Stone Glossary

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Term Definition

A sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate; includes many varieties. (See oolitic limestone; dolomitic limestone; crystalline limestone).


Structurally sound sections of marble that are cemented to the back of marble veneer slabs to give greater strength, additional bearing surface, or to increase joint depth.


A stone beam or horizontal member spanning the top of an opening, such as a doorway or window, and supporting the wall above it.


A condition when one edge of a stone is higher than the adjacent edge.

Lug Sill

A stone sill set into the jambs on each side of a masonry opening.

Machine Finish

Standard surface treatment produced by mechanized planers.

Machine Pitch Faced



A metamorphic rock composed essentially of calcite and/or dolomite, generally a recrystallization of limestone to marble.


Built up construction, usually a combination of materials set in mortar.


The change or alteration in a rock caused by exterior agencies, such as deep-seated heat and pressure, or intrusion of rock materials.


The junction of two units at an angle, in which the junction line usually bisects at 45-degrees.

Modular Or Multiple Cut (Also Pattern Cut)

Standard patterns used throughout the stone industry, usually based on multiples of a given height. Stone that is multiple cut or pattern cut is pre-cut to allow typically for 1/4" or 1/2" joints or beds.


Decorative stone used to introduce variety in profile and contour, deviating from a plane surface by projections, curved profiles, recesses, or any combination thereof.


A plastic mixture of cement, lime, sand, and water, used to bond masonry units.


A pattern formed by inlaying tesserae, or small pieces of stone, tile or other material into a cement, plaster or mortar matrix.

Multiple Cut


Natural Bed

The setting of the stone on the same plane as it was formed in the ground. This generally applies to all stratified materials.

Natural Cleft

This generally pertains to stones which are formed in layers in the ground. When such stones are cleaved or separated along a natural seam the remaining surface is referred to as a natural cleft surface.

Non-Staining Mortar

Mortar composed of materials that individually or collectively do not contain material which will stain; usually has a very low alkali content.


A hard, dark-colored glassy phase of lava.

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