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The Stone & Worktop Glossary


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The jargon used in defining stone terms can often become quite convoluted. The purpose of this section is to try to offer a clear explanation, in layman’s English, of the most common definitions relating to stone, worktops as a whole and their fabrication.

If you are looking for an explanation of a term not contained here please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to try to assist you.

Happy reading!


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Stone And Worktop Terms Beginning With The Letter B

Back Arch

A concealed arch carrying the back lug of a wall where the exterior facing is carried by a lintel.

Back Filling

Coarse masonry built behind a facing or among two faces. Or, filling over the extrados of an arch; brickwork in spaces between structural timbers, occasionally called brick nogging.


The part of a veneer wall at the back the exterior facing which is designed to resist load.

Backing Rod

A elastic 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 base or rear of joint and frequently described as a “filler strip”.

Back-Up Wall

That part of masonry or other type wall at the back the stone veneer, die, or facing.


A miniature pillar or column supporting a rail typically used in balustrades.


A railing otherwise parapet consisting of a handrail and balusters, occasionally on the bottom part and occasionally interrupted by piers.


A counter of timber or stone may be a single block on which stone is laboured.


A dense textured (aphanitic) igneous rock rather high in iron and magnesia minerals and relatively low in silica, usually dark gray to black, and feldspathic. A common term in contradistinction to felsite, a light coloured feldspathic and highly siliceous rock or similar texture and origin. The colours of basalts are dark green to black and often sold as granites, but unlike granites, basalt contains little or no quartz or feldspars.feldspathic and highly siliceous rock of similar texture and origin. 


The base course of a stone wall, or the perpendicular first part above grade of a finished floor. Or, in a column, it is the part between the shaft and pedestal or paving.

Base Block

The squared block finishing a baseboard at the opening.

Base Course

The lowest course, or foothold of a wall or pier.


The skirting part at the junction of wall and floor. Look at base.

Basket Weave

 A checkerboard pattern in paving.


 Carving or Sculpture with slight projection from the background.


 A piece of brick, typically half the size or smaller.


 Stone surface finish fashioned with parallel tool marks.


 Recessing or sloping masonry back in successive courses; the opposite of corbel.

Battered Wall

 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.

Batting Tool

 A mason’s chisel numerous inches wide used to dress stone to a striated surface.


The shape of a sealant in a joint after appliance. 


A slot cut into the reverse of dimension stone to permit entry of a supporting angle or clip. 


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 sandwiched between the sheets. Or, in stratified rocks the unit layer formed by sedimentation; of changeable thickness and usually tilted or misshapen by subsequent deformation; normally develops a rock cleavage, parting or jointing along the planes of stratification.

Bed Joint

A level joint among stones, typically filled with mortar, lead, or sealant.

Bedding Plane

Level plane of sedimentary stone in the location of its original formation.

Belt Course

A continuous level course of flat stones place in line marking a division in the wall plane. occasionally 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.

Bench Mark

A datum point since differences in level are reckoned.


A bank of earth, such as the piled-up earth alongside a stone wall. 


When the angle between two sides is bigger or less than a right angle.  


A black, brown, or dark-green mica, a magnesium iron silicate.

Birds Beak Moulding

A drip mould originate notably in the cap of the pilaster of the Doric order.

Blck Granite

Dark coloured igneous rocks defined by geologists as basalt, diabase, gabbro, diorite, and anorthosite, quarried as construction stone, building facings, and specialty purposes and identified as Black Granite when being sold.


Staining caused by acidic metals, oil-based putties, mastics, caulking or sealing compounds. Rust-coloured bleeding can as well happen from stone that has a high concentration of iron pyrite.


Refers to the proper positioning of adjacent veneer panels, or floor slabs, or tiles by their predominant colour to achieve an overall uniform pattern.


Mixes of dissimilar generic raw materials to form a water repellent.

Blind Header

A hidden brick header in the interior of a wall, not showing on the face.


See Quarry Block


Internal parts of wall furring or the like to afford fastening and firmness for the veneer. Or, to fill a space within a shipping truck or container with fastened wood to prevent movement of stone.


A hard, thin-grained, commonly feldspathic sandstone or siltstone of middle to dark or bluish-gray colour that splits willingly along original bedding planes to form fine slabs. Bluestone is not a technical geologic term. It is measured to be a variety of flagstone, the fine relatively smooth-surfaced slabs being appropriate for use as flagging. The term has been applied mainly to sandstones of Devonian age that are being or have been quarried in eastern New York and Pennsylvania and in western New Jersey, but similar stones that arise elsewhere may be incorporated. It has also been applied in places to thinly layered gneisses and schist’s that can be split and used as flagging, but such stones are not properly embraced by this definition, even though they may be marketed properly as flagstone. 


Film imperfection which looks 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 spoil by encroaching traffic.

Bond Breaker

Usually in tape form. Used to guarantee adhesion on both sides of the joint in joints of small depth, and where a backing rod or other joint filler is not practical.

Bond Coat

An adhesive material used among the back of the stone tile or paver and the prepared surface. 

Bond Stone

Used in varying percentages to anchor or bond the stone veneer to the backing material. Bond stones are usually cut to twice the bed thickness of the material being used. Or, stones projecting into the backup wall used to tie the wall together.

Book Matching

 Veneer slabs cut and pull together so that one slab will match the other in the parallel direction, or in a vertical direction, but not both. Slabs must have alternating faces finished in sequence as they are layered in the quarry block.


 A flat stone used as an edging objects, a border stone is usually used to retain the field of the terrace or platform.

Border Stone

Generally a flat stone used as a edging material. A border stone is usually used to retain the field of a terrace, platform, or floor.


A coarse stone placed in a wall and projecting from it, that is left to be sculptured at a later date. Or, coursed stone ashlar with coarsely dressed or projecting face.


Paving with cobblestones. 


Boulders are weighty, coarse stones normally used in landscaping. 


A tapered metal box wedged in the top of columns or other weighty stones for hoisting. 

Break Joints

To organize a course of stone so that its perpendicular joints are not in line with those of the course just below.


The passing of moisture form through stone. Also called vapor transmission. To a bigger or lesser extent all stone has this process happen.


Marble or limestone in which angular parts are imbedded in a matrix of the same of another composition.

Brecciated Marble

Any marble made up of angular fragments.

Bridge Saw

A saw that powers a circular blade or blades which move on a metal rail (bridge), and rests on supports. It is used to fabricate stone slabs and cubic stone into square and rectangular parts. Some types can be used to fabricate profiles and mitres. 


To cut out or drill stone left between intimately spaced drill holes. Also, a mason’s sharp pointed chisel for dressing stone and a type of chisel used for working narrow surfaces.

Broken Flagstone

Unevenly shaped stones, generally ½” to 2 ½” thick. Look at flagstone.


A sandstone of distinguishing brown or reddish-brown colour that is suitable to a prominent amount of iron oxide as interstitial material. Or, a term applied to ferruginous dark brown and reddish brown askosic sandstones widely used for building in the U.S. during the 19th century Stone for New York City’s noted “brownstone fronts” came from the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, south-eastern Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Brushed Finish

Acquired by brushing the stone with a rough rotary-type wire brush. 


British Thermal Unit; the sum of heat required to elevate the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at sea level, used as the basic unit of definite heat generation and transmission.


Capable of enhancement in gloss or universal appearance, or both, of a polish by a mechanical action.

Bugged Finish

A smooth finish made by grinding with power sanders.

Building Stone

Natural rock of sufficient quality to be quarried and cut as dimension stone as it exists in nature


Term indicating the get-together of parts or layers to complete a wall, etc…

Bull Nose

Convex rounding of a stone parts, such as a stair tread. A convex, semicircular moulding formed on the end of brick. 


 A wooden framework in which big stone slabs are packed for shipment.

Burnish Finish

See polished finish 

Bush hammered

A mechanical process which produces textures surfaces. Textures differ from subtle to coarse. 

Butt Crack

Once considered to be limited to the plumbing trade, it is a observable sign of working with passionate concentration and expertise.

Butt Joint

An external corner formed by the meeting of two square-edged stones, either one overlapping the other. 


To put mortar on a masonry part with a trowel.


A defective method of fitting which involves the apply of spots of mortar at corners and the centre of stone tile.


Placing mortar on stone on stone tiles with a trowel before locating into place, to insure adhesion and to aid in levelling.


A projecting mass of masonry set at an angle to or bonded into a wall that it strengthen or supports. A buttress decreases in its cross-sectional area form top to base.


An imitation rubber formed by the copolymerization of isobutylene and isoprene. 

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