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The Stone & Worktop Glossary


Decisions are more informed with knowledge!

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 M

Machine Finish

The normally recognized benchmark machine finish produced by the planers.


A wood or plastic hammer, used to drive chisels.


Literally, badland; refers to dark-coloured rock, normally lava, in coarse terrain.


The structural part spanning the aperture of a fireplace. Also, a shelf (typically cubic stone), which is part of the finish and above the fireplace aperture.


Dimensional stone fabricated, ready for fixing.


Some one who fabricates dimensional stone. 


A metamorphic limestone in a more or less crystalline state capable of accepting a polish. Take place in a wide variety of colours and variation. Marble that contains less than five percent magnesium carbonate may be termed calcite marble; from 5 to 40 percent magnesium carbonate, magnesium or dolomitic marble; and more than 40 percent dolomite marble. These restrictive values are, however, not strictly established in petrologic science and are used herein as arbitrary limits. Merchandise and services to the industry.

Mash Hammer

A short-handled weighty hammer with two round or octagonal faces, used to drive hammer-head shaping tools.


Worker or fitter of stone.


Built up creation, typically of a combination of materials set in mortar. 

Masonry Cement

A mill-mixed cementious material to which sand and water is added to make mortar.

Masonry Unit

Natural or artificial construction units of fired clay or shale, concrete, stone, glass, gypsum, etc.


A pasty, mortar-like material made up of solvent-based organic adhesives that cures swiftly by evaporation of the solvents.


Selecting, cutting, and placing finished stone slabs to acquire a consistent and symmetrical pattern of natural veining and colour.


The rock in which a crystallized mineral is embedded.


One expert in fitting of dimensional stone.


A stone of large size.


The top parallel part or surface of an altar, typically of stone.

Metamorphic Rock

Rock altered in appearance, thickness and crystalline structure, and in some cases mineral composition, by high temperature or stress, or both. Slate are originated from shale; quartzite from quartz sandstone; and true marble from limestone. Gneiss can be derived from sedimentary, igneous, and pre-existing metamorphic rocks. More on metamorphic rocks.


The modify or alteration in a rock caused by exterior agencies, such as deep-seated heat and stress, or intrusion of rock materials.


A unit of linear measurement in the metric system; equivalent to 39.37 inches.


Any group of mineral silicates in a multi-layered form; branded by cleaving which permits splitting into fine sheets.

Microcrystalline Limestone

A limestone that consists mainly or wholly of crystals that are so little as to be recognizable only under magnification.


Processing of quarry blocks through sawing, planning, turning, and cutting.


The joint of two units at an angle, of which the joint line typically bisects on a 45’ angle.

Mock -Up

A big or full size stone sample panel fitted to show full range of colour, shading and texture.


Multiple Cut Pattern

Modulus Of Rapture

The pressure at which a sample of stone breaks in the testing.

Moh's Scale

A gauge of rigidity among minerals. Not to be confused with rigidity as determined by ASTM C241 test.


Formed template.


Attractive stone deviating form a plane surface by projections, curved profiles, recesses, or any combination thereof.

Mono Saw

Alike to gang saw, except it has only a single blade for cutting big stones.


Shaped from a solitary block of stone, as a monolithic column, in dissimilarity with a stacked column consisting of superimposed stone drums. Also, a bed of Portland cement cast over a concrete slab without an isolation membrane.


A plastic combination of cement, lime, sand, and water used to bond stonework units. 

Mortar Bed

A towelled layer of mortar, in a plastic state, in which construction units will be set.


A veneering which is usually random with no definite pattern. almost all the stone used in a mosaic pattern is random in shape.


Straight up division part between windows or doors

Multiple Pattern

Stone cut in rectangular multiples of a certain dimension. Generally cut to allow for standard ¼” or standard ½” joint.

Multiple-Rise Ashlars

Stone, usually split face, which is cut in a variety of rises which will “course out” (level with) each other when used in proper mixture with standard-width mortar joints.


A white, aluminium-rich mica found in granite.

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