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BSI
Definition:

(Building Stone Institute)
A trade association of quarriers, fabricators, dealers, and others working with natural stone. Founded in 1919, sponsor of the Tucker Architectural Awards.


Back Anchor
Definition:

Any of a variety of anchors that extends from the back surface of a stone panel, as opposed to anchors that penetrate the edges of a stone panel.


Back-parging
Definition:

The process of slathering the back of an adhered stone unit with an adhesive material to reduce or eliminate voids in adhesive contact. Also used in travertine or with the application of damp proofing. Also referred to as “back-buttering.”


Back-up Structure
Definition:

A structural support wall erected behind stone or brick facing.


Backer Rod
Definition:

A flexible and compressible type of closed cell foam polyethylene, butyl rubber, or open-cell or closed-cell polyurethane, rounded at surface to contact sealant.
The backer rod is positioned within the joint so as to maintain appropriate depth and crosssectional shape of the bead.


Backsplash
Definition:

A vertical covering of the wall where a countertop surface meets the wall surface, designed to protect the wall from moisture. Backsplashes range from a few inches in height to “full height backsplashes” that extend from the countertop surface to the underside of the upper cabinets.


Baluster
Definition:

A short post or vertical member in a series that supports a railing or coping forming a balustrade.
Balusters are traditionally decorative forms that are turned on a lathe.


Balustrade
Definition:

A railing system with top rail, balusters and bottom rail.


Band Course
Definition:

See string course.


Banker
Definition:

Bench of timber or stone (may be a single block) on which stone is worked.


Basalt
Definition:

A dark colored, igneous rock commercially known as granite when fabricated as dimension stone. The fine-grained and extrusive equivalent of gabbro.


Base
Definition:

In masonry, the bottom course of a stone wall, or the vertical first member above grade or a finished floor.


Basic
Definition:

In geology, one of four subdivisions used to classify igneous rocks based on silica content: acidic, intermediate, basic and ultra-basic. Said of igneous rock containing relatively low silica content (approx. 45 to 50%).


Batted Work (British)
Definition:

Hand-dressed stone surface scored top to bottom in narrow parallel strikes, using a batting tool. Strokes may be vertical (in which case the surface may be called tooled) or oblique, and may range from 8 to 10 per inch. Batting is also called “broad tooling,” “droving,” or “angle dunting.”


Bearing Check
Definition:

A slot, generally not continuous, cut into the back or bed of dimension stone to allow entry of a supporting angle or clip.


Bed
Definition:

1. The top or bottom of a joint, natural bed; surface of stone parallel to its stratification.
2. In granites and marbles, a layer or sheet of the rock mass that is frequently horizontal, commonly curved and lenticular, as developed by fractures. Sometimes also applied to the surface of parting between rock sheets.
3. In stratified rocks, the unit layer formed by sedimentation; of variable thickness, and commonly tilted or distorted by subsequent deformation. It generally develops a rock cleavage, parting, or jointing along the planes of stratification.


Bed Joint
Definition:

A horizontal joint between stones, usually filled with mortar or sealant.


Bedding Plane
Definition:

Plane of sedimentary stone in the position of its original formation. This plane may be horizontal, coincident with mountain slopes, or random.


Bedrock
Definition:

General term referring to the rock underlying other unconsolidated material, such as soil.


Belt Course
Definition:

A continuous horizontal course, marking a division in the wall plane.


Bench
Definition:

Steps formed in a quarry by removal of stone. Also, a long seat of cubic stone. bevel. A term describing the intersection of two surfaces meeting at an angle other than 90 degrees.


Black Granite
Definition:

Rock species known to petrologists as diabase, diorite, gabbro and other varieties quarried as dimension stone. As dimension blocks or slabs, they are valued specifically for their dark grey to black color when polished. Scientifically, they are far removed in composition from true granites though they may be satisfactorily used for some of the purposes to which commercial granites are adapted. They possess an interlocking crystalline texture, but unlike granites, they contain little or no quartz or alkalic feldspar, and are characterized by an abundance of one or more of the common black rock-forming minerals (chiefly pyroxenes, hornblende, and biotite).


Blade Dressing
Definition:

A maintenance process required periodically to restore optimum performance of diamond abrasive cutting tools. The process consists of cutting or grinding into a softer material which will abrade at the matrix and expose new diamond surfaces. Dressing is frequently done with manufactured dressing sticks, soft brick, and some abrasive sandstones.


Bleed
Definition:

Staining caused by corrosive metals, oil based putties, mastics, caulking, or sealing compounds.


Blending
Definition:

The random positioning of adjacent veneer panels, floor slabs, or tiles, to prevent large regions of uniform color, contrasted by adjacent large regions of dissimilar uniform color.


Block
Definition:

See quarry block.


Bluestone
Definition:

A fine- to medium-grain, quartz based stone of the U.S. Appalachian Plateau.
The stone is well known for relatively easy cleavage along generally flat planes, making it a common choice for naturally cleft products such as flagstone. The term “bluestone” may be used in other parts of the world to describe very dissimilar regional products.


Bollard
Definition:

A free standing stone post or guard.


Bond
Definition:

1. Pattern of joints in successive courses.
2. To stick or adhere.


Book Match Pattern
Definition:

A vein matching technique where opposite faces of adjacent slabs are exposed, producing a repeating mirror image of the veining trend of the material. Bookmatched material is most commonly polished to allow the greatest visibility of the veining character of the stone.


Border Stone
Definition:

Usually a flat stone used as an edging material. A border stone is generally used to retain or define the pattern around the field of paving.


Boss
Definition:

In masonry, a roughly shaped stone set to project for carving in place. A carved ornamentation to conceal the jointing at the junction of ribs in a Gothic vault.


Boulder
Definition:

Naturally rounded rock fragment larger than 256 mm diameter. Used for crude walls and foundation, generally in mortar.


Bowing
Definition:

A warping or curving of a stone unit.


Breccia
Definition:

Rock characterized by course, angular fragments, either the result of crushing and recementing essentially in place, or deposition of angular pieces that become consolidated. Numerous marbles owe their distinctive appearance to the brecciation caused by metamorphism. Italian for, “broken stones, rubble.” 


Brecciated Marble
Definition:

Any marble composed of angular fragments.


Bridge Crane
Definition:

A hoisting system that consists of a hoist, normally using cables, which moves on a beam or “bridge” spanning an opening between two rails. The hoist moves laterally along the bridge and the bridge moves longitudinally along the rails, allowing the hoist to be over any position within the rectangle contained within the lengths of the two rails.


Bridge Polisher
Definition:

A single spindle polishing machine that travels along a beam, or “bridge”, which travels atop two rails. Also known as a “gantry” polisher.


Bridge Saw
Definition:

A saw that travels along a beam, or “bridge”, which travels atop two rails. These saws are typically powerful and fitted with large diameter blades. A rotating table is positioned below the saw, allowing for skew cuts, and the saw arbor typically rotates, allowing for angled cuts.


Broach
Definition:

1. To drill or cut out material left between closely spaced drill holes.
2. A mason’s sharp-pointed chisel for dressing stone.
3. An inclined piece of masonry filling the triangular space between the base of an octagonal spire and the top of a square tower.
4. A type of chisel used for working narrow surfaces.


Brownstone
Definition:

A trade term applied to ferruginous dark brown and reddish-brown arkosic quartz based stone extensively used for construction in the U.S. during the 19th century.


Brushed Finish
Definition:

A subtly textured surface finish achieved by wet brushing a stone with a coarse rotary-type abrasive brush.


Bugged Finish
Definition:

A smooth finish produced in limestone by grinding with power sanders.


Building Stone
Definition:

Rock material in its natural state of composition and aggregation as it exists in the quarry and is usable in construction as dimension building stone. Also used interchangeably with the term dimension stone.


Bullnose
Definition:

Convex rounding of a stone edge, such as a stair tread or countertop.

 


Bush Hammerin
Definition:

A process which produces textured surfaces with small evenly spaced pits produced by hand or pneumatic hammer. The spacing between the pits is often defined as “6-cut,” “4-cut,” etc.


Butt Joint
Definition:

An external corner formed by two stone panels with one finished edge in a lap joint configuration.


Buttering
Definition:

Placing mortar on stone units with a trowel before setting them into position.