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Stone Glossary

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Term Definition

A recess cut under a spill or projecting stone to throw off water, preventing it from running down the face of a wall or other surface, such as windows or doors.


An open or unhealed joint plane not filled with calcite and not structurally sound.

Dry Wall

A stone wall that is constructed one stone upon another, without the use of any mortar; generally used for retaining walls.


An elaborate beam carried by columns or located at the top of a wall; consists of a lower architrave, middle frieze and upper cornice.


The intentional convex curve of the upper two-thirds of a column, introduced to counteract the optical illusion of concavity produced by straight columns.

Exposed Aggregate

The larger pieces of stone purposefully exposed for their color and texture in a cast slab.


The exposed portion of a stone; also refers to the edge treatment on various cutting stock materials.




A flat, relatively narrow horizontal belt in an architrave or used in combination with moldings.

Field Stone

Loose blocks separated from ledges by natural processes and scattered through or upon the regolith (soil) cover; applied also to similar transported materials, such as glacial boulders and cobbles.


The powder, dust, silt-size, and sand-size material resulting from processing (usually crushing) rock.


Surface treatments, commonly available as:

Smooth - machine finished by saw, grinder or planer. Honed - dull sheen, without reflections. Polished - mirror gloss with sharp reflections. Machine Tooled - 4-cut, 6-cut, chiseled, axed, pointed, etc. Chat Sawn - irregular and uneven markings. Split Face - concave-convex. Rock Face - convex. Thermal - plane surface with flame finish applied by mechanically controlled means to create surface coarseness

Special finishes of many kinds are available to meet design requirements.


Thin slabs of stone used for flagging or paving walks, driveways, patios, etc.; generally fine-grained sandstone, bluestone, quartzite or slate although other stones may be used.


A stone that may be cut freely in any direction without fracture or splitting.


A horizontal belt course sometimes decorated with sculptural relief, occurring directly under a cornice.

Gang Sawn

The granular surface of stone resulting from gang sawing alone.

Gauged Or Gauging

A grinding process that results in the uniform thickness of all pieces of material to be used together.

Glass Seam

A narrow glass-like streak occurring in stone; a joint plane that has been recemented by deposition of transluscent calcite in a crack and which is structurally sound.

Grade Course

The beginning course at grade level, generally waterproofed with a damp check or damp course.


The easiest cleavage direction in a stone. "With the grain" is the same as "natural bed." Also, the composition and texture of particles, crystals, sand, or rock.