Finishes and Terms

Structural Stone offers a full line of finishes as listed below. Polished, honed, and thermal are the most commonly used finishes and while custom finishes can also be fabricated. With hundreds of color and finish combinations, Structural Stone provides a diverse pallet for the most demanding projects.


A finish is not applied to the stone; the appearance of the surface is a result of blade or wire used to cut it. A sawn finish will produce a flat but raw stone. Primarily used on curbing.

A honed finish is smooth and shows the full color of the stone without reflection. This is the same procedure used to polish, but the honing process ends before the buffing stage.

Polished granite is highly reflective and all of the color, depth, and crystal structure is brought out. By polishing granite, the surface pores become sealed, making the stone nearly impervious to weather and chemical wear.

Machine Tooled – (4-cut/6-cut/8-cut):
This bush-hammered finish consists of parallel, concave grooves in the stone. A heavy duty, surface pneumatic tool produces 4, 6, and 8 bats (grooves) to the inch. The depth of the groove varies with the number of bats used but will range from 1/32" to 1/16" deep and from 3/32” to 7/32” apart.

This finish is achieved by applying a high temperature flame and cool water to the surface of the stone simultaneously. The flame fractures the crystals on the face while the water prevents splitting, leaving a rough-textured finish. The thermal finish is commonly used on exterior paving applications since it is highly slip resistant.

Sandblasted – (Fine – Coarse Stippled):
Powered by compressed air, the sandblast machine forces 20, 40, or 60 grade sand directly onto the stone. This leaves a fine to coarse planed surface on the stone.

Split Face:
A rugged, uneven, concave-convex finish that reveals reflections from the crystal is produced by the splitting action of a guillotine. Detail character ranges from low to high for fine grain through coarse grain stones, respectively. The stones are split to the specified wall thickness but will have a random tolerance.

Rock Face:
Done by hand with a chipping tool, rock face stone is chipped around the perimeter to produce a bold, convex projection along its face. This finish creates a more massive appearance than split face. Detail character ranges from low to high for fine grain through coarse grain stones, respectively.

A rough and uneven surface resulting from splitting, pointing and/or rough cutting the granite.
Diamond 4/6/8 – Water Jet:
Because thermal and honed finishes do not maximize the color of the stone, a diamond finish can be applied to enhance it. The diamond finish is achieved by water jetting stone with 4, 6, or 8 heads by either hand or machine.

Expert stonecutters hand-carve any type of stone similar to the traditional Roman methods.

Custom Finishes:
Structural Stone will work with their clients to achieve their desired custom finish.


The sharp edge or exterior corner formed by the meeting of two surfaces, whether plane or curved.

a) The top or bottom horizontal surface of a piece, which is covered when the piece is set in place.
b) A filled or open space extending horizontally between adjacent pieces set in place.
Face: The exposed major surface of the granite piece with its specified finish.

The exposed surface of the jointed end of any given piece whose gauged dimension is not more than the minimum thickness of the material specified.

a) The end or side surface of a piece which is covered when the piece is set in place.
b) A filled or open space extending vertically between adjacent pieces set in place.

Slot cut into edge of granite piece with saw blade for insertion of anchor.

Quirk Miter:
The right angle exposure from the face of the jointed edge whose dimension is a recommended minimum of 1/4". Polished finish on the quirk miter when the face is polished; honed when the face is honed; and diamond finish when the face is thermal.

Rebated Kerf:
Additional cut that countersinks kerf from back edge of kerf to back edge of granite piece for the purpose of additional anchor clearance. This is not a gauged cut and if used for a bearing surface, must be shimmed to allow for tolerance in cut.

A crack or fissure in a rough quarry block

The beginning of a crack, caused by quarrying, fabrication or handling.

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