Glossary


Below is a list of terms often used within the Natural Stone industry.


Slabs

Stone is quarried in large blocks which are then sliced into sheets (Slabs). As a standard slabs are cut into 20mm or 30mm thickness but any other thickness can be produced. The concept is the same as when a loaf of bread is cut into slices.


Polished Finish

A high gloss finish is applied as part of the production process using machines that buff the tiles to create an evenly reflective surface. The darker the material the more reflective the surface will be.


Honed Finish

A smooth matt machined surface finish is applied onto the face of the slabs as part of the production process using machines that buff the tiles to create an evenly reflective surface. The darker the material the more reflective the surface will be.


Flamed Lamed

Stone (usually marble or granite) is treated with intense heat to visibly age tiles. The surface becomes lightly distressed and slightly rough. It is sometimes used to create a non-slip surface for very hard natural stone tiles.


Brushed Finish

An ageing process to the surface of the stone that generates a smoother and worn/pitted appearance


Flamed and Brushed

This is when the stone is first flamed then it is brushed. This gives a textured appearance with a smooth feel


Acid Washed

Acid washing exposes some of the sand in certain types of stone, giving a rougher texture.


Antiqued

An aged, or worn look created by applying various different processes to stone tiles. Not to be confused with genuine antique tiles.


Sandblasted

Also known as shot-blasted. Traditionally Sand was sprayed at very high speed onto the surface of stone to generate a non-slip or rough finish however nowadays this is effect is achieved using diamond tipped tooling.


Pencil Round Edge

The side/edge of the stone which is to be seen is polished or honed to match the face of the slab and in doing so the sharp cut edge with a completely sharp 90-degree is softened and rounded.


Bull Nose

The semi-circular, half rounded edge usually applied to thicker slabs of stone.


Calibrated

Quarried stone cut into even thickness tiles are calibrated tiles. The majority of internal tiles are calibrated, including travertine tiles and white marble stone tiles.


CNC

A computer controlled shaping mill capable of cutting virtually any stone into any shape.


Vein Cut

When the stone blocks are sliced into slabs in the same direction as the natural vein direction of the stone. Cutting in the same direction as the layers of sediment reveals lines of different coloured stone.


Cross Cut

When the stone blocks are sliced into slabs across the natural vein direction of the stone.


Filled

Many types of stone naturally have air pockets in their formation. These air pockets are resin or grout filled. They are then honed to create a perfectly smooth tile. Unfilled tiles are often part-filled with grout during fitting giving a textured finish that is not as smooth as factory-filled tiles.


Porosity

All natural stones absorb moisture. A stone’s susceptibility and ease of which moisture is absorbed is described as its level of porosity. All natural stone tiles have to be sealed to substantially reduce porosity.


Water jet

A high pressure computer-controlled water je is used to accurately cut stone into precise shapes. Usually this process is used to cut inlaid floors and mosaics.


Please feel free to ask the team about any new term you may not be familiar with.