Stone-Countertop Trade Terminology


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1.2 CM - 1/2" synthetic marble used to line showers or cover walls, where strength and thickness is not as important.​

2 CM
- Two centimeter thickness = .8", or "three-quarter inch". Good for vanities. Only slightly cheaper than the 3 CM.

3 CM - Three centimeter slab thickness = 1.2", often said "inch and a quarter". First choice in kitchen countertops.

Bonding - Installation of undermounted sinks or double-thick countertop edges with high-strength epoxy mixes.

Corbels - L-shaped or flat iron brackets on 8"+ overhangs to avoid stress cracks.

Dimension Stone - Stone quarried into blocks for end-use, such as stone-countertop slabs.

Drop-In - Sink mounted on a counter from the top. Flange all around it covers the edges of a rough-cut hole.

Edging - Counter edges are shaped with various profiles of diamond grinding-bits.

Engineered - Synthetically created countertops, different from those found in nature.

Fab - Labor to transport slabs, template patterns, cut to size, grind edge profiles, cut and drill holes, polish and seal.

Granite - Hard, natural, igneous rock, made of quartz, mica, feldspar. Quarried from mountains around the world.

Granite backsplashes - 4" rear-counter risers, normally done on vanities, but rarely in kitchens anymore (Think tile!).

Honed/Brushed/Leathered - Most slabs are polished, but honed = matte, brushed = bumpy, leathered = bumpier.

Laminate - Thin, patterned plastic, veneered to layers of pressed-board. The most common  name is Formica.

LF - Linear foot/feet. Also called RF or running feet. Distance in a straight line as opposed to SF.

- A natural limestone, crystalized as calcite & dolomite. MUCH softer than other stones.​

Mohs Scale - 1-10 hard-scale, from Friedrich Mohs in 1822. Diamonds 10, granite/quartzite 8, quartz 6-8, marble 4.

Polishing - Wet-sanding with multiple grades of abrasives to create a smooth and shiny countertop surface.

- Deep excavation to get raw-stone to the surface.

Quartz - Material man-made from silicon-dioxide poly-resins under pressure. Much higher cost than natural stones!​
Quartzite - Metamorphic sandstone baked by tectonic heat-pressure in the earth’s crust. Priciest  stone material.

Remnants - Or fall-off, are slab pieces left over after fabrication. Under 2x2 ft are normally discarded by Fabricators.

Rodding - Insertion of tubular rods (stainless, fiberglass) sometimes used to strengthen certain counter areas.

Sandstone - Natural stone equal in hardness to granite. Very porous. Hard to find, and needs specialized sealants.​

Seal - Application of a chemical countertop-sealant to further increase the spill resistance.

(Square Feet) - Width x depth (wall to front edge), in inches, divided by 144 = SF. 

Sink-Setters - Brace-brackets used to add more strength to an undermount kitchen sink.

- Flat pieces of natural or synthetic stone, quarried or molded to about 100-140" wide and 60-82" high.

Soapstone - Natural stone. High talc content. Fractures easily. Frequent oiling needed to maintain the original look.

Solid Surface - Resin-based counters; can look like stone. Common names are Corian, Wilsonart, and Swanstone.

Template - Final drawing of cabinets, sometimes using paper or foam strips, to create a counter-cutting layout.

Undermount - Sink installed beneath a counter, bonded in place. Finished-stone edges overlap 1/4" into the bowl.

Vessel - Sink that sits entirely on top of the counter. The top is not hole-cut, just drilled for the faucet and drain holes.

A-Frame - A-shaped frame, mounted on a trailer or truck to transport stone counters.

Bridge Saw
- Huge overhead saw with a diamond-blade, used to cut & shape slabs into counters.​

- Computer Numerical Control. An automated-cut version of a large bridge saw.

Cuts - Slices with diamond blades & bits to create counters or "mount" sinks etc.

Dolly - Cart with pads and clamps, used to move countertops from an A-frame trailer into a building.​

Fab Table
- A big, often tilting ("tilt-table"), steel platform to cut and fabricate stone slabs.

Rail Saw - A much smaller type of granite saw, that is also used for cutting slabs to countertop size.
Shims - Composite or cedar wedges to level variations in the top edges of cabinets.

Tooling - The use of cutters, grinders, polishers, etc. to fabricate raw-stone slabs into finished countertops.

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We hope this helps you to learn about the stone-counter trade. We try to educate; so you can choose the perfect material, color, pattern, edging, sinks etc. - Good to know the BUZZ WORDS!

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Please call or text us with questions?  We're happy to advise on all jobs, from the smallest vanity top or table to the largest kitchen.