
surface. Also, a wall in which the stone face and the back-up
wall are of different materials.
FACTOR OF SAFETY:
The factor by which the expected weight or stress is multiplied
to indicate the surplus of strength or resistance provided for
A groove routed in a solid piece of stone to simulate a joint.
A horizontal band of vertical face, often used in combinations
A dislocation of stone strata which may interfere with natural
underground drainage, or a break in the layers or bedding plane.
A sharp arris formed by beveling or cutting a piece of stone
Coping that slopes in only one direction (not ridged or gabled).
In some areas, it implies slope towards rear of wall.
Any group of crystalline minerals, all silicates of aluminum
with either potassium, sodium, calcium, or barium. An essential
constituent of nearly all crystalline rocks.
Limestone or quartz-based stone (sandstone) containing a high
proportion of iron oxide.
The expanse of wall between openings, corners, etc…, principally
composed of stretchers.
Loose blocks separated from ledges by natural processes and
scattered through or upon the ground cover; applied also to
similar transported materials, such as glacial
boulders and cobblestones.
weathered stones found on top of the ground.
Rebate, often used as a decorative feature with moldings.
A trade expression used in the fabrication of marble to indicate
the filling of natural voids with color-blended cements, shellac
or synthetic resins and similar materials.
Refers to a resilient material placed in the rear portion of a
joint to function as a sealant stop.
The powder, dual, silt-size, and sand-size material resulting
from processing (usually crush tog) rock.
Final surface applied to the face of dimensional stone during
Person or business which operates a plant or machinery for the
fabrication of domestic and foreign stones for building and
The exposed top member of a flooring assembly.
A clay used for making brick that is highly resistant to heat
FIRE RESISTANTIVE MATERIAL:
See noncombustible material.
An opening on a hearth, served by a chimney flue, where an open
fire may be laid.
Any material or combination protecting structural members and
increasing their fire resistance.
A term used in Europe to describe the installation of stone
thin slabs of stone for flagging or
etc…, and is generally a fine-grained sandstone, bluestone,
or slate, but
of other stones may be used.
Manufacturing process to produce specific color tones in clay
units by creating a reducing atmosphere in the kiln. Or, a thin
impervious material placed in mortar joints and through air
spaces in masonry to prevent water penetration and provide water
drainage. Also, metal or other protective material used to cover
joints, tops of walls, parapet walls, or angles, as of a roof.
The mottled effect obtained when certain marble varieties are
sawn parallel to their natural bedding plane.
Unique to the marble industry, it is cut parallel to the natural
Dense, fine-grained, naturally occurring form of silica that
A mason’s tool, a flat board with handle on one side, used for
spreading and smoothing plaster or cement.
The final mortar coat applied with a float over which the neat
coat is applied.
The horizontal surface of a room or building upon which one
stands or walks. Also, the area between two adjacent levels of a
The plan, or horizontal section, of a building.
Stone used as an interior pedestrian walking surface.
Descriptive of adjoining surfaces in the same plane.
A joint where the mortar or sealant is pressed flush with the
Stone having a regular series of concave grooves.
A buttress that includes a rampant arch to carry the inner
thrust to the pier.
The layered or banded structure of rock in which the mineral
grains became re-aligned at right angles to a directional force
that existed during metamorphism.
Coarse bush-hammered finish with same characteristics as 6-cut,
but with markings not more than 7/32″ apart.
Rough stones under 750 pounds.
A subordinate space between an entrance and the main interior to
which it leads.
A stone that may be cut freely in any direction without fracture
Flat member of the entablature occurring above the architrave
and below the cornice.
A stone seat near the altar of a church.
The more important face of a building, or that containing its
A depression in the bed surface of a brick, sometimes called a
FULL MORTAR BEDDING:
Mortar applied to the entire thickness of a masonry unit.
The method of finishing the interior face of masonry wall to
provide space for insulation, to prevent moisture transmittance,
or to provide a smooth or plane surface for finishing.
The practice of striking a ‘V’ in a bed of mortar with the point
of the trowel.
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The exterior triangular section of a wall extending upward from
the level of the eaves to the apex. Also, a member resembling
the triangular end of a roof.
An igneous granular
stone composed chiefly of pyroxene, augite or diallage, and
A stone chip or spall.
Also known as a frame saw.
Description of the granular surface of stone resulting from gang
A usually single diamond blade saw with a mobile rail and blade
that can be repositioned along its tracks between cuts.
The insertion of small splinters of stone in the mortar joints
before the mortar has firmly set.
GAUGED or GAUGING:
A grinding process to make all pieces of material to be used
together the same thickness.
Description of a narrow glass-like streak occurring in stone. It
is a joint plane that has been recemented by deposition of
translucent crystalline calcite in the crack and is usually
Luster or shininess, measured as light reflectance.
rock with a
banded or coarsely foliated structure, often called “Trade
Granite”. Composed essentially of silicate minerals with
interlocking and visibly granular texture in which the foliation
is due primarily to alternating layers, regular or irregular, of
contrasting mineralogic composition.
Beginning course at the grade level, generally waterproofed with
a dampcheck or damp course.
The easiest cleavage direction in a stone. Also the particles
(crystals, sand grain, etc…) in a stone.
A very hard, crystalline, igneous
rock, gray to pink in color, composed of feldspar, quartz,
and lesser amounts of dark ferromagnesium materials. Black
“granites” are similar to true “granites” in structure and
texture, but are composed of different minerals.
Stones having a texture characterized by particles that are
apparent to the unaided eye. For sedimentary rocksparticles less
than 4 inches in diameter and approximately equal in size.
Composed chiefly of quartz, but may contain granite, limestone,
basalt, and other rocks.
A grainy conglomerate stone composed of firmly cemented
fragments of quartz.
Mortar that has set but not dried.
Includes stones that have been metamorphosed or otherwise
altered that they have assumed a distinctive greenish color
owing to the presence of one or more of the following
mineralschlorite, epidote, or actinolite.
A smooth non-reflective finish primarily used on marble and
Crushed brick that is blended with clay to form new brick.
GROUP CLASSIFICATION FOR SOUNDNESS:
Standard trade practice definitions setting forth extent of shop
fabrication normally required for group A,B, C, and D marbles.
A mixture of cement material and aggregate to which sufficient
water is added to produce pouring consistency without
segregation of the constituents.
The height to which grout is placed in a cell, collar joint or
cavity without stopping; an increment of the total grout pour.
The total height of a masonry wall to be grouted prior to the
placement of additional masonry. A grout pour may consist of one
or more grout lifts.
GROUT CORE MASONRY:
Masonry construction made with hollow units in which all or
specific cores are filled with grout.
Masonry construction made with solid masonry in which the
interior joints and voids are filled with grout.
A recommended specification for the furnishing and
installation of building stone.
A rope or wire which, with others, prevents a post or derrick
from having side sway.
A hydrated calcium sulfate. It is formed naturally as the result
of the reaction of sulfuric acid produced by decomposition of
pyrite upon the calcium carbonate of shells existing in clay; a
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The procedure of stacking brick in a kiln or a kiln car. Or,
laying brick with the bottom edge set in from the plane surface
of the wall.
Random pattern of superficial cracking in an exposed concrete
surface. Usually surface openings of 20 mils or less.
Rock salt; sodium chloride; a sedimentary rock.
HALF BULL NOSE:
A convex semicircular molding used on exposed edges or stone
units such as stair treads, tops and window stools.
An exposed edge or molding with a semi-circular section or
HAND CUT RANDOM RECTANGULAR:
A pattern where all the stone is hand cut into squares and
rectangles; joints are fairly consistent. Similar to sawed-bed
ashlar in appearance.
HAND OR MACHINE PITCH-FACED ROCK-FACED:
A finish given to both
and cutting stock. This is created by establishing a straight
line back from the irregular face of the stone. Proper tools are
then used to cut along the tile line leaving a straight arris
and the intended rustic finish on the face.
Nearly vitrified clay products that have been fired at high
A quality of stone determined by ASTM C241 test.
The end of a stone which has been tooled to match the face of
the stone. Heads are used at outside corners, windows, door
jams, or any place where the veneering will be visible from the
The vertical mortar joint between ends of masonry units. Also
called a cross-joint or a vertical joint.
A masonry unit that overlaps two or more adjacent wythes of
masonry to tie them together. Also called a bonder.
A concealed brick header in the interior of a wall, not showing
on the face.
A bat placed to look like a header for purposes of establishing
a pattern; also called a false header.
Flare or Flashed Header:
A header of darker color than the field of the wall.
A continuous course of header brick; also called heading course.
A priciple stone, as in keystone or cornerstone.
That part of the floor of a room made of stone on which the fire
is made or above is a stove,
A hydrate which contains one-half of a molecule of water
compared to one molecule of the principal element or compound
forming the hydrate.
A pattern of setting in which the units are laid aslant, with
the direction of incline reversing in alternate courses, forming
a zigzag effect.
To rough form by mallet and chisel.
A bonding agent of high ultimate strength used to join
individual pieces of stone into pre-assembled units.
Sinkages in the top beds of stones to engage Lewis pins for
HOLLOW BRICK UNIT:
A brick unit in which the net cross-sectional area in any plane
parallel to the bearing surface is less than 75% of its gross
cross-sectional area measured in the same plane.
A cavity wall, usually exterior, built in two separate parts,
structurally connected as necessity with space between for
checking the passage of water, or for better insulation created
by the closed air space.
HONED/ HONE FINISH:
A very fine, satin smooth finish on stone. This is the last step
before polishing. A super fine smooth finish with little or no
gloss. Recommended for commercial floors.
A group of minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, and
aluminum silicates. May be present in igneous stones.
A mineral formed by the combination of water and some other
elements or compounds.
Quicklime to which sufficient water has been added to convert
the oxides to hydroxides.
To harden under (or with) water.
Substance which absorbs or has exhibited affinity for water.
Having no affinity for or is repellent to water. The quality of
beading water on a substrate.
Containing chemically combined water.
Water absorbed by hydrophilic porous materials.
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One of three principle groups of rock that make up the earth’s
surface; formed by the solidification of molten matter. More on igneous
One who acts as an independent sales representative in the
United States, its territories and Canada for foreign suppliers.
One who purchases, stocks, and distributes foreign materials in
the United States, its territories and Canada, in substantial
quantities and reliable quality.
To cut inwardly or engrave, as in an inscription.
Omission of some stones to allow for future bonding-in work.
INITIAL RATE OF ABSORPTION:
The weight of water absorbed when a brick is partially immersed
in water for one minute, expressed in grams per 30 square inches
of contact surface, also called suction.
The first setting action of mortar, the beginning of the set.
Surface decoration achieved by the insertion of lines or
patterns of contrasting material.
Lettering cut in stone.
The inside of a room or of a building.
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One having horizontal or nearly horizontal upper and lower
surfaces. Also called flat or straight arch.
The vertical side of a window or door opening, against which the
sash or the door abuts.
The space between installed units or between dimensional stones
and the adjoining material.
The finishing of joints between courses of masonry units before
the mortar has hardened.
Architectural drawing detailing dimensions, location and
configuration of stone units and joints related to the
Flush, rake, cove, weathered, bead, stripped, and “V”.
Steel reinforcement placed in or on mortar bed joints.
A horizontal member in the framing of a floor or ceiling.
In ashlar patterns, a piece of stone of higher rise than
adjacent stones which is used to end a horizontal mortar joint
at the point where it is set.
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A hydrous aluminum silicate mineral.
A slot into the edge of stone with saw blade for insertion of
In deepening a quarry, or starting to quarry downward from a
horizontal surface, the first block removed from a new ledge,
providing space and access for further block removal by
undercutting, underdrilling, or lateral shifting.
The last wedge-shaped stone placed in the crown of an arch
regarded as binding the whole.
A furnace, oven, or heated enclosure used for burning or firing
brick or clay material.
Brick from one kiln that have not yet been sorted or graded for
size or color variation.
A brick cut diagonally to have one two-inch end and one full
Gabled cope stone which by its shape is also part of the wall,
and may support other cope stones.
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To overlap one surface with another.
Method wherby walls or columns are braced in the vertical span
by beams, floors or roofs, or walls in the horizontal span by
columns, pilasters, buttresses or cross walls.
Rubber or resins in water which coalesce to form a continuous
film that imparts specific properties to portland cement
Machine for turning columns, balusters, and other circular stone
work; also for rubbing and polishing surfaces of same.
A general term applied to igneous rocks such as basalt and
rhyolite, that erupted from the earth by volcanic action.
The section of a wall built up and racked back on successive
courses. A line is attached to leads as a guide for constructing
a wall between them.
Lead spacers in the solid horizontal joints to support the top
stones until mortar has been set.
A slab of stone used horizontally to cover a tomb.
Vertical dimension stone used on sides of a
A tapered head device wedged into a tapered recess in the edge
of a dimensional stone unit, used for lifting purposes and
Holes in cut stones for lifting and supporting during setting of
cut stones and sometimes for permanent support. Holes are
checked for the particular Lewis (lifting device or hook) to be
Containing compounds which cause a chemical set in reaction with
Carbon hydroxide or slaked lime that has been reduced to dry
Hydrated lime on plastic form ready for addition to mortar.
Limestone is a sedimentary
primarily of calcite or dolomite. The varieties of limestone
used as dimensional stone are usually well consolidated and
exhibit a minimum of graining or bedding direction. Limestones
that contain not more than five percent magnesium carbonate may
be termed calcite limestone, as distinguished from those that
contain between five and forty percent magnesium carbonate, and
from those that contain in excess of forty percent as the
mineral dolomite. Recrystallized limestones and compact, dense,
relatively pure microcrystalline varieties that are capable of
taking a polish are known as marbles. More on limestone.
A string stretched taut as a guide for laying the top edge of a
course of masonry units.
Structurally sound sections of stone that are cemented and
dowelled to the back of stone wall units, to give greater
strength, additional bearing surface, assist in support, or to
increase joint depth.
A metal pin used to attach line used for alignment of masonry
Structurally sound sections of stone cemented and doweled to the
back of thin stone units; to give greater strength, additional
bearing surface, or to increase joint depth.
A beam placed or constructed over an opening in a wall to carry
the superimposed load.
A condition where one edge of a stone is higher than adjacent
edges, giving the finished surface a ragged appearance.
Usually refers to
materials. Lipping is caused when two pieces of material to
be joined together are slightly warped or twisted causing one or
more edges to be higher or lower than the adjoining material.
A structural system or element designed to carry loads in
addition to its own dead load.
A small projecting member of a larger stone piece, to engage an
adjoining unit or to serve as an aid in handling.
Stone sill set into the jambs on each side of masonry opening.
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The generally recognized standard machine finish produced by the
Type of wood or plastic hammer, used to drive chisels.
Literally, badland; refers to dark-colored rock, commonly lava,
in rough terrain.
The structural member spanning the opening of a
Also, a shelf (usually cubic stone) which is part of the finish
and above the
Dimensional stone fabricated, ready for installation.
One who fabricates dimensional stone.
MARBLE INSTITUTE OF AMERICA:
An international trade association whose membership is composed
of contractors, exporters, importers, manufacturers, producers,
and wholesalers of dimensional stone, as well as those who
supply products and services to the industry.
A short-handled heavy hammer with two round or octagonal faces,
used to drive hammer-head shaping tools.
Worker or installer of stone.
A mill-mixed cementious material to which sand and water is
added to make mortar.
Natural or manufactured building units of fired clay or shale,
concrete, stone, glass, gypsum, etc…
A pasty, mortar-like material composed of solvent-based organic
adhesives that cures quickly by evaporation of the solvents.
Selecting, cutting, and placing finished stone slabs to obtain a
uniform and symmetrical pattern of natural veining and color.
The rock in which a crystallized mineral is embedded.
One skilled in installation of dimensional stone.
A stone of great size.
The top horizontal member or surface of an altar, usually of
Rock altered in appearance, density and crystalline structure,
and in some cases mineral composition, by high temperature or
pressure, or both. Slate is derived from shale; quartzite from
quartz sandstone; and true marble from limestone. Gneiss can be
derived from both sedimentary, igneous, and pre-existng
metamorphic rocks. More on metamorphic
The change or alteration in a rock caused by exterior agencies,
such as deep-seated heat and pressure, or intrusion of rock
A unit of linear measure in the metric system; equivalent to
Any group of mineral silicates in a multi-layered form;
characterized by cleaving which permits splitting into thin
A limestone that
consists largely or wholly of crystals that are so small as to
be recognizable only under magnification.
Processing of quarry blocks through sawing, planing, turning,
The junction of two units at an angle, of which the junction
line usually bisects on a 45’ angle.
A large or full size stone sample panel installed to show full
range of color, shading and texture.
MODULAR-MULTIPLE CUT PATTERN CUT:
This refers to standard patterns used throughout the stone
industry. These patterns are usually based on multiples of 3″ or
6″, stone that is multiple cut or pattern cut is pre-cut to
allow for ¼” or ½” joints or beds.
MODULUS OF RUPTURE:
The stress at which a specimen of stone breaks in the testing.
A gauge of hardness among minerals. Not to be confused with
hardness as determined by ASTM C241 test.
Formed template. Sometimes spelled in the trade as “mould.”
Decorative stone deviating form a plane surface by projections,
curved profiles, recesses, or any combination thereof.
Shaped from a single block of stone, as a monolithic column, in
contrast with a stacked column consisting of superimposed stone
drums. Also, a bed of portland cement cast over a concrete slab
without an isolation membrane.
Similar to gang saw, except it has only one blade for cutting
large stone units.
A troweled layer of mortar, in a plastic state, in which
building units will be set.
A veneering which is generally irregular with no definite
pattern. Nearly all the stone used in a mosaic pattern is
irregular in shape.
Vertical division member between windows or doors
Stone cut in rectangular multiples of a certain dimension.
Usually cut to allow for standard ¼” or standard ½” joint.
Stone, usually splitface, which is cut in various rises which
will “course out” (level with) each other when used in proper
combination with standard-width mortar joints.
A white, aluminum-rich mica found in granite.
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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MARBLE PRODUCERS:
The National trade Association of the American Marble Industry
whose membership is composed of marble producers (quarries) in
the United States, its territories and Canada.
The setting of the stone on the same plane as it was formed in
the ground. This generally applies to all stratified materials.
Lime with high clay content.
This generally pertains to stones which are formed in layers in
the ground. When such stones are elevated or separated along a
natural seam, the remaining surface is referred to a natural
Although technical a redundancy, as a stone its occurrence by
definition, the term is used to distinguish true stone from
A pure cement uncut by a sand admixture.
NET CROSS-SECTIONAL AREA:
See cross-sectional area.
NICKED BIT FINISH:
Obtained by planing the stone with a planer tool in which
irregular nicks have been made in the cutting edge.
A dimension greater than a specified masonry dimension by the
thickness of a mortar joint.
Any material that will neither ignite nor actively support
combustion in air at a temperature of 1.200’F when exposed to
Resistant to harmful oxidation or other corrosive actions
because of its composition (i.e. stainless steel, bronze,
Not containing iron material.
Mortar composed of materials which individually or collectively
do not contain material that will stain and usually have a very
low alkali content.
The rounded front edge of a stair tread.
Trowel with a serrated or notched edge used for spreading mortar
or adhesive in ridges of a specific thickness.
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A glassy phase of lava, usually black.
On centers, an abbreviation frequently used in dimensioning shop
drawings, designating dimensions from the center of one member
to the center of the next.
A course or unit that is set in from the course directly under
it, the opposite of a projection.
A stone molding with a reverse curved edge, concave above,
Rough stone under 150 pounds.
A variety of quartz in crystalline form of calcium carbonate. It
is characterized by a structure of parallel brands each
differing in color or in the degree of translucency. Considering
to be a marble because it can take a polished.
A crystalline from, commonly microcrystalline, of calcium
carbonate deposited usually from cold water solutions. It is
generally translucent and shows characteristic layering.
Commercially, onyx is considered a marble because it can be
Rock consisting mainly of calcite, made up of largely oolites or
granular particles (generally tiny fossils or fossil fragments)
that have calcium coatings. A calcite-cemented calcareous stone
formed of shells and shell fragments, practically
non-crystalline in character it is found in massive deposits
located almost entirely in Lawrence, Monroe, and Owen counties
in Indiana, also in Alabama, Kansas, and Texas. This limestone is
characteristically a freestone, without cleavage planes,
possessing a remarkable uniformity of composition, texture and
structure. It also possesses a high internal elasticity,
adapting itself without damage to extreme temperature changes.
The introduction into a rock of sill ceous material in the form
of opal, a hydrous silicate.
Open, fairly level quarry at or near ground level.
Designation of any chemical compound containing carbon (some of
the simple compounds of carbon, such as carbon dioxide, are
frequently classified as inorganic compounds). To date, nearly
one million organic compounds have been synthesized or isolated.
Many occur in nature; others are produced by chemical synthesis.
Rock protruding above or at ground level.
Generally refers to
To be out of wind is to have the arris of the stone not in
parallel or perpendicular lines; stone which is out of wind has
an irregular or rustic appearance.
Waste stone, earth or other quarry material covering useful
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A system of stacking stone on wooden pallets for shipment or
storage. Stone which comes palletized is easily moved and
transported by modern handling equipment. Palletized stone
generally arrives at the site in better condition then
A single unit of fabricated
A non-bearing wall consisting of panels of various materials,
each panel being separately held in frame. The frame may be the
structure itself or fastened to the structural framework of the
A low wall around the perimeter of a building at roof level or
Part of any wall entirely above the roof line.
A screen of stone separating chapels, especially at the east end
of the aisles, from the body of the church.
Dampproofing by applying a coat of mortar to the back of the
stone units or to the face of the back-up material.
Inlay of stone floors in geometrical or other patterns
consisting of two or more colors or materials.
An interior wall one story or less in height, generally non-loadbearing.
SI unit expressing force per unit area (PSI is the English
Repair compound used to fill natural voids or to replace chips
and broken corners or edges in fabricated pieces of dimension
stone. Mixed or selected to match the stone in color and
The color and texture added to a surface by time and various
A single unit of fabricated stone for use as an exterior paving
A stone supporting structure or piece for a bust, column,
statue, or vase.
The triangular face of a gable, if separated by entablature or
molding from the lower wall and treated as decorative unit.
A protective treatment that lines masonry pores; no film is
formed on the surface.
One which contains a considerable number of relatively small
openings. Often called pierced wall or screened wall.
The rate of vapor transmission of one grain per square foot per
inch of mercury vapor pressure difference.
The property of a substance which permits passage of water
vapor; moisture vapor transmission.
A stone extending through the thickness of a wall and finished
on both ends.
Slabs of stone set on other stones serving as stops and arches
Primitive stone carving.
In igneous rocks, the relatively large and conspicuous crystals
in a finer-grain matrix or ground mass.
A number denoting the degree of acidity or alkalinity; 7 is a
neutral value. Acidity increases with decreasing values below 7,
while alkalinity increases with increasing values above 7.
A class of acid organic compounds used in the manufacture of
epoxy resins, phenolformaldehyde resins, plasticizers, plastics
and wood preservatives.
Stone dressed using mason’s point
PICK & DIP:
A method of laying brick with one hand and, with the other hand,
dip enough mortar on a trowel to lay the brick. Sometimes called
the Eastern or New England Method.
Solid stone support, smaller than and distinct from a column.
Engaged pier of shallow depth; in classical architecture it
follows the height and width of related columns with similar
base sod cap. In classical architecture, it follows the height
and width of related columns, with similar base and cap.
Below ground-level quarry.
Surface resembling rock-faced produced with pitching tool.
Stone having arris clearly defined, face however is roughly cut
with pitching chisel used along the line which becomes the arris.
Similar to large chisel but with blunt, not sharp, broad edge,
about 6mm thick.
In ecclesiastical architecture, a basin of stone or marble in
which the challice is washed after the rite of the Eucharist.
Machine for planing moldings on to stone; machine used to reduce
thickness and gauge stone; machine used to produce a machine
finish on limestone.
PLASTER OF PARIS:
A calcined gypsum in a hemihydrate state.
Tracery designs, usually simple and geometrical, cut through a
thin slab of stone, as distinguished from a tracery proper,
which is formed by mortared sections of molding.
The lower square part of the base of a column. A square base or
a lower block, as in a pedestal. The base block at the juncture
of base-board and trim around an opening.
Obtained by rough planing the surface of stone, braking or
plucking out small particles to give rough texture.
PLUG AND FEATHERS:
Tools used for splitting stone blocks.
A shaped metal weight that is suspended from the lower end of a
line to determine the vertical trueness.
A narrow board with parallel edges having a straight line drawn
through the middle and a string attached at the upper end of the
line for determining a vertical plane.
Laminated wood in sheet form, with alternate laminations,
changing direction of grain. Dimensionally unstable in the
presence of moisture.
Chisel drawn nearly to a point.
A rough, tooled surface.
The final filling and finishing of mortar joints that have been
The finest and smoothest finish available in stone, generally
only possible on hard, dense materials. Or, a glossy finish
which brings out the full color and character of the stone.
A flexible, usually thermal setting resin formed by a
polymerization process using a small amount of accelerator
compound and used as an adhesive or to repair or fill certain
Plastic film sheet used for curing or as a cleavage or isolation
Ratio of pore space to the total volume of material expressed as
by distinct and contrasting sizes of course and fine grained
crystals. Used as a decorative
A hydraulic cement product obtained by pulverizing and
calcimining a properly proportioned mixture of three
mineralslime, silica, and alumina.
Method of drawing soluble salts or stains out of stone by
applying an absorbent such as clay or diatomaceous earth, mixed
to a paste with water or cleaning solvent.
Two or more stones combined into a single unit by use of epoxy
resins, steel framing or concrete backing.
Masonry fabricated in a location other than its final location
in the structure. Also known as preassembled, panelized, and
Having received its final form before introduction into a
structure, as in precast concrete slabs.
Platform surrounding an altar.
PRESSURE RELIEVING JOINT:
An open horizontal joint below the supporting angle or hanger
located at approximately every floor line and not over 15 ft.
apart horizontally, and every 20-30 ft. vertically, to prevent
the weight from being transmitted to the masonry below. These
joints are to be caulked with a resilient nonstaining material
to prevent moisture penetration.
A small assemblage made with masonry units and mortar and
sometimes grout. Primarily used to predict the strength of full
scale masonry members.
One who quarries stone.
The outline of the exposed face of a cross section.
Machine for cutting moldings on to stone.
Refers to the pulling out of stones in a
to give an effect of ruggedness. The amount each stone is pulled
out can vary between ¼” and 1 ½”; stones are either pulled out
at the same degree at both ends or sometimes one end is pulled
out leaving the other flush with the majority of veneer.
An exceptionally cellular, glassy lava, resembling a solid
Chisel drawn to a narrow blade used for roughing process.
The natural sulfides of certain metals. The most common is iron
pyrite, which is iron disulfide, a brittle mineral that is
brassy yellow in color with greenish-black streaks.
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Stone which has been extracted from the earth by means of man
power and machines.
One who extracts natural stone from a quarry.
The location of an operation where a natural deposit of stone is
removed from the ground.
Generally a rectangular piece of rough stone as it comes from
the quarry, frequently scabbed (dressed) or wire-sawed for
building stone, unselected materials within the ranges of
color and texture available from the quarry that is the source.
Natural moisture in stone deposits and freshly quarried stone.
A molding having a profile of one-quarter of a circle
Silicon dioxide occurring in colorless and transparent or
colored hexagonal crystals and also in crystalline masses. One
of the most common minerals, the chief constituent of
quartz-based stone and granite.
This stone may be either sedimentary in formation or
A compact granular metamorphic
rock composed of
quartz crystals, usually so firmly cemented as to make the mass
homogeneous. The stone is generally quarried in stratified
layers, the surfaces of which are unusually smooth, and the
crushing and tensile strength are extremely high. The color
range is wide. Or, a silver-gray, metamorphic sandstone formed
in exceedingly hard layers. In some deposits, intrusion of
minerals during the formation process created unusual shades of
brown and gold.
A metamorphic sandstone consisting of quartz grains cemented
with silica, but not as hard as quartzite. Geologically, it is
an intermediate rock between sandstone and
A cut brick having a nominal two-inch horizontal face dimension.
Calcium oxide which is crushed limestone that has been calcined.
QUIRK MITRE JOINT:
An external corner formed by two stone panels, at an angle with
meeting edges mitered and exposed portion finished.
A groove separating a bead or other molding from the adjoining
Stones at the corner
of a wall emphasized
by size, projection, rustication, or by a different finish.
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A groove cut into the surface along an edge so as to receive
another piece similarly cut.
Stepping back successive courses of masonry.
An angular cut on the face of stone.
A mortar joint formed by removing the mortar a given depth from
the face of the masonry.
The concave bend of a handrail where a sharp change in level is
required, as at the post of a stair landing.
An arch or vault which springs from one level of support and
rests at the other side on a higher level.
A stone pattern where joints are web-like.
Masonry of square or rectangular stones with neither vertical
nor horizontal joints continuous and installed without patterns.
That in which the course heights vary in size.
A course of any thickness that is continued across the entire
face. All range courses need not be of the same thickness.
RANGE OF COLOR:
The extent of variation of color, shade, markings, texture,
veining, and other characteristics of dimension stone, usually
defined by using a number of samples or a mock-up.
An additional cut that countersinks a kerf from to the back edge
of another piece of stone for the purpose of additional anchor
clearance. It is not a gauged cut. If used for a bearing
surface, must be shimmed to allow for tolerance in the cut,
Combined floor and curb used as the bottom of showers.
A sinkage in a wall plane.
A limestone in
which a new pattern of crystallinity has pervasively replaced
the crystal orientation in the original clastic particles,
fossils, or fossil fragments, and interstitial cement.
A narrow, flat molding of rectangular profile to receive and
Removing the surface of stone in place by some dressing method
to clean by exposing fresh stone.
A fabrication technique often called “rodding”; refers to the
strengthening of unsound marble and limestone by cementing
aluminum or stainless steel rods into grooves or channels cut
into the back of a stone unit. Another method of ”
reinforcement” is the lamination of fiberglass to the back of
RELIEF or RELIEVE:
Ornament in relief. The ornament of figure can be slightly, half
or greatly projected.
One built over a lintel, flat arch, or smaller arch to divert
loads, thus relieving the lower member from excessive loading,
also known as discharging or safety arch.
Raking out, refilling, and finishing joints with new mortar.
Inside corner of a stone member with a profile other than a flat
The screen behind an altar, usually richly treated in stone.
Work performed, including cleaning, repair, and finishing, to
return the stone to its original character, finish, and
Stones which have multiple widths and thicknesses, used as a
self-supporting wall (retaining
wall) with no back-up.
A chemical admixture to mortar or grout that slows setting or
To moisten mortar and re-mix after original mixing, to the
proper consistency for use.
Stone surface hand dressed to show a netlike or veinlike raised
pattern. Also, a wall built of square pieces set diagonally,
with the joints showing a netlike pattern.
The right angle turn of a wall, molding, or other horizontal
Stone facing with the finish appearing on both the face and the
edge of the same stone; as on the corner of a building.
The depth of stone between its outer face and a window or door
set in an opening; the reveal is at 90 degrees to the front
The most pronounced direction of splitting or cleavage of a
stone. Rift and grain may be obscure, as in some granites, but
are important in both quarrying and processing stone.
Irregular shaped stones used for facing bridge abutments and
fills; stones thrown together without order to form a
foundation, sustain walls, or minimize soil erosion. Also used
stepping stones and
Refers to the heights of stone, generally used in reference to
The vertical member between treads of a stair.
Ground water that travels upward through a masonry wall by means
of natural capillary action.
Split along natural cleavage planes, describes surface finish.
An integral part of the earth’s crust composed of an aggregate
of grains of one or more minerals (‘stone’ is the commercial
term applied to quarry products).
ROCK (PITCH) FACE:
This is similar to split face, except that the face of the stone
is pitched to a given line and plain, producing a bold
appearance rather than the comparatively straight face obtained
in split face.
An edge that is spalted from both sides, leaving a bubbled
Reinforcement of a structurally unsound marble by cementing
reinforcing rods into grooves or channels cut into the back of
Semi-circular arch with all stone pieces being wedge shaped.
A circular stone window fitted with carved tracery.
A surface finish accomplished by the gang sawing process.
Outside cut-slab, having one side sawed and the other rough,
from a block that has been gang sawed.
A preliminary stone cutting or carving process, removing the
bulk of unwanted material.
A brick laid on its face with the end surface visible in the
wall face. Frequently spelled rolock.
Mechanically rubbed for smoother finish; may have slight
A product term applied to dimension
used for building purposes, chiefly walls and foundations
and consisting of irregularly shaped pieces, partly trimmed or
squared, generally with one split or finished face, and selected
and specified within a site range.
Abrasive stone that is used to smooth the edges of stone tile.
Generally local stone, that is roughly hand dressed, and
intentionally laid with high relief in relatively modest
structures or rural character. Also, a grade of building
limestone, characterized by coarse texture.
Emphasized joints, recessed or beveled, which are cut or formed
Recessing the margin of cut stone so that when placed together a
channel is formed at each joint.
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A flat strip of stone projecting above the floor between the
jambs of a door, such as a threshold.
A masonry unit laid on end to show its broadest face.
A gloss finish obtained by a thermo-chemical reaction between
silicates of clay and vapors of salt or chemicals.
A piece of dimensional stone, usually 12″ x 12″ showing a
general range of marking and color of a given variety.
SANDBLASTED, COARSE STIPPLED:
Coarse plane surface produced by blasting with an abrasive;
coarseness varies with type of preparatory finish and grain
structure of the stone.
SANDBLASTED, FINE STIPPLED:
Plane surface, slightly pebbled, with occasional slight
A cleaning, engraving, or surface finish process achieved by
spraying sand on the surface with compressed air.
A matte textured surface finish with no gloss; finished by
application of a steady flow of sand and water under pressure;
suitable for exterior use.
Naturally occurring holes visible in some dimension stone; can
be filled or waxed.
SAND RUBBED FINISH:
Finish obtained by rubbing stone with a sand and water mixture
under a rotating horizontal steel plate. This actual process is
now little used, and the finish so known is commonly applied
with a rotary or belt sander.
SAND SAWN FINISH:
The surface left as the stone comes from the gang saw.
Moderately smooth, granular surface varying with the texture and
grade of stone.
Sandstones are sedimentary
composed of quartz cemented with silica, iron oxide or calcium
carbonate. Sandstones range from very soft and friable to very
hard and durable, depending on the depth at which is was buried
and the nature of the cement. Generally, the most durable
sandstones are cemented with silica. Sandstone has a wide range
of colors or textures. More on sandstones.
See C/B ratio.
A clean cut edge generally achieved by cutting with a diamond
blade , gang saw or wire saw.
A finish obtained from the process used in producing
building stone. Varies in texture from smooth to rough and
coincident with the type of materials used in sawing
characterized as diamond sawn; sand sawn; chat sawn; and shot
An operator of a bridge saw, gang saw or wire saw.
Rough dressed stone, with prominent toolmarks.
The process of removing surface irregularities for blocks for
storage and shipment.
Small chips of stone.
Temporary elevated structure for the support of plank footing
and platforms as aids to workmen.
Plasterwork used in imitation of ornamental marble, consisting
of ground gypsum and glue colored with marble or granite dust; a
small piece of marble.
Thin lamina or paper-like sheets of rock often loose, and
interrupting an otherwise smooth, surface on stone.
The loosening of a material normally attached to another by
surface adherence, which then peels and breaks away.
A block of stone supporting the pedestal of a statue or the
plinth of a column; a surplus bevel of stone adjoining a sharp
edge, to prevent chipping when the cubic piece is being set.
A foliated metamorphic
characterized by thin foliae that are composed predominantly of
minerals of thin platy or prismatic habits and whose long
dimensions are oriented in approximately parallel positions
along the planes of foliation. Because of this foliated
structure schists split readily along these planes and so
possess a pronounced rock cleavage. The more common schistise
are composed of the micas and other mica-like minerals (such as
chlorite) and generally contain subordinate quartz and/or
feldspar or comparatively fine-grained texture; all graduations
exist between schist and gneiss (coarse is foliated feldspathic
To scarify the surface of stone to make a better bond; to mark
on a stone piece for the purpose of a cutting layout.
Irregular masses of lava resembling clinker or slag; may be
cellular (vesicular) dark-colored and heavy.
A concave molding.
The first rough coat of portland cement mortar, which is scored
or roughed before completely set, allowing better adhesion of
A strip of wood, metal, or other material applied to a surface.
Screeds are used as guides on which a straight edge is used to
obtain a true mortar surface.
To mark the edge of one stone unit to be cut to fit snugly
In dimensional stone, an artist whose craft is to carve stone in
The work of a sculptor in three dimensional form by cutting from
a solid block of stone.
An elastic adhesive compound used to seal
joints. Or, a resilient compound used as the final weatherface.
veneer joint water-tight or leak-proof with an elastic
adhesive compound; or application of a surface treatment to
prevent staining, moisture penetration and reduce weathering.
The natural bed face of a quarried stone.
A pavement made up of fitted hexagonal stones.
Stone formed by precipitation from solution, as rock salt and
gypsum, from secretion of organisms, as most limestones,
or from the deposition of sand (sandstone)
or clay (shale, claystone).
One of three classes of rock (igneous, sedimentary and
metamorphic) which make up the earth’s outer crust. Sedimentary
rocks (sandstones, limestones, shales) formed from the
disintegration of older rocks, soils, plants, and animals. More
Variety of gypsum in transparent, foliated, crystalline form.
A finish achieved by rubbing hand or machining the rough or high
spots off the surface to be used leaving a certain amount of the
natural surface along with the smoothed areas.
A commercial marble characterized by a prominent amount of the
mineral serpentine. Most commonly dark green in color, but may
be brownish-red. Or, a hydrous magnesium silicate matonal of
igneous origin, generally a very dark green color with markings
of white, light green, or black; one of the hardest varieties of
A change in mortar consistency from a plastic to a hard state.
An experienced journeyman who installs dimensional stone units.
The trade of installing dimensional stone units.
SETTING BED MORTAR:
The troweling of mortar to set building units, but with the
exposed joint raked out for the application of the pointing
mortar or grout to be done later.
Terminology referring to the distance from the finished face of
a stone unit to the face of the back-up material.
Clay that has been subjected to high pressure until it has
A type of stress; a body is in shear when it is subjected to a
pair of equal forced which are opposite in direction and which
act along parallel planes.
A steel angle usually connected to a spandrel beam which
supports brick veneer, typically at every floor level.
A piece of plastic or other non-corrosive, non-staining material
used to hold joints to size.
A stretcher laid on its edge to show its broadest face.
Depending on the specified product use, the shop drawing is a
detailed fabrication and installation drawing showing dimensions
and methods of anchorage usually prepared by the stone
Description of a finish obtained by using steel shot in the gang
sawing process to produce random markings for a rough surface
SHOT SAWN FINISH:
A rough gang saw finish produced by sawing with chilled steel
Vertical joints filled by shoving a unit against the next unit
when it is being laid in a bed of mortar.
Contraction on size of a material through cooling or drying.
Generally refers to alkyltrialkoxysilanes. A monomeric
organosilicon compound with one unhydrolyzable bond, which forms
a chemical bond with siliceous minerals providing water
repellent protection to masonry substrates. Silicanes are
usually dissolved in organic solvents, but some are dispersed in
water. They are properly classified as penetrates.
It is diluted with water and is, consequently noncombustible.
Silicate is a highly alkaline solution and is used mostly as an
admixture in mortars and cements to harden and densify surfaces.
A reactive material which comes from CI stock. (Also see
magnesium fluosilicate and sodium silicate.)
Silicane ethers or orthosiliate esters of general structure
(RO)4Si, where R is an organic group in which all bonds are
hydrolyzable. An example is tetraethoxysilane or
tetraethylorthosilicate which is used in consolidative
restoratives for stone, as a base for high temperature zinc-rich
paints and as an additive to organsilicane and siloxide water
Strongly alkaline compound commonly referred to as water glass,
used in soaps, detergents, adhesives, waterproofing mortars and
Organic modified alkali silicates. Siliconates are generally
applied in aqueous solution to harden and/or protect masonry
substrates. Although sometimes associated with crust formation
treatments, they are best classified as penetrants.
Any of the organopolysiloxanes applied to masonry materials for
water repellency. Silicone water repellents are generally highly
polymerized resins applied in any of several organic solvents.
Application is accompanied by chemical bonding to the substrate
if silicate minerals are present. The size and shape of the
polymer of which the resin is composed determines whether the
silicone treatment is classified as a film former or a penetrant.
A flat stone used under windows, doors, and other masonry
openings. Or, a horizontal unit used at the base of an exterior
opening in a structure.
A course set at window sill level, and commonly differentiated
from the wall by projecting, by finish, or by being sill
thickness, to continue the visual effect of the sill.
Generally refers to alkylalkoxysiloxanes that are oligimerous
(i.e. siloxane or low molecular weight with the polymer
consisting of two, three, or four monomers). As with other
silicones, application is accompanied by chemical bonding to the
substrate if silicate minerals are present. Oligomerous
siloxanes are properly classified as penetrants.
A fine-grained non-carbonate clastic rock compose of detrital
grains of quartz and silicate minerals of silt size. Siltstones
are rarely marketed as such but commonly are considered as
fine-grained quartz-based stones (sandstones). Siltstone is
texturally transitional between quartz-based stones and shales
(mudstones). Many bluestones and siliceous
fall within this category. The term is included in these
definitions chiefly to explain the relationship of some
flagstones to the quartz-based stone category.
See artificial marble.
An artificial man-made product.
Medium bush-hammered finish, similar to but coarser than 8-cut,
with markings not more than 1/8″ apart.
A measurement in extent.
A bevel-faced stone, particularly at the eaves end of a gable; a
The inclined surface on which the arch joins the supporting
Logs or timbers used as support and track in sliding quarry
blocks and heavy cubic pieces of stone; a platform upon which
dimension stone tile are temporarily stored.
Lengthwise cut of a large quarry block of stone. Or, a piece of
stone cut form the quarry block prior to fabrication.
A fine-grained metamorphic
rock derived from
clay and shales, which possesses a cleavage that permits it to
be split readily into thin, smooth sheets.
Ratio of the effective height of a member to its effective
thickness or radius of gyration.
A connection which permits vertical or horizontal movement of
the cladding with respect to the structural frame.
Veneer panels all finished on the same face and place side by
side forming a repetition of the same pattern in each panel.
A stone sill set between the jambs.
Vertical joints filled, after units are laid, by throwing mortar
in with a trowel.
Description of the finish produced by planer machines plus the
removal of objectionable tool marks. Also known as “smooth
planer finish” and ” smooth machine finish”.
SNAPPED EDGE-QUARRY CUT or BROKEN EDGE:
This generally refers to a natural breaking of a stone either by
hand or machine. The break should be a right angles to the top
and bottom surface.
The stone area where a chip has been dislodged.
Breakage of very small pieces off the top or bottom edge, or a
corner, of a dimension stone unit.
A masonry unit of normal face dimensions, having a nominal
A massive variety of talc with a soapy or greasy feel, used for
hearths, washtubs, tabletops, curved ornaments, chemical
laboratories, etc… Known for its stain proof qualities.
Stone piece directly above a plinth on which a sculpture,
statuary, bust or the like rests.
The exposed lower surface of any overhead component of a
building such as a lintel, vault, or cornice, or an arch or
Clay products that have been fired at a low temperature ranges,
producing units of relatively high absorption’s and low
A masonry unit laid on end with its stretcher face showing on
the wall surface.
SOLID MASONRY UNIT:
A masonry whose net cross-sectional area in every plan parallel
to the bearing surface is 75 percent or more of its
cross-sectional area measured in the same plane.
Nonvolatile matter in a coating composition (i.e. the
ingredients of a coating composition which, after drying, are
left behind and constitute the dry film). Solids are usually
measured as weight percent of the total.
Liquid which is used in the manufacture of paint or clear
repellents to dissolve or disperse film-forming constituents,
and which evaporates during drying and does not become a part of
the dried film. Solvents are used to control the consistency and
character of the finish and to regulate application properties.
A property of stone used to describe relative freedom from
cracks, faults, and similar imperfections in the untreated
stone. One of the characteristics encountered in fabrication.
Marble and limestone marble have been classified into four
groupsA, B, C, and D, to distinguish method and amount of
As a verb, it is to flake or split away through action of the
elements or pressure. As a noun, it is a chip or flake so
An edge cut from one side of the stone, leaving an undercut
A flat vertical face in an arcade bounded by the adjacent curves
of two arches and the horizontal tangent of their crowns. Or,
the vertical face on buildings supported by a skeleton structure
between the sill of one window and the top (or lintel) of the
window next below.
That part of a stone wall above the top of a window in one story
and below the sill of the window in the story above.
A beveled or slanted surface, split division of rock by
The description, which is part of project documents or attached
to a contract, of the materials and workmanship required in a
structure, and which may have related drawings.
A beveled or slanted surface, inclined to another surface.
A thin strip of material, such as wood or metal, inserted into
the edges of two stone pieces or stone tiles to make a butt
joint between them.
SPLIT FACE SAWED BED:
Usually split face is sawed on the beds and is split either by
hand or by machine so that the surface face of the stone
exhibits the natural quarry texture.
SPLIT FACE MACHINE:
Device that splits slabs of stone into usable thicknesses for
job-fabricated stone patterns. Generally hydraulic, but may
operate on impact. Blades are used to split bullets from slabs
for most limestones and sandstones, but toothed bars may be used
for harder stone, such as granite.
Finish obtained by diamond sawing to accurate heights, then
breaking by machine to required bed widths.
SPOT OR SPOTTING:
An adhesive contact applied to the back of a
stone veneer unit to bridge the space between the unit and
the back-up wall thus helping to maintain the unit in a fixed
position. Plaster of paris is used on interior vertical stone
units and portland cement mortar on the exterior.
The stone lying first above the base of an arch.
Installed at the corner of a building to prevent traffic damage.
A plane figure having four equal sides and four interior right
angles; also, edges or units that are at right angles to each
that is cut to one dimensional size and installed with unbroken
vertical and horizontal joints running the entire length and
height of the veneered area.
Temporary platform working space in and around a building under
construction or repair.
A phenomenon of discoloration on newly installed limestone. Buff
limestone will exhibit a dark gray stain. This staining is
similar to efflorescence but it is the organic matter in the
stone which is leaching out through the release of excess water
of crystallization of the setting mortar.
A series of
steps or flight of
stairs, possibly with landings, and with handrail, newels,
etc. Also known as ‘stair’ or ‘stairway’.
A small fissure.
A sculpture of a human or animal figure.
Soapstone in slab form, as for hearths,
Salt or ester of stearic acid that functions as a water
repellent by forming a “soap” within the masonry pores.
Stearates are generally classified as film-formers, but can be
considered penetrants in modified forms.
One unit of
tread and riser.
A trade term describing the butt edge repair of a broken piece
of stone, now generally done with dowels, cements, or epoxies.
The pieces are “stuck” together, thus the term “sticking”.
Stone that is light
and thin enough
to adhere to wall surface using chemical adhesives or mastics.
The backs of these stones are usually flattened and leveled.
building stones are sometimes also called “stick-ons”.
A vertical framing member of a paneled door or of stone
Sometimes synonymous with rock, but more properly applied to
individual blocks, masses, or fragments taken form their
original formation or considered for commercial use.
A building craftsman skilled in constructing
masonry. The work of masons includes such preparation of
stone as is done on the job.
Masonry construction in stone; preparation or setting of stone
A flat stone, generally polished, used as an interior window
A chamfer which curves or angles to become narrower until it
meets the aris.
A structure produced by deposition of sediments in beds or
layers (strata), lamina, lenses, wedges, and other essentially
A unit of stone placed lengthwise in a course.
Cut off with a trowel the excess mortar at the face of a joint.
Also known as “struck joint.”
The outer support of stair ends, or the stone covering the ends.
Defines treatment at edge of stairs, inside and outside.
Generally speaking, strip rubble comes from a ledge quarry. The
beds of the stone while uniformly straight, are of natural cleft
as the stone is removed form the ledge, and then split by
machine to approximately 4″ widths.
Long pieces of stone usually low height ashlar courses where
length to height ratio is at maximum for the material used.
A joint without mortar; an open joint.
A joint from which excess mortar has been removed by a stroke of
An intermediate vertical member of a frame.
In limestone and marble, generally a bedding plane, along with
differential solution of the material on each side has caused
interpenetration of points, cones, or columns, forming a contact
surface that is rough when separated. In cross section, the
stylolitic surface has the appearance of a jagged, zigzag line
of varying amplitude. The boundary may have a thin zone of
insoluble materials, as clay or iron oxide. Some stylolites
constitute a surface of weakness or parting in the stone, but
most are tightly annealed. Sawing stone perpendicular to or at a
high angle to stylolites produces much if the “veined” stone of
the marble and limestone industries, and sawing at a very low
angle to stylolites causes some of the “flueri” patterns.
Stylolites may develop in sandstone or quartzite, butarerare.
One who contracts to carry through a definite part of the
general contractor’s obligation in building.
A flooring upon which a finish floor is to be laid.
Accumulation of soluble salts under or just beneath the masonry
surface, formed as moisture evaporates. Subfluorescence can
damage the substrate during wet/dry and freeze/thaw cycling.
One who is engaged in supplying auxiliary materials, products,
equipment and service to the industry.
An angle, plate, or stone which carries a gravity load.
Granite-like rock containing little or no quartz.
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A small flat slab or surface of stone especially one bearing one
or intended to bear an inscription, carving or the like.
A soft mineral composed of hydrous magnesium silicate, major
ingredient of soapstone.
Tapped or pushed down to fill a space or make level.
To moisten and mix clay, plaster, or mortar to the proper
A pattern for repetitive marking or fabricating operation; made
from a hard, waterproof material.
Low fired clay, either glazed or unglazed, used primarily in
A type of concrete in which chips or pieces of stone, usually
marble, are mixed with cement and are ground to a flat surface,
exposing the chips which take a high polish.
Three dimensional surface enrichment independent of color; any
finish other than a smooth finish.
A rough surface finish that tends to subdue color and markings;
obtained by bush hammering and machine chiseling.
K-value; measure of heat-flow through a material or substance.
A rough non-reflective finish created with the use of intense
heat flaming to exfoliate the surface of the stone and expose
the actual grain. Large surfaces may have shadow lines caused by
overlapping of the machine or torch.
R-value; the tendency of a material to retard the flow of heat;
the reciprocal of the co-efficient of heat transmission.
A mixture of portland cement with sand, and additives that
improve water retention, used as a thin mortar for installing
THICK BED MORTAR:
A mortar setting bed over ½” and up to 4″ thick. The minimum
required ” thick bed thickness” is a function of application
usage, installed material, and the supporting substrate.
THIN BED MORTAR:
A mortar setting bed up to ½” thick.
that is sawn thin
and light enough
to adhere to a surface which special sticky mortar or ” rich
mud” has been applied. The pieces are generally the same
thickness as flagging but smaller in surface area. The same item
can also be used for flagging,
Dimension units less
than two inches thick.
THRESHOLD LIMIT VALUE:
Value of airborne toxic materials that are to be used as guides
in control of health hazards and present time weighed
concentrations to which all workers may be eight hours per day
over extended periods of time without adverse effects.
The under-cut of a projected molding to form a drip.
Stone laid across entire thickness of a wall.
Any unit of material that connects masonry to masonry or other
Stone installed with a 1/32″ joint.
A modular unit less than 5/8″ thick.
Dimensional allowance made for the inability of men and machines
to fabricate a product of exact dimensions.
TONGUE AND GROOVE:
Applied to boards or plywood having a tongue formed on one edge
and a groove on the other for tight jointing. Not recommended
for stone tile sub-floor.
Dressed stone, having regular tool marks.
Customarily are four, six, or eight parallel concave grooves to
Compressing and shaping the face of a mortar joint with a
special tool other than a trowel.
Constructing the temporary end of a wall with the end stretcher
of alternate courses projecting. Projecting units are toothers.
Ornamentation of panels, circular windows, window heads, etc… A
curving mullion of a stone window, as in Gothic architecture.
An assumed section of one material having the same elastic
properties as the original section of two materials.
The slow change from one distinct style to another distinct
style following it.
The light-emitting quality of certain marble varieties
containing a crystal structure capable of transmitting light.
Horizontal member subdividing a window opening.
A variety of limestone which
is a precipitant from cave or spring waters. Some varieties of
travertine take a polish and have been marketed as travertine
A variety of limestone regarded
as a product of chemical precipitation from hot springs.
Travertine is cellular with the cells usually concentrated in
thin layers that display a stalactitic structure. Some that take
a polish are sold as marble and may be classified as travertine
marble under the class of “commercial marble”.
A flat stone used as the top walking surface on
Stone used as decorative items only, such as sills, coping,
enframements, etc….with the facing of another material.
A stone arch, usually a low rise arch, used for supporting a
Pointing of irregularly shaped masonry units with mortar colored
to match the units followed by placement of fine stripes of a
contrasting colored mortar on top of the first mortar. Also
used, incorrectly, for repointing.
Calcareous deposit from saturated limy waters.
Cemented volcanic ash; many varieties included.
A special finish for marble, limestone marble and limestone
obtained by rotating pre-cut pieces in a mixer or other
container. This rounds the edges and arrises.
In stone fabrication pieces with circular outline, as columns,
balusters, and some bases and capitals. Generally cut on a
lathe, although spheres and some other shapes may be cut by
A platform flush with floor or tracks, capable of being rotated
Rough stones under 400 pounds.
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The overall heat transmission coefficient. Expressed in BTU per
inch, per hour, per square foot, per degree Fahrenheit of
temperature difference from air to air of a given building
section. This is always the final calculation used to determine
A piece of fabricated dimensional cubic or thin stone.
Cut so as to present an overhang part, as a drip mold.
Factory proportioned combination of portland cement, sand and
additives used with or without a latex liquid to level an uneven
substrate and to provide a suitable stone floor tile setting
A thin stone panel used as a privacy partition between urinals.
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A joint that has been shaped with a tool to form a “V.”
A material, usually in thin sheet form or combined with a
sheathing material, designed to prevent the passage of moisture
through a wall or floor with the aim of avoiding condensation
within the wall.
Transfer of water in partially dry solid from regions of high
concentrates to those of low concentrates.
Arched stone roof.
A layer, seam, or narrow irregular body of mineral material
different from the surrounding formation.
Unique to the marble industry, it is a cut perpendicular to the
natural bedding plane.
An outside, non-bearing load wythe of masonry used as a
Any stone used as a
facing material which is not meant to be load bearing.
securely anchored to the back-up wall.
Method used to allow air and moisture to escape to the outside
from the wall cavity.
A commercial marble composed chiefly of massive serpentine and
capable of taking a high polish. It is commonly veined with
carbonate mineral, chiefly calcite and dolomite.
With dressing of irregularity shaped sinkings, leaving worm-like
See head joint.
These include products in which the unsaturated vinyl grouping
is involved. Vinyl resins include polyvinyl, acetate, polyvinyl
chloride, copolymers of these, the acrylic methacrylic resins,
the polystyrene resins, etc…
The condition resulting when kiln temperatures are so high as to
fuse grains and close pores of a clay product, making the mass
One of the stones in an arch between the impost and keystone.
A cavity in rock; sometimes lines or filled with either
amorphous or crystalline material; common in calcareous rocks
such as marble or limestone.
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interior veneer stone
less than full wall height.
A horizontal member anchored to a masonry wall to which other
structural elements may be attached. Also called head plate.
A bonder or metal piece which connects wythes of masonry to each
other or to other materials.
WALL TIE, CAVITY:
A rigid, corrosion resistant metal tie which bond two wythes of
a cavity wall. It is usually steel, 3/16″ in diameter, and
formed in a ‘Z’ shape or rectangle.
Generally a condition experienced only in flagging or
materials; very common with
materials that are taken from the ground and used in their
natural state. To eliminate warping in stones it would be
necessary to further finish the material such as machining, sand
rubbing, honing, or polishing.
A sloped area or the area water will run over.
Water repellents and latex paint coatings containing water
soluble or water dispersible binders.
WATER OF CRYSTALLIZATION:
The extra water required to assist in the crystallization
process when forming a hydrate (mortar, cement, concrete,
plaster, etc…) When the hydrate gives up this excess water, at
ambient temperatures, the result is a surface deposit known as
efflorescence or staining.
A coating used to treat the surface of the substrate, preventing
liquid from entering, but allowing water vapor transmission,
Any of several types of clear liquids used to render masonry
wall less absorptive. These treatments are said to maintain a
material’s ability to breathe away moisture, as distinct from
“sealer” which form impervious, non-breathing coatings.
The property of a mortar which prevents the rapid loss of water
to masonry units of high suction. It prevents bleeding or water
gain when mortar is in contact with relatively impervious units.
A continuous course of building units on the outside of a wall,
near the ground, with a horizontal projection or ledge. It is
often shaped with a slope and a drip to limit the amount of
water passing over the wall or surface below.
A trade expression used in fabrication of interior marble to
describe the process of filling natural voids with cements,
shellac, or other materials.
The artificial removal of material, or impairment of the stone
surface finish, through friction or impact.
A slope to the outside of the upper part of a joint to shed
Natural alteration by either chemical or mechanical processes
due to the action of the atmosphere, surface waters, soil and
other ground waters, or to temperature changes. Changes by
weathering are not necessarily undesirable or harmful.
The cross wall connecting the face shells of a hollow masonry
Splitting of stone by driving wedges into planes of weakness.
An opening for drainage in
or in the structural components supporting the veneer.
The ability of a coating to flow out, spread, or penetrate a
A chalk pigment used in paint and putty.
One who produces dimensional stone in all forms for sale to the
A warp in a semi-finished stone slab to be removed by further
The bottom section of a window frame and/or the bottom section
of an exterior masonry window opening.
A narrow shelf fitted across the lower part on the inside of a
A sawing device consisting of one or more wire cables, running
over pulleys used to cut natural stone into blocks and slabs by
tension and fed slurry of an abrasive and water cuts by
A method of cutting stone by passing a twisted, multi-strand
wire over the stone, and immersing the wire in a slurry of
The ability of a coating to cover all areas of the substrate to
which it is applied, including edges. Also, the effect of an
electrostatic charge upon a coating and the ability of the
coating to cover all exposed conductive areas.
A masonry wall, one stone or brick thick, that either faces a
back-up or is a back-up wall and secured to its neighboring
wythes by bond stone or grout; or forms either half of a cavity
wall, and is attached to the other half by metal ties.
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