Accents: A contrast, outline, or highlight added for detail
and emphasis. See "Inlays".
Apron Front Sink: (farmhouse sink): A sink with a large apron
in front that sits on a short cabinet.
Backsplash: Wall protection at the back edge of the
countertop; designed to seal the counter and protect the wall from
spills and damage; can be integral to the counter or applied directly to
Build-up: Strips of material that are sometimes attached to
the under-side of countertops to raise it flush with the cabinet tops.
Bull-nose: A finished edge on an otherwise unfinished natural
or man-made tile.
Butcher Block: Wood Countertops or "Butcher Block" countertops
come in a variety of hardwoods, such as maple or oak. Seldom used for
all the countertops in a kitchen, instead they are often used on islands
or in inserts.
Caesarstone: A man-made stone that is many times harder than
natural stone, making is scratch and stain resistant.
Cambria: Cambria is a manufacturer of natural quartz
countertop material also sold under the name "Cambria"
Cantilever: A beam projecting beyond its supports. For
instance, the area where a countertop overhangs a cabinet by a few
Cook-top: An assembly of stove burners that fits into
Corian®: A brand of solid surface material made by DuPont
which offers a non-porous, repairable, renewable surface and with the
ability to integrate sinks.
Drain Board: Depressions in a countertop which allows water to
run into the sink.
Drop-in Sink: A sink which contains a rim that fits over the
Edge Return: A thick countertop edge that gives the appearance
of a thicker slab.
Edge Profile: Defines the shape of the front edge of your
Engineered Stone: A man-made substance usually composed of
crushed quartz and polymer binders used to emulate natural stone. . It
is sold under many labels (Silestone, Cambria, CaesarStone, Zodiac,
Gloss: A way to describe a finish which has a deep shine and
Granite: An igneous rock, formed by volcanic action, and
composed chiefly of feldspars and quartz, usually with one or more other
minerals. It is relatively hard and dense, and will polish to a high
gloss. It is an excellent choice for kitchen countertops, floors, and
other heavily used surfaces. Granite, quarried from the mountains of
Italy, the U.S., India, and dozens of other countries around the world,
is one of the most popular natural stones on the market. Available in a
striking array of colors, granite's durability and longevity make it
ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavily used surfaces, including
table tops and floors.
Grout: The material used to fill and seal the joints between
Honed finish: A satin rather than high-gloss finish achieved
by removing the highly polished surface.
Impregnating: The technical term for sealing.
Impregnators: Impregnators are designed to penetrate below the
surface of the stone. The application of impregnators restricts water,
oil and dirt from entering the stone.
Inlay: An inlay is the use of a contrasting color placed in or
between elements of the main color for decoration. This can be simple
trim, or complex company logos or diagrams.
Island: An independent segment of cabinetry that doesn't touch
any walls and is typically centrally located within the kitchen floor
Integral Sink: A sink made out of the same material as the
countertop to form a continuous surface.
Laminate: A thin material adhered to particle board
substrates. Often referred to as brand names such as 'Formica' or
Limestone: Any stone consisting wholly or mostly from calcium
Lip-Mount: A lip-mount sink is designed with a lip around the
top edge and designed to drop into a cut-out in your countertops,
resting on the "lip".
Marble: A metamorphic rock composed of limestone in a
crystalline state. It is capable of being polished to a gloss. Marble is
a popular choice for countertops, floors, foyers, fireplace facings and
hearths, walls, and windowsills. It is less commonly used for kitchen
countertops because it is more susceptible to scratching and staining
than granite and other alternatives.
Matte: A smooth finish with very little shine.
Melamine: Particle board coated with a plastic material which
is used in concrete countertops because of its smoothness.
Mitre: A seam in a countertop, usually in a corner, where the
counter changes direction.
Mosaic: A pattern formed by inlaying small pieces of stone,
tile or other material into a cement, plaster or mortar matrix.
Non-porous: A material that won't stain. It isn't affected by
chemicals, acids, and temperatures; therefore it is easy to clean, and
resistant to bacteria buildup.
Penetrating Sealer: See Impregnators.
Profiling: Edge detail applied to the stone. See "edge
Quarry: The location of an operation where a natural deposit
of stone is removed from the ground.
Quartz: A rock countertop material which, unlike granite,
never has to be sealed or polished.
Quartzite: A compact granular rock composed of quartz
crystals, usually so firmly cemented as to make the mass homogeneous.
The stone is generally quarried in stratified layers, the surfaces of
which are unusually smooth. Its crushing and tensile strengths are
extremely high. The color range is wide.
Sandstone: A sedimentary rock consisting usually of quartz
cemented with silica, iron oxide or calcium carbonate. Sandstone is
durable, has a very high crushing and tensile strength, and a wide range
of colors and textures.
Sealer: Solvent used to protect and enhance the appearance of
a countertop surface. See "impregnators".
Sealing: The process of using a clear solvent-based product to
protect the stone from stains.
Shim: A thin piece of wood used during installation to insure
that countertops are level.
Sink Reveal: Applicable to under-mount sinks. Used to describe
the size of the hole cut for an under-mount sink. A bigger cut-out
reveals the top edge of the under-mount sink. A smaller cut-out hides
the top of the sink because the stone overhangs the edge of the sink.
Slab: A lengthwise cut of natural stone approximately 5'× 8'
Slate: A fine-grained rock that tends to split along parallel
cleavage planes. Slate is relatively soft and porous.
Soapstone: A naturally dark gray, yet smooth countertop
surface made of talc-quarried, metaphoric stone. It is non-porous and
Solid Surface: A manufactured product that emulates stone,
created by combining natural minerals with resin and additives. Often
referred to as Corain, a Dupont product.
Stainless Steel Countertops: A countertop made from stainless
steel. Usually found in commercial kitchens, but can create a
contemporary and industrial look in your home. These countertops are
heat resistant, durable, and easy to clean but are easily scratched and
Template or Templating: The process of making a full-size mock
up, or duplication of your surface to be made out of granite/marble.
Travertine: A form of limestone. Travertine is a product of
chemical precipitation from hot springs. Some that take a polish are
sold as marble, and may be classified as travertine marble.
Tumbled: A surface finish produced by tumbling stone in sand,
pebbles, or steel bearings to round off corners and create a rustic,
Under-mount Sink: A sink that physically mounts beneth
natural/engineered stone countertops. Alternative to under-mount is a
Vessel Sink: A sink which sits on top of the countertop.
Zodiac: A product of DuPont®. It is a Natural Quartz surfacing
contains 93% natural quartz.