Stone Glossary

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Term Definition
Commercial Marble

A crystalline rock composed predominantly of one or more of the following materials: calcite, dolomite or serpentine, and capable of taking a polish.


A flat stone used as a cap on a freestanding wall, usually to protect the wall from weather.


A stone forming part of a corner or angle in a wall. Also a dedicatory stone laid at the formal inauguration of a building's construction, prominently located but not necessarily at the corner, and usually bearing the date of erection and often an inscription.


A molded projecting stone at the top of an entablature or at the meeting of a roof and wall.


The term for an internal courtyard, usually open to the air, surrounded by arcades to blur the distinction between interior and exterior.


A horizontal range of stone units running the length of a wall.

Coursed Veneer

A wall treatment achieved by using stones of the same or approximately the same height. Horizontal joints run the entire length of the veneered area. Vertical joints are constantly broken so that no two joints will be over one another.



Cross - Bedding

The arrangement of laminations of strata transverse or oblique to the main planes of stratification.


Slabs and blocks of stone bordering streets, walks, etc.

Cut Stone

All stone cut or machined to given sizes, dimension or shape, and produced in accordance with working or shop drawings which have been developed from an architect's structural drawings.

Cutting Stock

A term used to describe slabs of varying size, finish, and thickness which are used in fabricating treads, risers, copings, borders, sills, stools, hearths, mantels and other special purpose stones.


A fine-grained, extrusive (volcanic) rock, intermediate in color and composition between basalt and rhyolite.


One or more coatings of a compound that is impervious to water applied to a surface above grade.


Small blocks or tooth-like projections on an entablature.

Dentil Course

The lower part of a cornice where dentils normally appear. The cornice is jointed to allow machine production of the dentils.

Dimension Stone

Stone pre-cut and shaped to dimensions of specified sizes.

Dolomitic Limestone

A limestone rich in magnesium carbonate, frequently somewhat crystalline in character. It is found in ledge formations in a wide variety of color tones and textures. Generally speaking, its crushing and tensile strengths are greater than the oolitic limestones, and its appearance shows greater variety in texture.


A cylindrical metal pin used in aligning and strengthening joints of adjacent stones.

Dressed or Hand Dressed

The cutting of rough chunks of stone by hand to create a square or rectangular shape. A stone which is sold as dressed stone generally refers to stone ready for installation.

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