Stone Glossary

Stone 101


Ashlar:   Masonry having a face of square or rectangular stones that have split-faced, rock-faced, smooth, or other finish surfaces.

Bevel:   The angle that one surface or line makes with another, when they are not at right angles; a sloped surface contiguous with a vertical or horizontal surface.

Brownstone:   A sandstone of characteristic brown or reddish-brown color which is a result of a prominent amount of iron oxide.

Bullnose:   Rounding of stone material, such as a stair tread to offer a soft semi-circular look on top and bottom.

Cap:   Masonry units laid on top of a finished wall, column, door, or molding

Coping:  A flat stone used as a cap on walls or around the perimeter of patios and pool decks.

Course:   A horizontal range of stone units the length of the wall.

Gauged:  A grinding process to make all pieces of material to be used together a uniform thickness.

Honed Finish:   A very fine, satin smooth finish on stone. This is the last step before polishing. A super fine smooth finish with little or no gloss. Recommended for commercial floors.

Lineal:   Measurement of dimension along linear axis

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

Mosaic:   A style of stone masonry construction with no definite pattern; most of the stone is irregular in shape.

Natural Cleft:   Generally pertains to stones that are formed in layers in the ground. When such stones are cleaved or separated along a natural bedding plane, the remaining surface is referred to as a natural cleft.

Rise:   The height of stone; generally refers to veneer stone.

Rockface:    Rock face stone is hand-chipped around the perimeter to produce a bold, convex projection along the face. This finish creates a more massive appearance than split face. Detail character ranges from low to high for fine grain through coarse grain stones, respectively.

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

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

Thermaled Finish:   This finish is achieved by applying a high temperature flame to the surface of the stone. This flame fractures crystals on the face, leaving a rough-textured finish. Highly skid resistant, the thermaled finish is an excellent choice for walking surfaces.

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

Tumbled Flagstone:   ¾” – 2 ½” thick stone relatively smooth-surfaced and machine tumbled to make the edges and corners smooth and rounded-off; face size, thickness, and colors will vary.