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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 P


A method of stacking stone on wooden pallets for shipment or storage. Stone, which comes palletized, is without difficulty moved and transported by modern handling equipment. Palletized stone usually arrives at the site in better condition then non-palletized material.


A solitary unit of fabricated stone veneer.

Panel Wall

A non-bearing wall consisting of panels of a range of materials, each panel being separately held in frame. The frame may be the structure itself or fastened to the structural framework of the structure.

Parapet Wall

Piece of any wall entirely above the roof line.


A screen of stone separating chapels, particularly at the east end of the aisles, from the body of the church.


Damp proofing 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 colours or materials.


An interior wall one story or less in height, normally non-load bearing.


SI unit expressing force per unit area (PSI is the English equivalent).


Repair compound used to fill natural empty space or to replace chips and broken corners or edges in fabricated pieces of dimension stone. Mixed or selected to match the stone in colour and texture.


The colour and texture added to a surface by time and a range of allies.


A solitary unit of fabricated stone for use as an exterior paving material.


Stone used as an exterior wearing surface, as in patios, walkways, driveways, etc. (look at flooring). 


A stone supporting construction or part for a bust, column, statue, or vase.


A protective treatment that lines stonework pores; no film is formed on the surface.

Perforated Wall

One which contains a considerable number of relatively tiny openings. Often-called pierced wall or screened wall.


The rate of vapour transmission of one grain per square meter per centimetre of mercury vapour stress difference. 


The property of a substance which permits passage of water vapour; moisture vapour transmission.


A stone extending through the width of a wall and finished on both ends.


Slabs of stone set on other stones helping as stops and arches in gardens. 


Primeval stone carving.

PH Value

A number denoting the degree of acidity or alkalinity; 7 is a neutral value. Acidity increases with decreasing standards below 7, while alkalinity increases with increasing values above 7.


In igneous rocks, the relatively large and conspicuous crystals in a finer-grain matrix or ground mass.


 A class of acid organic compounds used in the construction of epoxy resins, phenol formaldehyde resins, plasticizers, plastics and wood preservatives.

Pick & Dip

A system of laying brick with one hand and, with the other hand, dip enough mortar on a trowel to lay the brick. Occasionally called the Eastern or New England Method.


Stone dressed using mason’s point 


Solid stone support, lesser than and distinct from a column. 


Engaged pier of shallow deepness; 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 related base and cap. 


In ecclesiastical architecture, a basin of stone or marble in which the challice is washed after the rite of the Eucharist.

Pit Quarry

Below ground-level quarry. 


Surface similar to rock-faced produced with pitching tool.

Pitched Stone

Stone having arras clearly defined, face however is generally cut with pitching chisel used along the line which becomes the arras.

Pitching Tool

Similar to big chisel but with blunt, not sharp, broad edge, about 6mm deep.


Machine for planning mouldings on to stone; machine used to reduce depth and gauge stone; machine used to produce a machine finish on limestone. 

Plaster Of Paris

A calcined gypsum in a hemihydrate state. 

Plate Tracery

Tracery designs, typically straightforward and geometrical, cut through a thin slab of stone, as distinguished from a tracery proper, which is formed by mortared sections of moulding. 


The lower square part of the bottom of a column. A square bottom or a lower block, as in a pedestal. The bottom block at the juncture of base-board and trim around an aperture.

Plucked Finish

Obtained by coarse planning the surface of stone, braking or plucking out little particles to give coarse texture.

Plug & Feathers

Equipment used for splitting stone blocks. 

Plump Bob

A shaped metal load that is hang from the lower end of a line to determine the upright level. 

Plump Rule

A thin board with striate edges having a straight line drawn through the centre and a string fixed at the upper end of the line for determining a vertical level. 


Wood in sheet form, with lots of layers glued together to make one sheet. 


Chisel drawn practically to a point. 

Point Course

A coarse, tooled surface. 


 The last filling and finishing of mortar joints.


The best and smoothest finish available in stone, usually only achievable on hard, dense materials. Or, a glossy finish, which brings out the full colour and character of the stone. 

Polished Finish

The best and smoothest finish available in stone characterized by a gloss or reflective property. Generally only possible on hard, dense materials.  

Polyester Resin

A flexible, typically thermal setting resin formed by a polymerization process using a little amount of accelerator compound and used as an adhesive or to repair or pack certain stones. 

Polyethylene Film

Plastic film sheet used for curing or as a cleavage or isolation membrane.


Ratio of pore gaps to the total volume of material articulated as a percent..


An igneous rock characterized by distinct and contrasting sizes of course and thin grained crystals. Used as a attractive construction stone.

Portland Cement

A hydraulic cement product get hold of by pulverizing and calcimining a properly proportioned mixture of three mineral slime, silica, and alumina.


System of drawing soluble salts or blemish out of stone by applying an absorbent such as clay or diatomaceous earth, mixed to a paste with water or cleaning solvent.

Prefabricated Masonry

Stonework fabricated in a place other than its final place in the structure. Also known as preassembled, panellized, and prelaid masonry.

Preassembled Units

Two or more stones combined into a solitary unit by use of epoxy resins, steel framing or concrete backing.


Having received its final form before introduction into a construction, as in precast concrete slabs. 


Platform adjoining an altar.

Pressure Relieving Joint

An open parallel joint below the supporting angle or hanger situated at roughly every floor line and not over 15 ft. apart horizontally, and every 20-30 ft. vertically, to avoid the weight from being transmitted to the stonework below. These joints are to be caulked with a resilient no staining material to prevent moisture saturation.


A little assemblage made with stonework units and mortar and sometimes grout. Primarily used to predict the strength of full-scale masonry parts.


The work needed in transforming construction stone from quarry blocks to cut or finished stone. This includes primary sawing into slabs. It may also comprise both hand and mechanical techniques such as sawing, drilling, grinding, honing, polishing, and carving.  


Some one who quarries stone.


The outline of the exposed face of a cross section.

Profile Machine

Machine for cutting mouldings on to stone. 


Refers to the pulling out of stones in a veneered wall to give an effect of roughness. The amount each stone is pulled out can vary between 6mm and 30mm; 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 mainstream of veneer. 


An remarkably cellular, glassy lava, resembling a solid froth. 


Chisel drawn to a narrow blade used for roughing process.


The natural sulphides of certain metals. The most common is iron pyrite, which is iron disulfide, a brittle mineral that is brassy yellow in colour with greenish-black streaks.

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