A – F

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

Basalt: fine grained, dark and hard volcanic stone with a glassy appearance

Beauty Mark: an area of stone with a lack of colour, spots or lines of colour and difficult to polish

Bleeding: staining caused by oil based sealing compounds, corrosive metals or some minerals in stone

Bluestone: a hard, fine grained, blue-grey, brown or plum colour sandstone

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

Bush Hammered: a textured surface created on stone by using a pneumatic machine

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

Edge Profile: the shaped edging created on a slab of stone

Efflorescence: white crystal type substance that is brought to the surface of the stone by moisture and can appear 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

Etchingwhen 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

Fusion Polish: a process used to restore the factory finish to engineered stone

G – P

Granite: the hardest wearing natural stone made from quartz, feldspar and rock and formed by volcanic action

Greenstone: a yellowy green stone with poorly defined grains

Grit: abrasive particles that make up polishing pads, which vary in size to achieve varying finishes

Grout: the compound placed between tiles to bind them

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 usually matt or semi-gloss, smooth and silky but not glossy

Joint: where 2 piece of stone come together

Laminated: when 2 or more layers of stone are glued together to make the slab appear thicker

Limestone: a stone formed from shells, coral, organic material and minerals often used for benchtops and floors but is susceptible to etching and staining

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

Marble: a softer stone than granite that develops into many colours and patterns and is commonly used in benchtops but is susceptible to etching and staining

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

Onyx: a soft but brittle translucent stone not hard wearing and can be backlit

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 reflective and high gloss surface finish

Poultice: a paste mix used to draw a stain out of a natural stone surface

Q – W

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

Quartzite: a granular stone derived from sandstone

Repolishing: when the surface of the stone is cleaned and buffed to enhance its glossy finish

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

Rubbed: a smooth finish achieved by rubbing the stone with a mechanical device

Sandblasted: when stone is sprayed with sand using a high pressure hose, creating a texture

Sandstone: a stone often used around pools, made from compacted sand and formed in a variety of colours

Saw-cut: when the parallel texture of the saw blade can be seen on the surface of the stone after cutting

Sealer: a penetrating or surface compound used applied to protect stone from staining

Siliceous: stones that contain mainly quartz crystals such as granite, slate and sandstone

Silicone: a flexible and often waterproof compound used to close gaps between tiles especially in kitchens and bathrooms

Skirting: the finishing board attached to the vertical surface of a wall at the base

Slate: a dark stone that splits in layers and is often used for roofing or paving

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

Terrazzo: a mix of stone materials and cement often used in flooring

Travertine: stone developed in hot mineral springs and appears to have pits and cavities often used in flooring or on benchtops

Vein: the irregular patterning, seam or layering formed throughout stone, particularly marble

Vitrification: the process of hardening the surface of marble

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