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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 R


A channel cut into the surface along an edge so as to receive another piece equally cut.


Stepping back successive courses of stonework.


An angular cut on the face of natural stone.

Raked Joint

A mortar joint formed by getting rid of the mortar a given depth from the face of the stonework.


The concave bend of a handrail where a sharp change in level is necessary, as at the post of a stair landing.


An arch or vault which comes from one level of support and rests at the other side on a higher level.


A stone pattern where joints are web-like.

Random Ashlar

Stonework of square or rectangular stones with neither straight up nor level joints nonstop and fitted without patterns.

Random Masonry

That in which the course heights differ in size.


A course of any depth that is continued across the entire face. All range courses need not be of the same depth.

Range Of Colour

The extent of variation of colour, shade, markings, texture, veining, and other characteristics of dimension stone, typically defined by using a number of samples or a mock-up.

Rebated Kerf

An extra 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 base of showers.


A sinkage in a wall plane.

Recrystallized Limestone

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.


Reversed fluted. 


A narrow, flat moulding of rectangular profile to receive and secure flashing. 


To take away the surface of stone in place by some dressing method to clean by exposing fresh stone. 


A fabrication practice often called “rodding”; refers to the reinforcement of unsound marble and limestone by cementing aluminium or stainless steel rods into channels cut into the back of a stone unit. Another method of ” reinforcement” is the lamination of fibreglass to the back of tile units. 

Relief Or Relieve

Ornament in relief. The ornament of figure can be somewhat, half or greatly projected.

Relieving Arch

One constructed over a lintel, flat arch, or lesser arch to divert loads, thus relieving the lower part from excessive loading, also known as discharging or safety arch.


Raking out, replenishing, and finishing joints with new mortar. 


Inside corner of a stone part with a profile other than a flat plane.


The screen behind an altar, typically richly treated in stone. 


Work performed, including cleaning, repair, and finishing, to come back the stone to its original character, finish, and condition. 

Retaining Wallstone

Stones which have multiple widths and depths, used as a self-supporting wall (retaining wall) with no back-up. 

Retarding Agent

 A chemical mixture to mortar or grout that slows setting or hardening.


To moisturize mortar and re-mix after original mixing, to the proper consistency for use.

Reticulated Work

Stone face hand dressed to show a netlike or vein like 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, moulding, or other parallel projecting part. 

Retrun Head

Stone facing with the finish appearing on both the face and the edge of the same stone; as on the corner of a structure. 


The deepness of stone between its outer face and a window or door set in an aperture; the reveal is at 90 degrees to the front face.


Narrow bands of rock differing to various degrees in chemical composition and colour from the core body of the slate or stone; in other words, bands.  


The most pronounced direction of splitting or cleavage of a stone. Rift and grain may be vague, as in some granite, but are significant in both quarrying and working on the stone. 


Uneven shaped stones used for facing bridge abutments and fills; stones put together without order to form a foundation, sustain walls, or reduce soil erosion. Also used for rustic stepping-stones and patios.


Refers to the heights of stone, usually used in reference to veneer stone. 


The vertical part between treads of a stair.

Rising Damp

Ground water that travels rising through a stonework wall by means of natural capillary action. 


Split along natural cleavage planes, describes surface finish.

Rock (Pitch) Face

This is related 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 get hold of in split face.


An integral part of the earth’s crust made up of an aggregate grains of one or more minerals (‘stone’ is the trade term applied to quarry products). 

Rocked Face

An edge that is spalted from both sides, leaving a bubbled look. 


Strengthening of a structurally unsound marble by cementing reinforcing rods into grooves or channels cut into the back of the slab. 

Roman Arch

Curved arch with all stone pieces being wedge shaped. 

Rose Window

A round stone window fitted with carved tracery. 

Rough Sawn

A surface finish made by the gang sawing process. 


Outside cut-slab, having one side sawed and the other coarse, from a block that has been gang sawed.

Roughing Out

A preliminary stone cutting or carving procedure, taking out the bulk of unneeded material. 


A block laid on its face with the end surface observable in the wall face. Frequently spelled rolock. 

Rubbed Finish

Automatically rubbed by a machine for smoother finish; may have slight scratches. 

Rubbing Stone

Abrasive stone that is used to smooth the edges of stone tile.


 A product term applied to dimension stone 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.


usually local stone, that is approximately hand dressed, and purposely laid with high relief in relatively modest construction or rural character. Also, a grade of construction limestone, categorized by rough texture. 


Emphasized joints, recessed or bevelled, which are cut or fashioned in stonework. 


 Recessing the margin of cut stone so that when placed together a trench is formed at each joint.

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