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 very slightly cheaper than 3 CM.
3 CM – Three centimeter slab thickness = 1.2″, often said “inch and a quarter”. First choice in kitchen countertops.
Bonding – Installation of under-mounted sinks or double-height countertop edges, using special 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, like stone-counter slabs.
Drop-In – Sink mounted on a counter from the top. Flange 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 in nature.
Fab – Labor to transport slabs, template patterns, cut counters 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 stone slabs are polished; but honed = matte, brushed = bumpy, leathered = even bumpier!
Laminate – Thin plastic veneer on fiberboard. The most common name is Formica.
Lead-Time – Day from the time Clients choose their material to installation of a job.
LF – Linear foot/feet. Also called RF or running feet. Straight-line distance, as opposed to SF.
Marble – Natural limestone crystalized as calcite or dolomite. A much softer stone.
Mohs Scale – 1-10 mineral-hardness scale – Friedrich Mohs, 1822. Diamonds 10, granite/quartzite 8 or 9, quartz 6-8, marble 4-6.
Polishing – Wet-sanding with grades of abrasives to create a smooth and shiny countertop surface.
Quarry – A deep earth-excavation for bringing 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 (fall-off) – Pieces remaining after stone fabrication. Remnants measuring less than 2×2 feet are usually discarded.
Rodding – Insertion of tubular rods (stainless, fiberglass), sometimes needed to strengthen certain countertop 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.
SF (Square Feet) – Width x depth (wall to front edge), in inches, divided by 144 = SF.
Sink-Setters – Brace-brackets for adding more strength to an under-mount kitchen sink.
Slabs – Flat pieces of natural or synthetic stone, typically quarried or molded to about 100-140″ wide, and from 60-82″ high.
Soapstone – Natural stone. High talc content. Fractures easily. Frequent oiling needed to maintain the original look.
Solid Surface – Resin-based (plastic!) counters that can look like stone. Common names are Corian, Wilsonart, and Swanstone.
Template – Detail-drawing of cabinets, sometimes adding paper sheets or foam strips, to create a final counter-cutting layout.
Under-mount – Sink installed beneath a counter, bonded (and braced!) in place. Finished-stone edges overlap 1/4″ into the bowl.
Vessel – Vanity sink that sits entirely on the counter’s surface. The countertop is not hole-cut, just drilled for faucet and drain holes.
A-Frame – A-shaped frame on a trailer or truck, to transport stone counters.
Bridge Saw – Huge diamond-blade overhead saw, to cut slabs into counters.
CNC – Computer Numerical Control. Automated-cut version of a bridge saw.
Cuts – Slices with diamond blades & bits to create counters or “mount” sinks etc.
Dolly – Wheeled, U-shaped cart with pads/clamps, to move countertops from a 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 used for cutting slabs to countertop size.
Shims – Composite or cedar wedges, used to level the top edges of cabinets, allowing for flatter countertop-installation.
Tooling – Use of specialized diamond-cutters, grinders, polishers, etc. to fabricate raw-stone slabs into finished countertops.
We hope this helps you to understand the stone-counter trade. We try to educate so you can choose the perfect material, color, pattern, edge, sink, etc. Sometimes it’s good to know THE BUZZ WORDS!
Please call or text with questions? We’re happy to advise on everything from a small vanity top or table to the largest kitchen.