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A Glossary of Stone Terminology You Should Know

Stone is a timeless and enduring material that has been used in construction for centuries. Whether you're a homeowner, builder, or architect, understanding the terminology related to stone can be invaluable when working with this durable material. In this blog post, we'll introduce you to some essential stone-related terms that will help you navigate the world of stone construction.

Brick wall

Cast Stone

Cast stone refers to a man-made material designed to replicate the appearance and texture of natural stone. It's a versatile and cost-effective alternative to natural stone, commonly used for stone window sills, lintels, and pillar caps. Cast stone can be customised to match the aesthetic of your project while providing exceptional durability.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is exactly what it sounds like – stone that is quarried from the earth. It includes various types, such as granite, limestone, sandstone, and marble. Natural stone offers a unique and authentic appearance but can be more expensive and require regular maintenance.

Window Sills

Stone window sills are the horizontal pieces of stone placed at the base of windows. They serve both functional and aesthetic purposes, preventing water from infiltrating the interior while enhancing the visual appeal of a building. These sills can be made from either cast stone or natural stone, with cast stone being the more cost-effective option.


Lintels are structural supports that bear the load of masonry above openings like windows and doors. They play a critical role in distributing the weight and ensuring structural integrity. Cast stone lintels are often used due to their adaptability and affordability. They can be crafted to match the design of the building while providing reliable support.


Weathering is the process by which stone surfaces gradually wear down over time due to exposure to natural elements like rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations. It's essential to consider the potential weathering of stone materials when choosing them for your project, especially for stone window sills, stone lintels, and pillar caps, which are exposed to the elements.


Efflorescence is a common issue in masonry that occurs when water-soluble salts within the stone or mortar migrate to the surface and crystallise. This can create a white, powdery deposit on the stone's surface. Proper sealing and maintenance can help prevent or mitigate efflorescence.

Pier Caps

Pier caps are the crowning elements of pillars or columns, typically found at the top. They serve as both protection for the pillar's core and a decorative element that adds elegance to a structure. Pier caps can be made from various materials, with cast stone being a popular choice for its versatility and longevity.

Tumbled Stone

Tumbled stone refers to natural or cast stone that has been mechanically tumbled to achieve a weathered, antique appearance. Tumbled stone is often used for projects that aim to create a rustic or aged look.


Masonry is the craft of building with stone, brick, or other similar materials. Skilled masons create beautiful and structurally sound buildings, incorporating elements like stone window sills, stone lintels, pillars, copings and pier caps.

Having a solid grasp of stone-related terminology is invaluable when working on projects involving cast stone. Whether you opt for cast stone or natural stone, understanding these terms will help you make informed decisions and ensure the success of your construction project.

If you're in the UK or Europe and need high-quality cast stone products, Shropshire Brick & Stone UK Ltd is here to assist you. Contact us today to explore our wide range of cast stone solutions and elevate your construction projects with our expertise and products.

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