QUARRIED STONE: Stone which has been extracted from the earth by means of man power and machines.

QUARRIER: One who extracts natural stone from a quarry.

QUARRY: The location of an operation where a natural deposit of stone is removed from the ground.

QUARRY BLOCK: Generally a rectangular piece of rough stone as it comes from the quarry, frequently scabbed (dressed) or wire-sawed for shipment.

QUARRY RUN: In building stone, unselected materials within the ranges of color and texture available from the quarry that is the source.

QUARRY SAP: Natural moisture in stone deposits and freshly quarried stone.

QUARTER ROUND: A molding having a profile of one-quarter of a circle

QUARTZ: Silicon dioxide occurring in colorless and transparent or colored hexagonal crystals and also in crystalline masses. One of the most common minerals, the chief constituent of quartz-based stone and granite.

QUARTZ-BASED STONE: This stone may be either sedimentary in formation or metamorphic.

QUARTZITE: A compact granular rock composed of quartz crystals, usually so firmly cemented as to make the mass homogeneous. The stone is generally quarried in stratified layers, the surfaces of which are unusually smooth, and the crushing and tensile strength are extremely high. The color range is wide. Or, a silver-gray, metamorphic sandstone formed in exceedingly hard layers. In some deposits, intrusion of minerals during the formation process created unusual shades of brown and gold.

QUARTZITIC SANDSTONE: A metamorphic sandstone consisting of quartz grains cemented with silica, but not as hard as quartzite. Geologically, it is an intermediate rock between sandstone and quartzite.

QUEEN CLOSURE: A cut brick having a nominal two-inch horizontal face dimension.

QUICKLIME: Calcium oxide which is crushed limestone that has been calcined.

QUIRK MITRE JOINT: An external corner formed by two stone panels, at an angle with meeting edges mitered and exposed portion finished.

QUIRT: A groove separating a bead or other molding from the adjoining members.

QUOINS: Stones at the corner of a wall emphasized by size, projection, rustication, or by a different finish.


RABBETT: A groove cut into the surface along an edge so as to receive another piece similarly cut.

RACKING: Stepping back successive courses of masonry.

RAKE: An angular cut on the face of stone.

RAKED JOINT: A mortar joint formed by removing the mortar a given depth from the face of the masonry.

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

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

RANDOM: A stone pattern where joints are web-like.

RANDOM ASHLAR: Masonry of square or rectangular stones with neither vertical nor horizontal joints continuous and installed without patterns.

RANDOM MASONRY: That in which the course heights vary in size.

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

RANGE OF COLOR: The extent of variation of color, shade, markings, texture, veining, and other characteristics of dimension stone, usually defined by using a number of samples or a mock-up.

REBATED KERF: An additional 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,

RECEPTOR: Combined floor and curb used as the bottom of showers.

RECESS: 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.

REEDED: Reversed fluted.

REGLET: A narrow, flat molding of rectangular profile to receive and secure flashing.

REGRATING: Removing the surface of stone in place by some dressing method to clean by exposing fresh stone.

REINFORCEMENT: A fabrication technique often called "rodding"; refers to the strengthening of unsound marble and limestone by cementing aluminum or stainless steel rods into grooves or channels cut into the back of a stone unit. Another method of " reinforcement" is the lamination of fiberglass to the back of tile units.

RELIEF or RELIEVE: Ornament in relief. The ornament of figure can be slightly, half or greatly projected.

RELIEVING ARCH: One built over a lintel, flat arch, or smaller arch to divert loads, thus relieving the lower member from excessive loading, also known as discharging or safety arch..

REPOINTING: Raking out, refilling, and finishing joints with new mortar.

REPRISE: Inside corner of a stone member with a profile other than a flat plane.

REREDOS: The screen behind an altar, usually richly treated in stone.

RESTORATION: Work performed, including cleaning, repair, and finishing, to return the stone to its original character, finish, and condition.

RETAINING WALLSTONE: Stones which have multiple widths and thicknesses, used as a self-supporting wall with no back-up.

RETARDING AGENT: A chemical admixture to mortar or grout that slows setting or hardening.

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

RETICULATED WORK: Stone surface hand dressed to show a netlike or veinlike raised pattern. Also, a wall built of square pieces set diagonally, with the joints showing a netlike pattern.

RETURN: The right angle turn of a wall, molding, or other horizontal projecting member.

RETURN HEAD: Stone facing with the finish appearing on both the face and the edge of the same stone; as on the corner of a building.

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

RIFT: The most pronounced direction of splitting or cleavage of a stone. Rift and grain may be obscure, as in some granites, but are important in both quarrying and processing stone.

RIPRAP: Irregular shaped stones used for facing bridge abutments and fills; stones thrown together without order to form a foundation, sustain walls, or minimize soil erosion. Also used for rustic stepping stones and patios.

RISE: Refers to the heights of stone, generally used in reference to veneer stone.

RISER: The vertical member between treads of a stair.

RISING DAMP: Ground water that travels upward through a masonry wall by means of natural capillary action.

RIVEN: Split along natural cleavage planes, describes surface finish.

ROCK: An integral part of the earth’s crust composed of an aggregate of grains of one or more minerals (‘stone’ is the commercial term applied to quarry products).

ROCK (PITCH) FACE: This is similar 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 obtained in split face.

ROCKED FINISH: An edge that is spalted from both sides, leaving a bubbled appearance.

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

ROMAN ARCH: Semi-circular arch with all stone pieces being wedge shaped.

ROSE WINDOW: A circular stone window fitted with carved tracery.

ROUGH SAWN: A surface finish accomplished by the gang sawing process.

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

ROUGHING OUT: A preliminary stone cutting or carving process, removing the bulk of unwanted material.

ROWLOCK: A brick laid on its face with the end surface visible in the wall face. Frequently spelled rolock.

RUBBED FINISH: Mechanically rubbed for smoother finish; may have slight scratches.

RUBBLE: 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.

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

RUSTIC: Generally local stone, that is roughly hand dressed, and intentionally laid with high relief in relatively modest structures or rural character. Also, a grade of building limestone, characterized by coarse texture.

RUSTICATED: Emphasized joints, recessed or beveled, which are cut or formed in stonework.

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


SADDLE: A flat strip of stone projecting above the floor between the jambs of a door, such as a threshold.

SAILOR: A masonry unit laid on end to show its broadest face.

SALT GLAZE: A gloss finish obtained by a thermo-chemical reaction between silicates of clay and vapors of salt or chemicals.

SAMPLE: A piece of dimensional stone, usually 12" x 12" showing a general range of marking and color of a given variety.

SANDBLASTED, COARSE STIPPLED: Coarse plane surface produced by blasting with an abrasive; coarseness varies with type of preparatory finish and grain structure of the stone.

SANDBLASTED, FINE STIPPLED: Plane surface, slightly pebbled, with occasional slight scratches.

SANDBLASTING: A cleaning, engraving, or surface finish process achieved by spraying sand on the surface with compressed air.

SAND FINISH: A matte textured surface finish with no gloss; finished by application of a steady flow of sand and water under pressure; suitable for exterior use.

SAND HOLES: Naturally occurring holes visible in some dimension stone; can be filled or waxed.

SAND RUBBED FINISH: Finish obtained by rubbing stone with a sand and water mixture under a rotating horizontal steel plate. This actual process is now little used, and the finish so known is commonly applied with a rotary or belt sander.

SAND SAWN FINISH: The surface left as the stone comes from the gang saw. Moderately smooth, granular surface varying with the texture and grade of stone.

SANDSTONE: A sedimentary rock consisting usually of quartz cemented with silica, iron oxide or calcium carbonate. Sandstone is durable, has a very high crushing and tensile strength and a wide range of colors or textures.


SAWED EDGE: A clean cut edge generally achieved by cutting with a diamond blade , gang saw or wire saw.

SAWED FACE: A finish obtained from the process used in producing building stone. Varies in texture from smooth to rough and coincident with the type of materials used in sawing characterized as diamond sawn; sand sawn; chat sawn; and shot sawn.

SAWYER: An operator of a bridge saw, gang saw or wire saw.

SCABBLED: Rough dressed stone, with prominent toolmarks.

SCABBLING: The process of removing surface irregularities for blocks for storage and shipment.

SCABBLINGS: Small chips of stone.

SCAFFOLD: Temporary elevated structure for the support of plank footing and platforms as aids to workmen.

SCAGLIOLA: Plasterwork used in imitation of ornamental marble, consisting of ground gypsum and glue colored with marble or granite dust; a small piece of marble.

SCALE: Thin lamina or paper-like sheets of rock often loose, and interrupting an otherwise smooth, surface on stone.

SCALING: The loosening of a material normally attached to another by surface adherence, which then peels and breaks away.

SCAMILUS: A block of stone supporting the pedestal of a statue or the plinth of a column; a surplus bevel of stone adjoining a sharp edge, to prevent chipping when the cubic piece is being set.

SCHIST: A foliated metamorphic rock (recrystallized) characterized by thin foliae that are composed predominantly of minerals of thin platy or prismatic habits and whose long dimensions are oriented in approximately parallel positions along the planes of foliation. Because of this foliated structure schists split readily along these planes and so possess a pronounced rock cleavage. The more common schistise are composed of the micas and other mica-like minerals (such as chlorite) and generally contain subordinate quartz and/or feldspar or comparatively fine-grained texture; all graduations exist between schist and gneiss (coarse is foliated feldspathic rocks).

SCORE: To scarify the surface of stone to make a better bond; to mark on a stone piece for the purpose of a cutting layout.

SCORIA: Irregular masses of lava resembling clinker or slag; may be cellular (vesicular) dark-colored and heavy.

SCOTIA: A concave molding.

SCRATCH COAT: The first rough coat of portland cement mortar, which is scored or roughed before completely set, allowing better adhesion of subsequent coats.

SCREED: A strip of wood, metal, or other material applied to a surface. Screeds are used as guides on which a straight edge is used to obtain a true mortar surface.

SCRIBE: To mark the edge of one stone unit to be cut to fit snugly against another.

SCULPTOR: In dimensional stone, an artist whose craft is to carve stone in three-dimensional forms.

SCULPTURE: The work of a sculptor in three dimensional form by cutting from a solid block of stone.

SEALANT: An elastic adhesive compound used to seal stone veneer joints. Or, a resilient compound used as the final weatherface.

SEALING: Making a veneer joint water-tight or leak-proof with an elastic adhesive compound; or application of a surface treatment to prevent staining, moisture penetration and reduce weathering.

SEAM-FACE: The natural bed face of a quarried stone.

SECTILIA: A pavement made up of fitted hexagonal stones.

SEDIMENTARY: Stone formed by precipitation from solution, as rock salt and gypsum, or from secretion of organisms, as most limestones.

SEDIMENTARY ROCK: One of three classes of rock which make up the earth’s outer crust; formed from the disintegration of older rocks, soils, plants, and animals.

SELENITE: Variety of gypsum in transparent, foliated, crystalline form.

SEMI-RUBBED: A finish achieved by rubbing hand or machine the rough or high spots off the surface to be used leaving a certain amount of the natural surface along with the smoothed areas.

SERPENTINE: A commercial marble characterized by a prominent amount of the mineral serpentine. Most commonly dark green in color, but may be brownish-red. Or, a hydrous magnesium silicate matonal of igneous origin, generally a very dark green color with markings of white, light green, or black; one of the hardest varieties of natural building stone.

SET: A change in mortar consistency from a plastic to a hard state.

SETTER: An experienced journeyman who installs dimensional stone units.

SETTING: The trade of installing dimensional stone units.

SETTING BED MORTAR: The troweling of mortar to set building units, but with the exposed joint raked out for the application of the pointing mortar or grout to be done later.

SETTING SPACE: Terminology referring to the distance from the finished face of a stone unit to the face of the back-up material.

SHALE: Clay that has been subjected to high pressure until it has hardened rock-like,

SHEAR: A type of stress; a body is in shear when it is subjected to a pair of equal forced which are opposite in direction and which act along parallel planes.

SHELF ANGLE: A steel angle usually connected to a spandrel beam which supports brick veneer, typically at every floor level.

SHIM: A piece of plastic or other non-corrosive, non-staining material used to hold joints to size.

SHINER: A stretcher laid on its edge to show its broadest face.

SHOP DRAWING: Depending on the specified product use, the shop drawing is a detailed fabrication and installation drawing showing dimensions and methods of anchorage usually prepared by the stone manufacturer.

SHOT SAWN: Description of a finish obtained by using steel shot in the gang sawing process to produce random markings for a rough surface texture.

SHOT SAWN FINISH: A rough gang saw finish produced by sawing with chilled steel shot.

SHOVED JOINTS: Vertical joints filled by shoving a unit against the next unit when it is being laid in a bed of mortar.

SHRINKAGE: Contraction on size of a material through cooling or drying.

SILANE: Generally refers to alkyltrialkoxysilanes. A monomeric organosilicon compound with one unhydrolyzable bond, which forms a chemical bond with siliceous minerals providing water repellent protection to masonry substrates. Silicanes are usually dissolved in organic solvents, but some are dispersed in water. They are properly classified as penetrates.

SILICATE, ALKALI: It is diluted with water and is, consequently noncombustible. Silicate is a highly alkaline solution and is used mostly as an admixture in mortars and cements to harden and densify surfaces. A reactive material which comes from CI stock. (Also see magnesium fluosilicate and sodium silicate.)

SILICATE, ETHYL: Silicane ethers or orthosiliate esters of general structure (RO)4Si, where R is an organic group in which all bonds are hydrolyzable. An example is tetraethoxysilane or tetraethylorthosilicate which is used in consolidative restoratives for stone, as a base for high temperature zinc-rich paints and as an additive to organsilicane and siloxide water repellents.

SILICATE, SODIUM: Strongly alkaline compound commonly referred to as water glass, used in soaps, detergents, adhesives, waterproofing mortars and cements.

SILICEOUS: Silica-bearing rock.

SILICONATE: Organic modified alkali silicates. Siliconates are generally applied in aqueous solution to harden and/or protect masonry substrates. Although sometimes associated with crust formation treatments, they are best classified as penetrants.

SILICONE: Any of the organopolysiloxanes applied to masonry materials for water repellency. Silicone water repellents are generally highly polymerized resins applied in any of several organic solvents. Application is accompanied by chemical bonding to the substrate if silicate minerals are present. The size and shape of the polymer of which the resin is composed determines whether the silicone treatment is classified as a film former or a penetrant.

SILL: A flat stone used under windows, doors, and other masonry openings. Or, a horizontal unit used at the base of an exterior opening in a structure.

SILL COURSE: A course set at window sill level, and commonly differentiated from the wall by projecting, by finish, or by being sill thickness, to continue the visual effect of the sill.

SILOXANE: Generally refers to alkylalkoxysiloxanes that are oligimerous (i.e. siloxane or low molecular weight with the polymer consisting of two, three, or four monomers). As with other silicones, application is accompanied by chemical bonding to the substrate if silicate minerals are present. Oligomerous siloxanes are properly classified as penetrants.

SILTSTONE: A fine-grained non-carbonate clastic rock compose of detrital grains of quartz and silicate minerals of silt size. Siltstones are rarely marketed as such but commonly are considered as fine-grained quartz-based stones (sandstones). Siltstone is texturally transitional between quartz-based stones and shales (mudstones). Many bluestones and siliceous flagstones fall within this category. The term is included in these definitions chiefly to explain the relationship of some siliceous flagstones to the quartz-based stone category.

SIMULATED MARBLE: See artificial marble.

SIMULATED STONE: An artificial man-made product.

SIX-CUT FINISH: Medium bush-hammered finish, similar to but coarser than 8-cut, with markings not more than 1/8" apart.

SIZE: A measurement in extent.

SKEW: A bevel-faced stone, particularly at the eaves end of a gable; a kneeler.

SKEW BACK: The inclined surface on which the arch joins the supporting wall.

SKID: Logs or timbers used as support and track in sliding quarry blocks and heavy cubic pieces of stone; a platform upon which dimension stone tile are temporarily stored.

SLAB: Lengthwise cut of a large quarry block of stone. Or, a piece of stone cut form the quarry block prior to fabrication.

SLATE: A fine-grained metamorphic rock derived from clay and shales, which possesses a cleavage that permits it to be split readily into thin, smooth sheets.

SLENDERNESS RATIO: Ratio of the effective height of a member to its effective thickness or radius of gyration.

SLIP JOINT: A connection which permits vertical or horizontal movement of the cladding with respect to the structural frame.

SLIP MATCHING: Veneer panels all finished on the same face and place side by side forming a repetition of the same pattern in each panel.

SLIP SILL: A stone sill set between the jambs.

SLUSHED JOINTS: Vertical joints filled, after units are laid, by throwing mortar in with a trowel.

SMOOTH FINISH: Description of the finish produced by planer machines plus the removal of objectionable tool marks. Also known as "smooth planer finish" and " smooth machine finish".

SNAPPED EDGE-QUARRY CUT or BROKEN EDGE: This generally refers to a natural breaking of a stone either by hand or machine. The break should be a right angles to the top and bottom surface.

SNIP: The stone area where a chip has been dislodged.

SNIPPING: Breakage of very small pieces off the top or bottom edge, or a corner, of a dimension stone unit.

SOAP: A masonry unit of normal face dimensions, having a nominal two-inch thickness.

SOAPSTONE: A massive variety of talc with a soapy or greasy feel, used for hearths, washtubs, tabletops, curved ornaments, chemical laboratories, etc… Known for its stain proof qualities.

SOCLE: Stone piece directly above a plinth on which a sculpture, statuary, bust or the like rests.

SOFFIT: The exposed lower surface of any overhead component of a building such as a lintel, vault, or cornice, or an arch or entablature.

SOFT-BURNED: Clay products that have been fired at a low temperature ranges, producing units of relatively high absorption’s and low compressive strengths.

SOLDIER: A masonry unit laid on end with its stretcher face showing on the wall surface.

SOLID MASONRY UNIT: A masonry whose net cross-sectional area in every plan parallel to the bearing surface is 75 percent or more of its cross-sectional area measured in the same plane.

SOLIDS: Nonvolatile matter in a coating composition (i.e. the ingredients of a coating composition which, after drying, are left behind and constitute the dry film). Solids are usually measured as weight percent of the total.

SOLVENT: Liquid which is used in the manufacture of paint or clear repellents to dissolve or disperse film-forming constituents, and which evaporates during drying and does not become a part of the dried film. Solvents are used to control the consistency and character of the finish and to regulate application properties.

SOUNDNESS: A property of stone used to describe relative freedom from cracks, faults, and similar imperfections in the untreated stone. One of the characteristics encountered in fabrication. Marble and limestone marble have been classified into four groups: A, B, C, and D, to distinguish method and amount of repair.

SPALL: As a verb, it is to flake or split away through action of the elements or pressure. As a noun, it is a chip or flake so formed.

SPALTED FINISH: An edge cut from one side of the stone, leaving an undercut look.

SPANDREL: A flat vertical face in an arcade bounded by the adjacent curves of two arches and the horizontal tangent of their crowns. Or, the vertical face on buildings supported by a skeleton structure between the sill of one window and the top (or lintel) of the window next below.

SPANDREL WALL: That part of a stone wall above the top of a window in one story and below the sill of the window in the story above.

SPLAY: A beveled or slanted surface, split division of rock by cleavage.

SPECIFICATION: The description, which is part of project documents or attached to a contract, of the materials and workmanship required in a structure, and which may have related drawings.

SPLAY: A beveled or slanted surface, inclined to another surface.

SPLINE: A thin strip of material, such as wood or metal, inserted into the edges of two stone pieces or stone tiles to make a butt joint between them.

SPLIT FACE SAWED BED: Usually split face is sawed on the beds and is split either by hand or by machine so that the surface face of the stone exhibits the natural quarry texture.

SPLIT FACE MACHINE: Device that splits slabs of stone into usable thicknesses for job-fabricated stone patterns. Generally hydraulic, but may operate on impact. Blades are used to split bullets from slabs for most limestones and sandstones, but toothed bars may be used for harder stone, such as granite.

SPLITSTONE: Finish obtained by diamond sawing to accurate heights, then breaking by machine to required bed widths.

SPOT OR SPOTTING: An adhesive contact applied to the back of a dimensional stone veneer unit to bridge the space between the unit and the back-up wall thus helping to maintain the unit in a fixed position. Plaster of paris is used on interior vertical stone units and portland cement mortar on the exterior.

SPRINGER: The stone lying first above the base of an arch.

SPUR STONE: Installed at the corner of a building to prevent traffic damage.

SQUARE: A plane figure having four equal sides and four interior right angles; also, edges or units that are at right angles to each other.

STACKED BOND: Veneer stone that is cut to one dimensional size and installed with unbroken vertical and horizontal joints running the entire length and height of the veneered area.

STAGING: Temporary platform working space in and around a building under construction or repair.

STAINING: A phenomenon of discoloration on newly installed limestone. Buff limestone will exhibit a dark gray stain. This staining is similar to efflorescence but it is the organic matter in the stone which is leaching out through the release of excess water of crystallization of the setting mortar.

STAIRCASE: A series of steps or flight of stairs, possibly with landings, and with handrail, newels, etc. Also known as ‘stair’ or ‘stairway’.

START: A small fissure.

STATUE: A sculpture of a human or animal figure.

STEATITE: Soapstone in slab form, as for hearths, fireplace facings, etc…

STEARATE: Salt or ester of stearic acid that functions as a water repellent by forming a "soap" within the masonry pores. Stearates are generally classified as film-formers, but can be considered penetrants in modified forms.

STEP: One unit of tread and riser.

STICKING: A trade term describing the butt edge repair of a broken piece of stone, now generally done with dowels, cements, or epoxies. The pieces are "stuck" together, thus the term "sticking".

STICK-ON-STONE: Stone that is light and thin enough to adhere to wall surface using chemical adhesives or mastics. The backs of these stones are usually flattened and leveled. Thin building stones are sometimes also called "stick-ons".

STILE: A vertical framing member of a paneled door or of stone partitions.

STONE: Sometimes synonymous with rock, but more properly applied to individual blocks, masses, o fragments taken form their original formation or considered for commercial use.

STONEMASON: A building craftsman skilled in constructing stone masonry. The work of masons includes such preparation of stone as is done on the job.

STONEWORK: Masonry construction in stone; preparation or setting of stone for building or paving.

STOOL: A flat stone, generally polished, used as an interior window sill.

STOP CHAMFER: A chamfer which curves or angles to become narrower until it meets the aris.

STRATIFICATION: A structure produced by deposition of sediments in beds or layers (strata), lamina, lenses, wedges, and other essentially tablular units.

STRESS: Force exerted.

STRETCHER: A unit of stone placed lengthwise in a course.

STRIKE: Cut off with a trowel the excess mortar at the face of a joint. Also known as "struck joint."

STRING: The outer support of stair ends, or the stone covering the ends.

STRINGER: Defines treatment at edge of stairs, inside and outside.

STRIP RUBBLE: Generally speaking, strip rubble comes from a ledge quarry. The beds of the stone while uniformly straight, are of natural cleft as the stone is removed form the ledge, and then split by machine to approximately 4" widths.

STRIPS: Long pieces of stone usually low height ashlar courses where length to height ratio is at maximum for the material used.

STRIPPED JOINT: A joint without mortar; an open joint.

STRUCK JOINT: A joint from which excess mortar has been removed by a stroke of the trowel.

STUD: An intermediate vertical member of a frame.

STYOLITE: In limestone and marble, generally a bedding plane, along with differential solution of the material on each side has caused interpenetration of points, cones, or columns, forming a contact surface that is rough when separated. In cross section, the stylolitic surface has the appearance of a jagged, zigzag line of varying amplitude. The boundary may have a thin zone of insoluble materials, as clay or iron oxide. Some stylolites constitute a surface of weakness or parting in the stone, but most are tightly annealed. Sawing stone perpendicular to or at a high angle to stylolites produces much if the "veined" stone of the marble and limestone industries, and sawing at a very low angle to stylolites causes some of the "flueri" patterns. Stylolites may develop in sandstone or quartzite, butarerare.

SUBCONTRACTOR: One who contracts to carry through a definite part of the general contractor’s obligation in building.

SUBFLOOR: A flooring upon which a finish floor is to be laid.

SUBFLUORESCENCE: Accumulation of soluble salts under or just beneath the masonry surface, formed as moisture evaporates. Subfluorescence can damage the substrate during wet/dry and freeze/thaw cycling.

SUPPLIER: One who is engaged in supplying auxiliary materials, products, equipment and service to the industry.

SUPPORT: An angle, plate, or stone which carries a gravity load.

SURROUND: An enframement.

SYENITE: Granite-like rock containing little or no quartz.


TABLET: A small flat slab or surface of stone especially one bearing one or intended to bear an inscription, carving or the like.

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

TAMPED: Tapped or pushed down to fill a space or make level.

TEMPER: To moisten and mix clay, plaster, or mortar to the proper consistency.

TEMPLATE: A pattern for repetitive marking or fabricating operation; made from a hard, waterproof material.

TERRA COTTA: Low fired clay, either glazed or unglazed, used primarily in ornamental reliefs.

TERRAZZO: A type of concrete in which chips or pieces of stone, usually marble, are mixed with cement and are ground to a flat surface, exposing the chips which take a high polish.

TEXTURE: Three dimensional surface enrichment independent of color; any finish other than a smooth finish.

TEXTURED FINISH: A rough surface finish that tends to subdue color and markings; obtained by bush hammering and machine chiseling.

THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY: K-value; measure of heat-flow through a material or substance.

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.

THIN BED: A mixture of portland cement with sand, and additives that improve water retention, used as a thin mortar for installing stone tile.

THICK BED MORTAR: A mortar setting bed over ½" and up to 4" thick. The minimum required " thick bed thickness" is a function of application usage, installed material, and the supporting substrate.

THIN BED MORTAR: A mortar setting bed up to ½" thick.

THIN BUILDING STONE: Generally stone with natural cleft front and back which is thin and light enough to adhere to a surface which special sticky mortar or " rich mud" has been applied. The pieces are generally the same thickness as flagging but smaller in surface area. The same item can also be used for flagging, caps, hearth tops, etc….

THIN STONE: Dimension units less than two inches thick.

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.

THROAT: The under-cut of a projected molding to form a drip.

THROUGH STONE: Stone laid across entire thickness of a wall.

TIE: Any unit of material that connects masonry to masonry or other material.

TIGHT JOINT: Stone installed with a 1/32" joint.

TILE: A modular unit less than 5/8" thick.

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

TONGUE AND GROOVE: Applied to boards or plywood having a tongue formed on one edge and a groove on the other for tight jointing. Not recommended for stone tile sub-floor.

TOOLED: Dressed stone, having regular tool marks.

TOOLED FINISH: Customarily are four, six, or eight parallel concave grooves to the inch.

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

TOOTHING: Constructing the temporary end of a wall with the end stretcher of alternate courses projecting. Projecting units are toothers.

TRACERY: Ornamentation of panels, circular windows, window heads, etc… A curving mullion of a stone window, as in Gothic architecture.

TRANSFORMED SECTION: An assumed section of one material having the same elastic properties as the original section of two materials.

TRANSITION: The slow change from one distinct style to another distinct style following it.

TRANSLUCENCE: The light-emitting quality of certain marble varieties containing a crystal structure capable of transmitting light.

TRANSOM: Horizontal member subdividing a window opening.

TRAVERTINE: A variety of limestone which is a precipitant from cave or spring waters. Some varieties of travertine take a polish and have been marketed as travertine marble.

TRAVERTINE MARBLE: A variety of limestone regarded as a product of chemical precipitation from hot springs. Travertine is cellular with the cells usually concentrated in thin layers that display a stalactitic structure. Some that take a polish are sold as marble and may be classified as travertine marble under the class of "commercial marble".

TREAD: A flat stone used as the top walking surface on steps.

TRIM: Stone used as decorative items only, such as sills, coping, enframements, etc….with the facing of another material.

TRIMMER ARCH: A stone arch, usually a low rise arch, used for supporting a fireplace hearth.

TUCKPOINTING: Pointing of irregularly shaped masonry units with mortar colored to match the units followed by placement of fine stripes of a contrasting colored mortar on top of the first mortar. Also used, incorrectly, for repointing.

TUFA: Calcareous deposit from saturated limy waters.

TUFF: Cemented volcanic ash; many varieties included.

TUMBLED MARBLE: A special finish for marble, limestone marble and limestone obtained by rotating pre-cut pieces in a mixer or other container. This rounds the edges and arrises.

TURNED WORK: In stone fabrication pieces with circular outline, as columns, balusters, and some bases and capitals. Generally cut on a lathe, although spheres and some other shapes may be cut by hand.

TURNTABLE: A platform flush with floor or tracks, capable of being rotated horizontally.

TWO-MAN BOULDERS: Rough stones under 400 pounds.


U VALUE: The overall heat transmission coefficient. Expressed in BTU per inch, per hour, per square foot, per degree Fahrenheit of temperature difference from air to air of a given building section. This is always the final calculation used to determine insulation specifications.

UNIT: A piece of fabricated dimensional cubic or thin stone.

UNDERCUT: Cut so as to present an overhang part, as a drip mold.

UNDERLAYMENT: Factory proportioned combination of portland cement, sand and additives used with or without a latex liquid to level an uneven substrate and to provide a suitable stone floor tile setting surface.

URINAL SCREEN: A thin stone panel used as a privacy partition between urinals.


V JOINT: A joint that has been shaped with a tool to form a "V."

VAPOR BARRIER: A material, usually in thin sheet form or combined with a sheathing material, designed to prevent the passage of moisture through a wall or floor with the aim of avoiding condensation within the wall.

VAPOR DIFFUSION: Transfer of water in partially dry solid from regions of high concentrates to those of low concentrates.

VAULT: Arched stone roof.

VEIN: A layer, seam, or narrow irregular body of mineral material different from the surrounding formation.

VEIN CUT: Unique to the marble industry, it is a cut perpendicular to the natural bedding plane.

VENEER: An outside, non-bearing load wythe of masonry used as a facing material.

VENEER STONE: Any stone used as a decorative facing material which is not meant to be load bearing.

VENEER WALL: A non-loadbearing stone wall securely anchored to the back-up wall.

VENTING: Method used to allow air and moisture to escape to the outside from the wall cavity.

VERDE ANTIQUE: A commercial marble composed chiefly of massive serpentine and capable of taking a high polish. It is commonly veined with carbonate mineral, chiefly calcite and dolomite.

VERMICULATED: With dressing of irregularity shaped sinkings, leaving worm-like ridges between.

VERTICAL JOINT: See head joint.

VINYL RESIN: These include products in which the unsaturated vinyl grouping is involved. Vinyl resins include polyvinyl, acetate, polyvinyl chloride, copolymers of these, the acrylic methacrylic resins, the polystyrene resins, etc…

VITRIFICATION: The condition resulting when kiln temperatures are so high as to fuse grains and close pores of a clay product, making the mass impervious.

VOUSSOIR: One of the stones in an arch between the impost and keystone.

VUG: A cavity in rock; sometimes lines or filled with either amorphous or crystalline material; common in calcareous rocks such as marble or limestone.


WAINSCOT: An interior veneer of stone less than full wall height.

WALL PLATE: A horizontal member anchored to a masonry wall to which other structural elements may be attached. Also called head plate.

WALLS: Types include:

Bearing: A wall supporting a vertical load in addition to its own weight.

Cavity: A wall in which the inner and outer wythes are separated by an air space but tied together with metal ties.

Composite: Wall in which the facing and backing are of different materials and bonded together with bond stones to exert a common reaction tinder load.

Veneer or Faced: A wall in which a thin facing and the backing are of different materials, but not bonded as to exert a common reaction under load.

Fire wall: Any wall that subdivides a building so as to prevent the spread of fire and that extends continuously from the foundation through the roof.

Masonry bonded hollow wall: A hollow wall in which the facing and backing are tied together with masonry units.

Non-bearing wall: A wall that supports no vertical load other than its own weight.

Panel wall: An exterior non-loadbearing wall in skeleton frame construction, wholly supported at each story.

Parapet wall: That part of any wall entirely above the roof.

Screen wall: A wall in which an ornamental effect is achieved by using masonry units with open spaces or laying units with open spaces between them. Also called a pierced or perforated wall.

Shear wall: A wall that resists horizontal forces applied in the plane of the wall.

Single wythe wall: A wall of only one masonry unit in wall thickness.

WALL TIE: A bonder or metal piece which connects wythes of masonry to each other or to other materials.

WALL TIE, CAVITY: A rigid, corrosion resistant metal tie which bond two wythes of a cavity wall. It is usually steel, 3/16" in diameter, and formed in a ‘Z’ shape or rectangle.

WARPED: Generally a condition experienced only in flagging or flagstone materials; very common with flagstone materials that are taken from the ground and used in their natural state. To eliminate warping in stones it would be necessary to further finish the material such as machining, sand rubbing, honing, or polishing.

WASH: A sloped area or the area water will run over.

WATER BASE: Water repellents and latex paint coatings containing water soluble or water dispersible binders.

WATER OF CRYSTALLIZATION: The extra water required to assist in the crystallization process when forming a hydrate (mortar, cement, concrete, plaster, etc…) When the hydrate gives up this excess water, at ambient temperatures, the result is a surface deposit known as efflorescence or staining.

WATERPROOFING: A coating used to treat the surface of the substrate, preventing liquid from entering, but allowing water vapor transmission,

WATER REPELLENT: Any of several types of clear liquids used to render masonry wall less absorptive. These treatments are said to maintain a material’s ability to breathe away moisture, as distinct from "sealer" which form impervious, non-breathing coatings.

WATER RETENTIVITY: The property of a mortar which prevents the rapid loss of water to masonry units of high suction. It prevents bleeding or water gain when mortar is in contact with relatively impervious units.

WATER TABLE: A continuous course of building units on the outside of a wall, near the ground, with a horizontal projection or ledge. It is often shaped with a slope and a drip to limit the amount of water passing over the wall or surface below.

WAXING: A trade expression used in fabrication of interior marble to describe the process of filling natural voids with cements, shellac, or other materials.

WEAR: The artificial removal of material, or impairment of the stone surface finish, through friction or impact.

WEATHERED JOINT: A slope to the outside of the upper part of a joint to shed water.

WEATHERING: Natural alteration by either chemical or mechanical processes due to the action of the atmosphere, surface waters, soil and other ground waters, or to temperature changes. Changes by weathering are not necessarily undesirable or harmful.

WEB: The cross wall connecting the face shells of a hollow masonry unit.

WEDGING: Splitting of stone by driving wedges into planes of weakness.

WEEP HOLES: An opening for drainage in veneer joints or in the structural components supporting the veneer.

WETTING: The ability of a coating to flow out, spread, or penetrate a substrate.

WHITING: A chalk pigment used in paint and putty.

WHOLESALER: One who purchases dimensional stone in all forms for resale to the trade.

WIND (wined): A warp in a semi-finished stone slab to be removed by further fabrication.

WINDOW SILL: The bottom section of a window frame and/or the bottom section of an exterior masonry window opening.

WINDOW STOOL: A narrow shelf fitted across the lower part on the inside of a window opening.

WIRE SAW: A sawing device consisting of one or more wire cables, running over pulleys used to cut natural stone into blocks and slabs by tension and fed slurry of an abrasive and water cuts by abrasion.

WIRE SAWN: A method of cutting stone by passing a twisted, multi-strand wire over the stone, and immersing the wire in a slurry of abrasive material.

WRAP AROUND: The ability of a coating to cover all areas of the substrate to which it is applied, including edges. Also, the effect of an electrostatic charge upon a coating and the ability of the coating to cover all exposed conductive areas.

WYTHE: A masonry wall, one stone or brick thick, that either faces a back-up or is a back-up wall and secured to its neighboring wythes by bond stone or grout; or forms either half of a cavity wall, and is attached to the other half by metal ties.



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