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Stone Glossary

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Term Definition

A stone profile with a reverse curved edge: concave above, convex below.

Onyx Marble

A dense, crystalline form of lime carbonate deposited usually from cold-water solutions. Generally translucent and shows a characteristic layering due to mode of accumulation.

Oolitic Limestone

A calcite-cemented calcareous stone formed of shells and shell fragments, practically non-crystalline in character. It is found in massive deposits located almost entirely in Lawrence, Monroe and Owen Counties, Indiana and in Alabama, Kansas and Texas. This limestone is characteristically a freestone, without cleavage planes, possessing a remarkable uniformity of composition, texture and structure. It possesses a high internal elasticity, adapting itself without damage to extreme temperature changes.


The introduction into a rock of siliceous material in the form of opal, a hydrous silicate.

Out of Wind

To have the arris or edge of an external angle of a stone not in parallel or perpendicular lines. Stone which is out of wind has an irregular or rustic appearance


A system of stacking stone on wooden pallets. Stone which comes palletized is easily moved and transported by modern handling equipment. Palletized stone generally arrives at the job site in better condition than unpalletized material.

Parapet Wall

That part of an exterior wall that is entirely above the roof line.


Damp-proofing by placing a 1/2" coat of setting mortar on the back of stones, or the face of the back-up material. Also, elaborate decorative plasterwork or ornamental facing for plaster walls.


A flat inlay of stone floors in closely fitted geometrical or other patterns, often including two or more colors or materials.

Pattern Cut

See MODULAR CUT PERFORATED WALL - One which contains a large number of relatively small openings; often called a pierced wall or screen wall.


Slabs of stone set on other stones to serve as outdoor steps, and leading to a terrace, platform, gate or doorway.


In igneous rocks, the relatively large and conspicuous crystals, in a finer-grained matrix or ground-mass.


An engaged pier of shallow depth; in classical architecture it follows the height and width of related columns, with similar base and capital.

Pitched Stone

Stone having arris or a clearly defined outer edge but a face roughly cut with a pitching chisel used along the line which becomes the arris.


The square or rectangular base of a column; a base or pedestal, frequently inscribed, to support a statue or other isolated object; the base block at the juncture of baseboard and trim around an opening.

Plucked Finish

Obtained by rough planing the surface of stone, breaking or plucking out small particles to give rough texture.


The final filling and finishing of mortar joints that have been raked out.


The finest and smoothest finish available in stone characterized by a gloss or reflective property. Generally only possible on hard, dense materials.


An igneous rock in which relatively large and conspicuous crystals (phenocrysts) are set in a matrix of finer crystals.

Pressure Relieving Joint

An open horizontal joint below the supporting angle or hangar located at approximately every floor line and not over 15 feet apart, horizontally, and every 20-30 feet vertically, to prevent weight from being transmitted to the masonry below. These joints are to be caulked with a resilient non-staining material to prevent moisture penetration.

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