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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 N

Natural Bed

The location of the stone on the same plane as it was formed in the ground. This usually applies to all stratified materials.

Natural Cement

Lime with a lot of clay content. 

Natural Cleft

This usually pertains to stones which are formed in layers in the ground. When such stones are lifted or separated along a natural seam, the left over surface is referred to a natural cleft surface. 

Natural Stone

even though technical a redundancy, as a stone its happening by definition, the term is used to distinguish true stone from artificial materials.

Neat Cement

A pure cement uncut by a sand admixture.

Net Cross-Sectional Area

look at cross-sectional area. 

Nicked Bit Finish

Obtained by planning the stone with a planer tool in which random marks have been made in the cutting edge.

Nominal Dimension

A dimension bigger than a specified stonework dimension by the depth of a mortar joint.


Any material that will not ignite or support combustion in air at a temperature of 1.200’F when exposed to fire.


Resistant to dangerous oxidation or other corrosive actions since of its composition (i.e. stainless steel, bronze, copper).


Not containing iron matter.

Non-Staining Mortar

Mortar composed of materials which separately or collectively do not contain material that will stain and typically have a extremely low alkali content.


The curved front edge of a stair tread.

Notched Trowel

Trowel with a serrated or notched edge used for spreading adhesive in ridges of a specific depth.

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