Acid-Washed Finish: Takes the shine off polished stone and leaves small etching marks (pits in the surface). It gives the stone a rustic or antique appearance.
Brushed Finish: A worn-down look achieved by applying heavy-duty plastic or metal brushes to the stone.
Bull Nose Edge: The rounded or curved edge of a natural stone floor tile.
Cross Cut: The tile is cut along the grain of the stone resulting in a horizontal appearance.
Calibrated: A process of machine honing the back of the piece to either a smooth or ribbed finish. Ensures the same thickness for the whole slab.
CBU (Cement Backer Unit): For wood subfloors that require additional support and a moisture barrier.
Chiseled Edge: The tile is chipped or chiseled around the surface edges to create a highly textured or rustic edge.
Ditra: Brand-name underlayment that allows for slight movement of the substrate without damaging the tile. Also a good water barrier.
Fabricator: A professional who turns natural stone slabs into customized pieces for specific installations.
Flamed Finish: A blowtorch is passed over the stone, heating the surface crystals until they explode. This leaves a rough, unrefined texture.
Granite: This igneous rock is the hardest of all flooring stones with a very dense grain, making it virtually impervious.
Honed Finish: A process of refining the rough surface to produces a flat, matte, or satin finish.
Filled: Filling tiny pits with feldspar after the honing process is complete. This allows for a more refined look.
Igneous Rock: Results when magma, the molten rock from the center of the earth, cools and hardens.
Limestone: Sedimentary stone formed by the accumulation of organic materials, such as shells and coral, sand, or precipitates.
Manufactured Stone or Agglomerate Stone: Made from natural stone chips suspended in a binder, such as cement, epoxy resins or polyester.
Marble: A very dense and easily polished metamorphic rock.
Metamorphic Rock: Simply means “changed form.” When high pressure and heat are applied to certain rock in the earth’s crust, the result can be marble, slate or quartzite.
Polished Surface Finish: The stone tile is buffed to a beautiful shiny finish by progressively using finer polishing heads .
Porosity: The state of being porous. Indicator of how much liquid the stone will absorb. Sandstone is very porous. Granite is not.
Quarry: Excavation of rock from large deposits pushed up through the earth’s crust.
Sandstone: Sedimentary stone composed of loose grains of quartz. Noted for its rough texture and porosity.
Saw-Cut Refined Finish: After initial cutting, the stone is polished enough to take out the heaviest saw marks but not enough to give it a honed finish.
Sedimentary Rock: Formed by the accumulation of sediments, such as plant or animal debris (limestone), mechanical weather debris (sandstone), or precipitates (travertine).
Slab: Quarried blocks of stone that have been cut into sheets.
Slate: A fine-grained metamorphic rock that easily splits into sheets. It’s composed of clay, quartz and shale.
Split Faced Finish: A rough texture achieved by hand cutting and chiseling at the quarry, exposing the natural cleft of the stone.
Stone Tile: Pieces of stone — typically 12″x12″, 13″x13″, 16″x16″ and 18″x18″ — used to create flooring, walls and countertops.
Straight 90-Degree Edge: A polished straight edge for stone tile.
Substrate: The surface on which stone tile is laid.
Thinset: A cement-based adhesive used in stone floor installations.
Tumbled: The tiles are tumbled with a combination of gravel and smooth stones to create a softer aged appearance with rounded edges.
Travertine: A crystallized, partially metamorphosed limestone, formed by natural mineral springs. It has a honeycombed structure and a lot of surface pitting.
Tumbled Stone: Stone with a lovely smooth or slightly pitted surface and broken or rounded edges and corners.
Un-sanded Grout: A dry, Portland cement-based product that is mixed with water to fill in all the joints between stone tiles.
Vein Cut: The tile is cut against the grain resulting in a mottled or striped appearance.