Stone Terminology: Terminology you need to know


Abrasion: a rubbed or scraped area on the stone
Acid washed: when an acid mix is washed over a surface to give it an aged look
Acidic: when a solution has a PH less than 7, like vinegar, juice, wine etc (can etch marble)
Alkaline: when a solution has a PH higher than 7 (7 is a neutral PH)
Apron: A panel of stone usually several inches deep, attached vertically to the front of a benchtop
Arris: the edge of a tile


Buff: rub with special pads to enhance the gloss of polished stone
Bullnose: smooth, round edged profile often found on the corner of a bench


Calcareous: stones that contain mainly calcium such as marble, travertine, limestone and onyx
Coping Tiles: tiles used to form an edge usually around a pool


Diamond Abrasive: an abrasive pad made of tiny diamond particles, used to polish stone
Dimension Stone: another term for natural stone


Efflorescence: white substance that appears on the surface of stone from time to time
Epoxy Glue: a 2 part adhesive used to fix tiles onto a hard surface
Epoxy Grout: a 2 part product used to fill gaps in between tiles
Epoxy Resin: a 2 part product that can be coloured and used to fill chips and cracks
Etching: when acidic substances ‘eat away’ and dissolve or dull the surface of stone such as marble


Fissure: a gap or crack occurring naturally in stone
Flamed: an uneven, textured finish achieved by burning the top layer of the stone


Gang Saw: a piece of equipment used to cut large natural stone slabs
Grit: abrasive particles that make up polishing pads, which vary in size to achieve varying finishes
Grout Burn: dull smears on the surface of tiles or stone, caused by grout not being thoroughly removed


Hob: the step border around a shower
Honed: a surface finish that is smooth and silky but not glossy


Joint: where 2 piece of stone come together


Lippage: the height between the grout and the top of a tile


Manufactured Stone: material made from natural stone particles and resins to resemble natural stone
Mason’s Mitre: an angled corner joint used to join 2 pieces of stone (like the corner of a picture frame)
Microfibre: a finely woven, soft material that traps dirt and is ideal for use on stone surfaces
Mohs Scale: A scale of hardness that rates stone from 1 to 10 depending


Natural Stone: stone that is quarried and cut to size for use in building and other applications


Pencil Round: a rounded edge profile on a benchtop that measures the radius of a pencil
Penetrating Sealer: a substance applied to natural stone, which soaks in and protects the surface
PH: the rating of solutions to determine acidity or alkalinity
Pigment: substance that comes in a variety of colours and is used to colour paint, grout, resin etc
Polished: a surface finish that has a high gloss
Porosity: the level of absorption
Poultice: a paste mix used to draw a stain out of a natural stone surface
Polishing: when the surface of the stone is cleaned and buffed to enhance its glossy finish


Quarry: a site where natural stone is extracted from the ground


Resin: a viscous material used to fill cracks and fissures that can be coloured and eventually sets hard
Resurfacing: when the surface of the stone is ground down to reveal a high gloss finish


Sandblasted: when stone is sprayed with sand using a high pressure hose, creating a texture
Saw-cut: when the parallel texture of the saw blade can be seen on the surface of the stone after cutting
Siliceous: stones that contain mainly quartz crystals such as granite, slate and sandstone
Skirting: the finishing board attached to the vertical surface of a wall at the base
Slurry: the milky bi-product created when stone is ground using a wet polishing process
Splashback: the area of wall that sits behind a sink or stove
Splay: an angled edge profile on a benchtop
Step Tread: the horizontal top surface of a step that can become worn from foot traffic
Surface Coating: a sealer, wax or other substance applied to the surface of natural stone to protect it


Vitrification: the process of hardening the surface of marble with a special polish


Wet Vacuum: a vacuum cleaner used to extract water from the stone after cleaning and polishing