Click icon
click icon following
glossary term for image


stone glossary

Not looking for stone terms visit our main glossary

A strip of stone used as a threshold.

Sample/Sample Board

A small piece of flooring that acts as a representation of the final product.


Using a small piece of a product as a sample.

Sand Mix

A mixture of sand and cementious material applied not more than 2" thick to patch or level mortar beds.

Sand-Sawn Finish

A finish achieved with the use of a gang saw combined with sand as the abrasive agent. It is relatively smooth but may contain light texturing.


Propelling sand at a high speed onto a surface to clean or roughen it.


Sandstone - Sandstone is one of the most durable, long-lasting types of stone available. It is composed of a sedimentary rock made of feldspar and quartz. It is available in shades of white, grey, yellow, and red.

Saw-Cut Refined Finish

A finishing method achieved by sanding a stone to remove some, but not all, of the marks left from the saw. This results in a matte appearance.

Sawed Edge

An edge that is cut cleanly with a saw or blade.

Sawed Face

A floor surface obtained by using a saw to cut the slab or tile. It can vary in texture from smooth to rough.



Using a straightedge or other tool to level mortar in a mortar bed.

Sculptured Tile

Tile that has been sculpted or molded for decoration.

Sealant Coating


See Sealer


A coat that is applied to the surface of a floor before applying finish or other coats, which prevents them from being absorbed into the flooring itself. Also may be applied as a final finishing step to a flooring surface to add protection and moisture re

Sedimentary Rock

A common class of rock made from deposits that have been consolidated and crystallized, such as sandstone and limestone.

Self-Spacing Tile

Tile that has built in spacers or lugs, making it self-spacing.

Semi-Rubbed Finish

A finish obtained by rubbing high areas of a surface down while leaving some lower areas with their natural texture.

Semi-Vitreous Tile

Semi glass-like tile with a water absorption rate between 3% and 7%.


A rock forming mineral that often gives rocks a greenish color. Serpentine is a general term given to several minerals of a polymorphic group that generally are found in very hard stone.

Shaped Stone

Stone which has been cut, shaved, or shaped by any method.


The act of applying the stress of two forces acting in opposite directions on an object.

Shot-Sawn Finish

A rough finish obtained by using a gang saw to saw random, textured markings with chilled steel shots.


A flat finishing piece often installed horizontally under windows and other openings.


A slightly elastic, fine grained, layered sedimentary rock composed mostly of quartz and silicate minerals.


A rectangular or square cut of stone from a quarry which has two parallel surfaces.


A type of sedimentary rock used in stone flooring that is made primarily from minerals of the mica group and also contains other minerals such as quartz, calcite, mica, and chlorite. It is formed when these sediments are put under pressure and heat by th

Slip Resistance

A measurement of the frictional resistance of an object from moving across a surface.

Smooth Finish / Smooth Planer Finish

A finish obtained using a planer machine with all tool marks removed after use.


A type of stone composed mainly of talc, chlorite, magnesite, and dolomite. It has a soft feel almost like a bar of soap and is often used for bathtubs, hearths, flooring, and so on.


The visible underside of an arch, portico, or other piece generally installed over a door way.

Sound Stone

Stone free of physical defects.


Small device in a cross, T, or Y shape used to evenly space tiles during installation.


Generally smaller sized stones used to fill holes or voids in flooring that consist of larger pieces arranged together.

Special Purpose Tile

Tile that has been specifically made to fit a certain requirement. This can range from a specific color, size, shape, decoration, strength, or other physical property.

Split Faced Finish / Split Face Stone

Taking stone from the quarry, cutting it to a specific height in large chunks, and breaking those chunks in slices to expose the natural cleft. This finish has a slightly rough texture.


The binding together of chunks or pieces of stone with a cementious material.


Refers to a block, slab, or fragment of rock that is used commercially.

Stone Tile

Stone flooring available typically in uniform, square dimensions such as 12"x12" or 16"x16".

Straight 90° Edge

An edge of a tile that forms a right angle, creating a clean look.

Straight Joint

Joints installed in alignment with each other.


A rock structure that has been naturally formed in layers, wedges, or other units.

Strip Rubble

Rock generally removed from a ledge which is then split into strips by machine, making uniform stone slabs.

Structural Defect

A defect in the body of flooring which diminishes the overall appearance or structural integrity.


The base floor of a structure which the flooring is installed on top of. Typically subfloors are made of wood or concrete.


The surface that the flooring is installed on. Generally, it is the subfloor.