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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 T


A little flat slab or surface of stone particularly one bearing one or intended to bear an inscription, carving or the like.


A soft mineral composed of hydrous magnesium silicate, major ingredient of soapstone.


Tapped or pressed down to fill a space or make level.


A stone moulding with a turn round curved edge, concave above, convex below.


To moisten and blend of clay, plaster, or mortar to the right consistency.


A pattern for recurring marking or fabricating operation; made from a hard, waterproof material like ply.

Terra Cotta

Fired clay, either glazed or unglazed, used mainly in ornamental reliefs.


A brand of concrete in which chips or pieces of stone, typically marble, are mixed with cement and are ground to a flat surface, exposing the chips which take a polish.


3D surface enrichment independent of colour; any finish other than a smooth finish.

Textured Finish

A coarse surface finish that tends to subdue colour and markings; obtained by bush hammering and machine chiselling.

Thermal Conductivity

K-value; evaluate of heat-flow through a substance or material.

Thermal Finish

A rough non-reflective finish created with the use of intense heat flaming to exfoliate the surface of the stone and expose the actual grain. Large surfaces may have shadow lines caused by overlapping of the machine or torch.

Thermal Resistance

R-value; the tendency of a material to retard the flow of heat; the reciprocal of the co-efficient of heat transmission.

Thick Bed Mortar

A mortar setting bed over 13mm and up to 100mm thick. The smallest amount required ” deep bed depth” is a function of application usage, fitter material, and the supporting substrate.

Thin Bed

A blend of Portland cement with sand, and additives that advance water retention, used as a thin mortar for fitting stone tile.

Thin Bed Mortar

A mortar setting bed up to 13mm deep.

Thin Building Stone

Natural stone that is sawn thin and light enough to adhere to a surface which special sticky mortar or ” rich mud” has been applied. The pieces are commonly the same width as flagging but lesser in surface zone. The same item can also be used for flagging, caps, hearth tops, etc…. 

Thin Marble

A fabricated marble unit of 50 mm deep. 

Thin Stone

Dimension units less than two inches deep.

Threshold Limit Value

Value of airborne toxic materials that are to be used as guides in control of health hazards and present time weighed concentrations to which all workers may be eight hours per day over extended periods of time without adverse effects. 


The under-cut of a projected moulding to form a drip. 

Through Stone

Stone laid across entire depth of a wall.


Any part of material that connects stonework to stonework or other material. 

Tight Joint

Stone fitted with a 0.8mm joint.


A modular part less than 16mm thick.

Tile (2)

A fine modular stone unit. 


Dimensional allowance made for the inability of men and machines to fabricate a produce of exact dimensions.

Tongue & Groove

Applied to boards or plywood having a tongue formed on one edge and a channel on the other for tight jointing. Not optional for stone tile sub-floor. 


Dressed stone, having usual tool marks. 

Tooled Finish

Customarily are four, six, or eight parallel concave channel to the inch.


Compressing and shaping the face of a mortar joint with a special tool other than a trowel.


Building the temporary end of a wall with the end stretcher of alternating courses projecting. Projecting parts are tooters. 


Ornamentation of panels, round windows, window heads, etc… A curving mullion of a stone window, as in Gothic design.

Transformed Section

An alleged section of one material having the same elastic properties as the original section of two materials. 


The unhurried alteration from one individual style to another distinct style after it.


The light-emitting value of some types of marble varieties containing a crystal structure capable of transmitting light.


Horizontal part subdividing a window aperture.


A assortment of limestone which is a precipitant from cave or spring waters. Some types of travertine can take a polish and have been marketed as travertine marble. 


A level stone used as the pinnacle walking surface on steps. 


Stone used as attractive objects only, such as sills, shelves, enfacements, etc….with the facing of another material. 

Trimmer Arch

A stone arch, typically a low down rise arch, used for supporting a fireplace hearth.


Pointing of random shaped stonework parts with mortar coloured to go with the parts followed by placement of fine stripes of a contrasting coloured mortar on top of the first mortar. Also used, incorrectly, for repointing. 


Calcareous deposit from drenched limy waters. 


Cemented volcanic ash; many assortments included.

Tumbled Marble

A particular finish for marble, limestone marble and limestone obtained by turning pre-cut pieces in a blender or other container. This rounds the edges and arises.

Turned Stone

In stone fabrication pieces with round perimeter, as columns, balusters, and some bases and capitals. Usually cut on a lathe, although spheres and some other shapes may be cut by hand.


A platform level with floor or tracks, capable of being rotated parallel.

Two-Man Boulders

Coarse stones under 400 pounds.

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