UNDERSTANDING STONE WORKTOPS: OUR GLOSSARY

What do you mean by…?
Words you may come across in the solid stone kitchen worktop industry and what they mean in layman’s terms:

Absoluto Absolute/completely
Amarello Yellow
Apron-front Sink See Belfast and Butler sinks
Assoluto Absolute/completely
Azul / Azur Blue Ugarit red Silestone Azul Ugarit, part of Cosentino’s Mesopotamia range.
Bars Strips of granite at the front and back of a hob or sink, forming a cut out with joins. They are generally held in place with steel reinforcement in the join. Bars
Battens Wooden strips attached to the wall to provide additional support. Occasionally also used to strengthen weaker kitchen units.
Belfast sink A large, generally ceramic, sink with the front side exposed. Outflow is with a normal waste and a “weir” type overflow only. The cutout is polished on three sides, open on the front. belfast-sinkBelfast sink, showing “weir” overflow.
Bespoke colour Any material – granite or quartz – which we do not hold in stock but have to buy in for an individual installation/customer.
Bespoke upstand An upstand which differs in height from our standard 100mm. Most often used to describe an upstand made extra high below a windowsill, with the rest of the room having standard upstands. Bespoke upstand Bespoke upstand to meet windowsill in Black Galaxy granite. If this height had been continued around the room, it would have had to be cut for every electric socket, and would have looked rather “heavy”.
Bevel See chamfer
Bianco White
Blanco White
Breakfast bar A worktop with a far larger than normal overhang, designed for seating on stools, with the knees under the bar. Often 300-400mm depending on material used and available support. Breakfast bar Island in Steel Grey granite with overhang to form breakfast bar on two sides.
Breakfront A feature, often at a hob, where the worktop is deeper front to back, being stepped forward across a unit or units. Breakfront at a hob: Samsung Radianz Miramar Bronze.
Butler sink A large, generally ceramic, sink with the front side exposed. Outflow is with a normal waste and standard overflow only. The cutout is polished on three sides, open on the front. Compare Belfast Sink butler-sinkButler sink mounted beneath Arctic Cream granite.
Butt join A join where two sections of worktop butt up against each other, either end to end or at 90 degrees. Joins are bevelled at the top, and the two slabs should not touch, so that the jointing material can form the seal. Ideally they are about 1mm within the join and 2-3mm at the top, where the bevels open out. Butt join Detail of corner join in Cimstone Arcadia.
Carioca Refers to Rio de Janeiro – granites with this name really ought to be from there. 198528_5284181575_3346_n
Chamfer As bevel – an edge profile where a flat 45 degree polished surface takes the sharpness off the corner. May be 2-6mm across. Chamfer Cimstone Oasis quartz, showing our standard chamfer/bevel top and bottom – slightly larger at the top.
Cradle A structure built into a kitchen unit to support a sink. Used especially with heavier sinks (ceramic etc.) and where a waste disposal unit is to be fitted. Cradle Cradle to support ceramic sink and waste disposal unit; a simple arrangement of three wooden battens.
Cut-out Any hole right through the worktop which is larger than a tap hole. Needed principally for hobs and sinks, but also for sockets of various kinds, waste-chutes and worktop mounted extractor hoods. May be polished or unpolished. Cut-out Sink cut-out on our CNC machine. The hole has been cut; the next stage will be to polish the internal edges.
Dekton A brand of ceramic-type worktop material made by Cosentino of Spain. See https://www.affordablegranite.co.uk/ for details. dektonThe underside of a Dekton Keranium slab
Downstand Generally used to describe an end panel made in the same solid stone material as the worktop. Typically about 900mm high, going from worktop height down to the floor.Occasionally used to describe something more similar to an upstand, but below the front edge of a worktop, as fitted in a hotel reception or a commercial bar. Downstand Downstand in Steel Grey granite at end of sink run in office kitchen.
Drainage Grooves A set of long indentations ground and polished into the top surface of the granite alongside a sink cutout. Aesthetically pleasing, they do not necessarily drain well, but allow cups and other vessels to “breathe” while drying, which can stop them sliding off the edge of the worktop.Available in splayed and parallel versions. Oxted_110121_61ared Close up of drainage grooves running into a Butler sink on Arctic Cream granite.
Edge profile The way the edge of the worktop is finished – bevelled or rounded off in some way.
End panel A vertical decorative panel attached to the last, visible-sided, unit in a run of kitchen units.
Engineered stone Man-made solid worktop material, made from around 7-9% plastic resin, with the rest being stone, silica, glass, chips of mirror and other materials. Often known as “quartz.”
Extra Often used to describe a “more strongly coloured/patterned” version of a stone Extra Blue Pearl Extra on cream units: a great combination.
Full-height upstands Upstands which extend all the way between the worktop and the wall mounted kitchen units. Full-height upstands Full-height upstands in Nero Assoluto.
Giallo Yellow/Gold
Granite Although, scientifically speaking, granite is a very specific type of naturally occurring rock, in our industry this term is used to cover a vast range of stones which have been found suitable for kitchen worktop use. Both igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks are used in the industry, and sold under the label “granite”.
Gris Grey Gris Close-up of a sample of Silestone Gris Expo – a good quality granular quartz.
Hearth Stone used as a base for a wood-burner or other domestic fire. If significant heat or falling embers are likely to contact the stone, it is essential to use a natural stone and not a quartz, where the resin content may char. Hearth Hearth and plinth in Nero Assoluto granite.
Horns Small extensions at the front of a windowsill, running along the wall for an inch or so. They are frequently deeper than they appear, being recessed into the plaster.
Inset sink Another term for a topmounted sink. Due to frequent use of the expression for an undermounted sink, we try to avoid it.
Internal corner A convex curve in the stone. Internal corner An internal corner, in this case “pushing” the join to the right, allowing the worktop run to the right to then be made in one piece. Cimstone Oasis quartz.
Island A worktop on a kitchen unit/units which are away from the wall on all sides. You can walk right round an island, and the worktop needs to be polished on all sides. Island A massive island in Ivory Fantasy granite.
Juparana The name of a lake in Brazil, source of Juparana Classico granite. This very wild and exciting stone has then lent its name to many other “big pattern” stones from all over the world. Juparana A slab of Juparana Persa.
Kashmir The “Kashmir” stones have nothing to do with the disputed region of Kashmir on the border of India and Pakistan. They come from an area in South India – it is a trade name only. Kashmir A close up of Kashmir White, showing its typical “squashed cranberry” spots.
Labrador The nearest to a scientific name in describing “granite”; it generally refers to Labradorites, a class of igneous rocks with gleaming feldspar crystals. Labrador Drainage grooves and sink cut out detail in Labrador Antique
Marinace Any of a number of stones used in the worktop industry, with very large pebbles set in a plainer background Marinace Black Marinace granite.
Marron Brown Silestone Marron Jupiter, a stunning quartz from Cosentino
Mitred joint A form of join, used particularly for downstands, where the actual join is made to look almost invisible. It works best with very plain stones, and involved considerable skill and time, being costly as a result.  mitre
Negro Black negro Close up of Silestone Negro Stellar, a typical black, sparkly quartz.
Nero Black Nero The classic shine of Nero Assoluto.
Overhang The distance the worktop protrudes beyond the kitchen units. It will always be sufficient to completely cover the doors, and in general will come out more or less as far as the door handles.
Pencil corner A rounded corner with a very small radius – just a few millimetres – so that it feels like the curve of a pencil.
Pencil round A rounded edge profile, with a flat front on the worktop. If repeated on the lower edge we call it a “double pencil round”. Compare chamfer. Pencil round
Peninsular A worktop which extends into the room, exposed (and therefore polished) on three sides. Compare island. Peninsular A peninsular in Salt and Pepper granite with overhang and medium-radius curved corners.
Platino Silver Platino Azul Platino granite, with its dark grey, light grey and white background and occasional silver flecks complements stainless steel perfectly.
Polished cut-out A cut-out, generally for an undermounted sink, but sometimes for a waste chute, where the edges of the hole have to be fully polished. Polished cut-out Polished cut-out in Black Pearl granite.
Popup socket An group of electrical sockets on a small “tower” that emerges from a hole in the worktop. Often used on islands where there are no available walls for sockets. More info here AG Cullingford 072a red Popup socket in Ivory Fantasy granite.
Prep sink A small, often circular sink used principally for washing vegetables etc. as part of the cooking process. prep-sinkSquare ceramic prep sink undermounted on Ivory Fantasy granite
Quartz a) An important mineral, part of many types of naturally occurring rock, b) Popular term for engineered stone. Such stones often have a large proportion of natural quartz in the first sense, but they are quite different meanings.
Radius corner A curve large enough to have a measurable radius. We charge for 90 and 180 degree curves at different rates depending on the radius of the curve. Radius corner Small to medium radius corner – approximately 80mm. Steel Grey granite.
Return The shorter section of an L-shape coming out from the wall. As this is sometimes measured from the butt-joint and sometimes from the corner itself, it can be a misleading concept. We prefer to describe all L-shapes with measurements right into the corner.
Rojo Red/pink
Roll-top sink A large sink which runs fully front to back for the depth of the worktop. Although sometimes referred to as a “topmount” there is actually no worktop beneath it and the rolled or square front matches abutting worktops with the same profile.  rolltop-sink
Rosa Pink
Semi-recessed basin/sink A sink that sits above the worktop and protrudes over the front edge. Most frequently have their taps built in.  semi-recessed-sink
Sit-on sink Another term for a topmounted sink
Slips See bars
Splashback Higher than an upstand, a large section of the same material as the worktop to protect the wall from splashes behind a hob, cooker or sink.The word is sometimes used for what we call an upstand, but we avoid that usage to avoid confusion. Splashback A high splashback in Labrador Antique granite.
Template A mock-up in plastic sheeting which effectively transfers the measurements from a kitchen to our workshop for accurate worktop manufacture.
Templater The guy who makes the templates. DSC_3874a red
Topmounted sink A sink which is sealed to the upper side of the worktop. The opening into the sink is the sink unit itself, and the hole in the worktop is invisible – hence the cut-out doesn’t have to be polished. Compare “undermounted sink”. Topmounted sink Top-mounted ceramic sink on Black Pearl granite.
Ubatuba Refers to the Brazilian town of that name, source of this stone.
Undermounted sink A sink which is sealed to the underside of the worktop. The opening into the sink is formed by the worktop itself, and the cut-out therefore has to be polished. This arrangement is only possible with solid-stone worktops – laminate cannot be used. Compare “Topmounted sink” Undermounted sink Typical undermount stainless steel sink with polished cut-out, drainage grooves and taphole.
Unpolished cut-out A hole cut through a worktop which is left rough, as it is initially cut, because the hole will be invisible, beneath the flange of a sink or hob.
Upstand A low (typically 100mm/4 inches) strip of stone, in the same material as the worktop, running along the wall at the back of the worktop. This has aesthetic benefits, and allows better cleaning of the back of the worktop. Upstand Worktop at sink and upstand in Labrador Antique granite
Verde Green
Vessel basin/sink A sink that fits above the worktop with a fairly large waste hole but not a full size unpolished cutout. Common in cloakrooms. Frequently require a separate taphole.  vessel-sink
Windowsill A flat shelf fitted at the bottom of a window – often made in solid stone to match kitchen worktops in granite or quartz.See our FAQs about window sills Windowsill Detail of windowsill in Salt and Pepper granite.
Worktops Horizontal surfaces placed on kitchen units for food preparation. Ideally should be hard and resistant to scratching and staining, easily cleanable for hygiene, and attractive. Solid stone worktops (granite or quartz) are ideal, and represent the best materials available for kitchen worktops today.