Absorption – Percentage of moisture absorption by weight after immersion in water.

Acid Etching – Process of applying a solution of hydrochloric or muriatic acid and water to the exposed surface of Cast Stone in order to remove the cement film from the aggregates, achieving a fine-grained finish which simulates natural cut stone.

Admixtures – Chemicals used to improve the physical properties of Cast Stone.

Air Content – The amount of entrained air in wet cast units.

Air-Entraining Admixtures – Chemicals used to develop entrained air in wet cast units.

Air Voids – Surface imperfections with restricted size and occurrences in cast stone units.

Anchor – Metal device used for securing Cast Stone to a rigid structure.

Architrave – The bottom portion of an entablature bearing on the column capitals and supporting frieze.

Arris – Angle, corner, or edge of a Cast Stone unit.

Ashlar – Flat units square or rectangle in size, bonded and laid in mortar.


Backup – Mix Concrete, normally composed of concrete, sand, gravel, and grey cement; used for the unexposed portion of Cast Stone.

Baluster – A small column or other vertical shape when placed in a series constitutes a miniature colonnade which is called a balustrade.

Band – Course. See Belt Course.

Base Course – Continuous horizontal course that sets on the brick ledge. It is the first course set in a wall.

Bed Joint – The joint which the stone sets on. It is normally filled with mortar or backer rod and sealant.

Belt Course – Continuous horizontal course of Cast Stone incorporated in a wall above the base course and below the frieze.

Bevel – See Chamfer.

Bughole – An unacceptable air void in a finished surface.

Bull Nose – Convex molding which usually starts at the of the Cast Stone unit and returns to the predominant face.


Capital – Uppermost member of a column or a pilaster crowning the shaft.

Cast Stone – A refined architectural concrete building unit manufactured to simulate natural cut stone, used in unit masonry applications.

Coarse – Aggregate predominately retained on the No. 4 (4.74-mm) sieve.

Coated – Rebar coated with a zinc alloy or epoxy. This rebar is normally used when rebar placement is within 1-1/2 inches from an exposed face.

Chain – A stack of quoins.

Chamfer – Slanted surface which connects two external surfaces forming two arrises.

Coloring – The process of (or material used for) tinting the hue of Cast Stone. It is normally achieved through the use of aggregates or inorganic iron oxide pigments.

Column – Supporting pillar, usually consisting of a round shaft, a capital and a base.

Coping – Stone unit used to cap off the of a wall. Its function is to protect the wall from the natural elements as well as adding an aesthetic value to the wall.

Cornice – Molded piece at the of an entablature projected with an ogee profile at the leading edge with other reliefs below.

Course – Horizontal scope of units incorporated in a wall.

Cramp – “U” shaped metal anchors used to attach two abutting units.

Crazing – A series of hairline cracks, normally less than a thirty-second of an inch in depth in the outer surface of a concrete product. Crazing does not constitute cause for rejection of Cast Stone.

Curing – The process of hydrating the Portland Cement in Cast Stone to a specified age or compressive strength in a warm, moist environment.

Cut Stone – Natural stone quarried and dressed to an architectural shape.


Dentil – Block projections of an entablature below the cornice course.

Dowel – Round (usually non-corrosive) metal pin used in anchoring and aligning Cast Stone.

Drip – Continuous grove cut or cast into the bottom of the projecting edge of Cast Stone in order to disrupt the capillary attraction of water to the wall below.

Dry Cast Concrete – Products Manufactured from zero slump concrete. See Vibrant Dry Tamp.


Edging – The hand tooling of the arris.

Efflorescence – Visually observable signs of saline discharge onto a portion of a masonry wall.

Entablature – Incorporates an architrave, frieze, and cornice.

Entasis – The portion of a classic column which has a diminishing arc on the shaft. The lower third of the column is straight (two-thirds entasis column).

Erection – Setting of large stones usually with a crane.

Extrados – The outer portion of an arch.


Face – The exposed portion of Cast Stone after it is installed.

Facing Mix – Materials used for the portion of Cast Stone which is exposed to view after installed.

Fascia – A broad and well defined continuous horizontal band of Cast Stone at least header high.

Feather Edge – A thin edge with an arris considerably less than ninety degrees. It is so named because of its frailty when handled. See Quirk Miter

Fillet – Continuous raised lug at the back edge of a window sill. It serves as a moisture barrier and as a seat for the window sash.

Fine Aggregate – That portion of the aggregates passing the 4.75-mm (No. 4) sieve and retained on the No. 200 (75-�m) sieve.

Fines – Aggregate passing a #4 sieve.

Finish – Final exposed surface of Cast Stone. It is independent of color, but it will control the color intensity. Acid etching is the most popular Cast Stone finish.

Form – See Mold.

Frieze – Flat unit of an entablature located between the architrave and cornice.

Full Bed – A horizontal joint completely filled with mortar.


Grout – Mortar of pouring consistency.

Header – Stone unit running horizontally over an opening in a wall. Nor self supporting (see lintel).

Insert – A metal device cast into a unit normally used for anchoring or handling.

Incise – To cast concave or engrave.

Inscription – Characters incised into a unit.

Intrados – The inner portion of an arch.

Jamb – The vertical unit running up the side of an opening.

Joint – Gap between masonry units filled with mortar or backer rod and sealant.

Jointing Scheme – The jointing pattern shown on contract documents.

Keystone – The unit at the center of an arch. It is generally wedge shaped when viewed in elevation.

Lift Hook – A metal device embedded into the Cast Stone for the purpose of lifting and/or anchoring.

Lintel – A unit spanning an opening and carrying the load of a wall above.

Lug – The portion of a Cast Stone unit running beyond an opening horizontally into a wall. The lug is normally less than a foot in length.

Lug – Sill Window sill built into the wall which runs horizontally beyond the masonry opening.


Masonry – Construction made by the laying of units of substantial material such as brick, block and Cast Stone.

Miter – The splicing of two Cast Stone profiles at an angle. See Quirk.

Medallion – An ornamental block.

Model – The positive shape that represents the final product. A mold is formed around a model.

Modillion – Ornamental block located under the corona of a cornice.

Molding – Any linear plane which deviates from a flat surface.

Mortar – A blend of cement, lime, sand, and water which is applied at a pliable consistency to bond masonry units.

Mold – A form in which Cast Stone is shaped. It can be constructed from wood, plaster, rubber, fiberglass, and other materials.

Mullion – A vertical member which forms a separation from adjacent window or door frames.


Pointing – See Tuck Pointing.

Precast – A concrete product not poured in place.

Quirk Miter – An end condition cast with a forty-five degree angle and an edge put on the point at a ninety-degree angle to eliminate feather edging.

Quoin – Cast Stone block used to make up a corner of a wall.


Recess – A depression in a flat surface.

Reglet – A continuous groove cast or cut into a Cast Stone unit to receive flashing.

Reinforcing – Rebar placed into a Cast Stone unit during the manufacturing process to augment the unit during handling or to enable it to carry a structural load (i.e. lintel).

Rebar – A deformed steel unit used for reinforcing Cast Stone.

Relief – Ornamentation.

Reprise – An internal corner of a profiled unit.

Return – An external corner of a profiled unit.

Reveal – The side of an opening (as for a window) between a frame and the outer surface of a wall.

Rustication – An incision cast around the outer edges of a unit to produce a shaded affect.


Sample – The specimen submitted to represent the color and texture of Cast Stone. This specimen dictates the general range of the color and texture of production pieces.

Setting – The mason’s process of installing and anchoring Cast Stone.

Setting Pads – Non-corrosive pads used to set Cast Stone on in order to prevent the bed joint from compressing at the time of setting.

Setting – Drawing which the Cast Stone manufacturer submits for approval detailing all aspects of the installation with piece markings and final locations of stones.

Shop Drawing – The drawing which the Cast Stone manufacturer submits for approval showing size and shape of pieces, exposed faces, jointing, anchoring, reinforcing and unit cross section.

Slip Sill – A Cast Stone window sill that fits within the masonry opening.

Soffit – The exposed underside portion of a unit.

Spandrel – A unit spanning an opening with bearing beyond the opening. It is not normally load bearing, but self supporting.

Springer – A unit that is located at the spring line of an arch.

Surround – An encasement of an opening.


Template – A type of model used to convey the pattern, shape, or profile to be used by the manufacturer in the molding process.

Texture – The finish structure consisting of visual and tactile surface qualities.

Tolerance – Allowable deviation from specified dimensions.

Tracery – Arched ornamental work with interlacing, branching lines. Usually consists of openwork in the head of a Gothic window.

Tooled Finish – A finish obtained by texturing either the mold or the Cast Stone (ex. bushhammered, six-cut).

Trowel Finish – A finish normally given to the back or unformed side of Cast Stone. This finish may look slightly different than the molded sides of the piece.

Tuck Pointing – The final tooling or pointing of a raked out mortar joint.


Vibrant Dry Tamp – Vibratory ramming of earth moist, zero-slump concrete against a rigid mold until it is densely compacted.

Volute – The scroll shaped ornament forming the chief feature on an Ionic capital.

Warp – Twist or bowing of final casting measured by deviation from plane and tolerance.

Wash – A sloping horizontal surface formed to cause water to run off.

Water Repellent – Normally a clear sealer sprayed or brushed on the exposed portion of a masonry wall to deflect moisture.

Water table – The course of Cast Stone that sits on the base course. This course normally transcends an offset in the building.

Weep-Hole – An opening normally in a masonry head joint at the bottom of a unit to allow any moisture behind it to escape.

Weld Plate – A square metal device cast flush to the surface for attachment by means of welding.

Wet Cast Concrete – Products Manufactured from measurable slump concrete.