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Natural stone glossary

A general term that includes different production methods. Using special machinery, natural stone is tumbled for many reasons, the most important one being obtaining an anti-slip surface which is often required in public or wet spaces (bathroom, kitchen, sauna etc.). A tumbled surface needs increased attention in terms of protection and maintenance. This is quickly and easily obtained by using professional waterproofing solutions such as LTP Great Britain's products: LTP MattStone (maximum protection without changing the color), LTP Color Intensifier (maximum protection with intensified matt aspect) etc. You must remember that a tumbled material has a brighter color. For this reason, you may use an intensfying waterproofing solution such as: LTP Glaze Protector, LTP Satin Wax or LTP StoneOil (for interior) , LTP Color Intensifier (for exterior) etc.

The most popular finish when talking about exterior paving or interior cladding, often encountered at marble, travertine or slate cladding. Brushing is a finishing method which brings out the stone's texture. A brushed surface will need increased attention when talking about protection and maintenance. This is quickly and easily obtained by using professional waterproofing solutions such as LTP Great Britain's products (the same as for tumbled finishes).

The stones are finished in order to have an uniform thickness.

A term used when talking about exterior pavings designed for heavy and very heavy traffic (usually used for public projects such as parks, alleys or even boulevards). Cubical stone can be faceted (meaning that all sides are cut straight), natural-split (the sides are uneven) or both (4 straigh-cut sides and one natural-split side). Due to its great thickness, once applied, cubical stone will last for many generations (eg. 10x10x10cm, 10x10x5cm etc.). Cubical stone is only delivered in Big Bags wheigh 1 ton each.

Marble, travertine, onyx or chalk blocks can also be perpendicularly cut into stripes in order to obtain plates or pavements. It is most commonly met in the case of travertine.

This term is mostly associated with travertine whose surface is filled with holes. These gaps can be grouted at the source using a special resin which closely resembles the color of the stone. Once the stone has been grouted it can be honed, smoothened or antiqued. Not all holes will be completely grouted and even pregrouted travertine still needs to be grouted while it is applied. It is not uncommon to find surface variations in the case of recently grouted natural stones. The maintenance process needs resin grouting.

The fine lines of the minerals' veins which normally contrast with the color of the natural stone. They can be easily misinterpreted as cracks in the stone.

A large stone with small thickness which is used for both interior and exterior designs.

A finishing process which provides the material with a powerful texture thanks to the crystals in its structure. It is obtained by treating the surface with an open flame. After the surface is heated up it is suddenly cooled making the crystals detach from the material, resulting in an anti-slip surface ideal for exterior paving. It is commonly used with granite. For a softer look, the stones can be brushed right after finishing.

The remains of dead plants and animals. Fossils are usually found in limestone, marble and sometimes hone and can have plenty of shapes.

A plate assembly format where the static width is 30,5 cm, 40,6 cm or 61 cm and the length rarely varies or consists of a mix of at least two different sizes. Its look resembles traditional natural stone floorings.

A smooth, unpolished surface finishing. The margins are either cut straight or bevelled, fact which ensures a classical or modern look to the stone.

One, two or more minerals are mixed in order to form a stone. All minerals can be found in nature. Quartz and calcite are the most commonly found minerals in stone.

A mixture of lengths with different widths. They are mounted in courses of alternating thicknesses in order to look as if they were randomly placed.

The declared size and thickness of the stones may slightly vary because of the prouction methods used. This variation is commonly found and it gets more and more visible as the plate grows in size.

A big squared plate which has every corner cut-off in order to fit a smaller separate plate usually made from contrast colored material.

A repeating modular modal which is formed of 4 different sized plates in order to make the floor look randomly arranged. There are several French Patter models available. Please remember that you may not ask for a particular stone to be delivered in a specific French Patter. The stone will be shipped in the French Pattern that we specify.

A glossy, shiny finishing of the rock's surface with straight or bevelled margins.

A special finishing where each stone piece is handmade. Some pieces will have a slightly stained surface while others will come with smooth udulations. These processes combine themselves in order to resemble an antique looking natural stone plate.

A surface which is naturally split by the division of blocks along the natural laminations. This term is often associated with ardezie, schist, sandstone, travertien and sometimes limestone.

A great piece of stone which can be processed into tops and other products designed for bathrooms and kitchens or jambs, headboards, stairs or risers.


A method used for aging the stone in which the plates' margins get a rounded finishing. On some types of stone this process can leave the surface slightly brighter and more textured. The antiquing process is done by treating the surface with a kind of acid resulting in an irregular looking surface with great anti-slip properties. It is usually applied for marble, travertine and limestone.


These materials vary in terms of thickness. They are normally found in split or carved materials. The thickness variation is detailed in the plates' sizes. It is recommended picking out these plates before mounting them and using adhesive in order to bring them to the same level.


This term is mostly associated with Travertine whose surface is usually filled with wholes and gaps. An ungrouted finishing leaves all these gaps open. Smaller wholes are found in limestone, marble and certain types of travertine which can be grouted only if you wish to.


The appearance of irregular mineral lines along the natural stone, especially in the case of marble and limestone.


This term is usually used in the case of travertine whose plates are cut following the natural stone's veins. These striations offer a layered aspect to the finished surface of the stone.



A plate made out of clay and burned at lower temperatures than in the case of porcelain, usually glazed for a honed or glossy finishing.


Plates with a striking model intended to stand out among neutral looking plates.

Plates with beautiful, complicated, handmade models which can be applied through various methods.

A colored glaze is applied to the plates before burning; the color range varies from the simple and dull to tones and more courageous nuances.

A gloss that is applied to the porcelain or to the glazed an decorative plates.

A natural finish with no shine aplied to the porcelain or to the glazed and decorative plates.

If porcelain or ceramic is cut before the burning process its plates resemble some variations in terms of size.

This term indicates the fact that porcelain or ceramics are stable in terms of size and present a slight variety between plates because of the fabrication process, though sizes might be slightly different than those declared. The plates from different fabrication processes will present larger variations, therefore in order to ensure a supply of compatible sizes, plates that ought to be applied should be taken from a single batch.

The rigato plate is projected so that it ofers a liniar strip aspect.


The polishing process - a treatment simmilar to matting most commonly used on the surface of marble and granite. The polishing must be done on stones which have a significant rate of crystallinity, necessary for the last part of the abrasive process. The most common machinery used for polishing are formed out of multiple arms featuring rotative pendulum polishing heads and fixed displacement workbenches. Only small items are manually polished such ast objects, frames etc.
Th polished appearance – smooth, flat, shiny and without visible scratches. The polished finishing can provide very specific aesthetic characteristics, helps in closing the stone's pores and ensures an increased resistance to external factors for the material. It clearly exposes the stone's texture and colors. After polishing, the stone color results in a darker shade than in the case of other treatments such as matting. There are our polished products: light beige marble, king blue marble, maron emperador marble, nerro marquina marble, emperador light marble, volakas marble, kavala vein cut marble, kavala cross cut marble, thasos marble, cappucino marble, noce travertine, classic cross cut travertine and classic vein cut travertine.

The honing process – a process similar to polishing but without the resulted shine, using a successive reduction of the abrasive grains and without using the finest grains. The most common machinery used for polishing are formed out of multiple arms featuring rotative pendulum polishing heads and fixed displacement workbenches. For smaller areas the honing is manually done using an abrasive grinding wheel. Honing is used on stones which have a certain compactness and durity but somehow cannot resist polishing.

The honed appearance – a flat, smooth and honed surface without any visible marks. The shade of the honed material is darker than in the case of other processes except polishing. It also brings out the texture and colors of the stone. The honed stones usually do not support polishing and do not meet the required crystallization rate. Here are some of our honed products: classic cross cut travertine, classic vein cut travertine, noce travertine, yellow travertine, silver travertine, kavala cross cut marble, cappucino marble and sunny dream light marble.

The split-face process - it is carried out after the stone is cut through any method which uses special stone-cutting instruments (especially those based on precise and meticulous hits where shards and chips fly out). There is another split face option named "Berrugas" where the surface results in a profile of around 2 cm. It is applied to granite quarries and compact sculptured stones such as limestone and nerro marquina.

The split-face appearance – the shaped material gains natural and rustic looks and a certain durability with channels and prominences which highlight the original relief while the margins are softened. The split facing depending on the relief's grade of compactness and crystallinity can be obtained on both flat or curved surfaces. This finishing resembles natural looking cracks even though it is a little deeper. It is more suited for classical buildings, fireplaces, public spaces or areas where a warm ambient is desired.

The chiseled edge process - an old surface treatment for all stone materials used for exterior cladding. Handmade chiseled edges are the most popular. It is also popular in sculpting. The surface of the stone is repeatedly hit after it was previously flattened out with a one or two steel-headed hammer with tiny pyramid-shaped teeth (Bujard). It is still manually practiced today even though it is more common to use a pneumatic simple or automatic hammer where the heads are placed on the surface of the stone. It is often used for exterior pavements for their anti-slip property.

The chiseled edge appeareance – The treated surface presents small 1-3 mm (thick and wide) evenly distributed craters which highlight the stone's overall nuance. The size and density of the craters depends on the applied forece: light, medium or heavy. The Bujard manuals use heads with teeth ranging from 16-36 and 49-64 (the most common being 25 and 49). Pneumatic heads usually use 8 and 25.

The flaming process – a thermic treatment at a high temperature on the granite's or marble's surface obtained by successively passing a torch at a 45⁰ angle whose temperature can go as high as 2800 ⁰C. The flame is often used on stone tables from the looms, applying the process only to the superior parts. It is only used on large surfaces and not on margins or corners. The result is anti-slip, ideal for exterior pavings.

The flaming appearance – it results in a harsh relief, full of craters and a little glass which ensures a rustic look to the stone, without bringing any changes to the color or the dirt of the stone.

Unfinishing – is used when the pieces or blocks of stone are cut with a mechanical block-cutter or by using discs. The rough material can be found in almost any stone quarry. It is a process carried out before other treatments such as polishing or honing.

The rough appearance – the cutting procedure presents the surface with fragile rocky elevations and undulations (0.1 - 1 mm deep) following the curves' parallel routes. Despite the possible asperity, the surface is extremely flat and sometimes smooth but just a little bit harsh. These honed and sometimes harsh surfaces bring better lightning to the stone. It is forbidden in the case of urban furniture pieces, open area claddings and other similar works.

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