products Resources: Message Board/Forum, Books, Glossary How To and DIY guides and articles

Glossary of Building and Construction Materials:
Stones, Bricks, Ties, Glass, and Metals



acoustical tile: sound-absorbent ceiling tiles made with slotted insulation board, polystyrene, or fiberglass

adobe: mixture of reddish clay, straw, and water, used for building walls

aggregate: cement formulation made from sand gravel, and rock fragments, used especially for tiles and shingles

alloy: metal that is a mixture of two or more metals or a metal and nonmetal

aluminum: lightweight, non-corrosive metal used in various forms

aluminum screen: fine mesh formed of aluminum wires

aluminum shavings: tiny, curled shreds of aluminum

aluminum siding: aluminum panels for exterior walls

asbestos tile: insulating tiles made from fireproof fibrous mineral

ashlar: thin, square-cut, dressed stone used for facing masonry walls

asphalt: brown or black bituminous coal tar residue used for paving and to make roofing tiles

asphalt shingle: asphalt sheet cut into flat shingles

asphalt tile: asphalt squares used in roofing

barbed wire: strands of twisted wire with sharp barbs projecting at regular intervals, used for fencing

bead: small, round piece of glass, metal, or wood, usu. strung with others like it

bitumen natural asphalt; hard or semi-solid tarlike residue from distilled coal, wood tar, or petroleum

blacktop bituminous asphalt mixture, used for road surfaces

brass: yellowish alloy of copper and zinc

brick: molded clay baked into hard oblong blocks, especially of reddish-brown color, used as building blocks

brickface: flat material with appearance of red bricks, used for decoration, not structural support

brownstone: reddish-brown sandstone used in large blocks for building

cable: strands of heavy wire wound to form metal rope

capstone: stone in top layer of masonry wall

castiron: hard, molded iron alloy

cast stone: block of concrete made to resemble natural stone

ceiling tile: tile made from acoustical material or fiberboard, used in ceiling

cement: powder of lime and clay mixed with water and sand into mortar that hardens when dry; concrete

ceramic: clay pottery, earthenware

ceramic tile: fired clay tiles with hard glaze

chain: series of connected metal links

chain link: galvanized steel links interwoven into fencing

chicken wire: thin, flexible wire fencing with large, hexagonal mesh

chrome: chromium alloy used in plating

chromium hard grayish-white metal, highly resistant to corrosion, used especially in alloys

cinder aggregate: mixture of concrete and small rock fragments

cinderblock concrete and cinder aggregate building block in any of various shapes, typically having a lateral hole through its center

clay brick: brick molded from clay

cobble: cobblestone

cobblestone: rounded stone used in paving; cobble

common brick: standard size, oblong, reddish-brown brick red brick

concrete: mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water that dries to form hard surface

copestone: stone used in top layer of masonry

copper: reddish-brown, conductive, corrosion-resistant metal

cork tile: square-cut piece of cork

corrugated steel: thin sheet of galvanized steel shaped into parallel grooves and ridges for added strength

Bullet: glass scraps that can be re-melted

curbing: stones or bricks used to form raised edge

curbstone: stone that makes up a section of curb

cut glass: ornamental flint glass with patterns cut into its surface by abrasive wheel

cut stone: flat stone cut to particular shape

damask: steel with wavy damascene markings

face brick: brick with specific color or surface treatment, used for building facades

ferro-concrete: high-strength, reinforced concrete, usually layered in thin sheets

firebrick: highly heat-resistant brick used especially for fireplaces

flag: flat slab of stone; flagstone

flagstone: flat piece split from hard stone, used for paving

freestone: stone, such as limestone or sandstone, that may be cut freely without splitting

glass: hard, brittle, usually transparent substance composed of fused and rapidly cooled silicates mixed with potash or soda and lime

glass block: square or oblong, hollow glass structure, used as decorative building block, glass brick

glass brick: glass block

glass tile: flat, hard, shatterproof glass square glass wool fine glass fibers woven into dense mass, used for insulation

glazing: panes or sheets of glass to be set in frames such as windows or mirrors

gravel: mixture of pebbles and rock fragments graded by size from coarse to fine, used for outdoor surfaces

hanging wire: thin, strong wire used to suspend or hoist objects

iron: common, strong, malleable metallic element that is basis of alloy steel

limestone: white calcium oxide used to make cement and mortar

linoleum: hard, smooth floor covering made of solidified linseed oil mixed with gum, cork dust, or wood flour set on a backing of burlap or canvas, often cut into kitchen tiles

macadam: rock fragments mixed with tar or asphalt to form roadway

marble: hard, crystalline limestone with white, streaked, or mottled surface that takes high polish

marl: brick composed of loose, crumbling earth

masonry: brick, cinderblock, stone, or tile bonded with mortar or concrete

masonry veneer: surface layer with appearance of stonework

mirror: glass coated on one side with reflective substance

nickel: silver-white, malleable metallic element used for plating and in alloys

pane glass: transparent glass sheets cut to size for windows

pantile: roofing tile that is curved in its width so as to overlap flanking tiles laid alternately convex and concave side up

paving: gravel, stone, concrete, or asphalt, used to surface outdoor area or roadway

pipe: hollow metallic cylinder

piping: section or system of pipes pise rammed earth plate glass clear ground glass in large sheets, used for windows; sheet glass

pre-stressed concrete: concrete reinforced with embedded cables or wires under tension to increase strength

quarry tiles: durable fired tiles of unrefined clay, used as flooring

rammed earth: mixture of sand, loam, and clay rammed into forms; pise

rebar: reinforcing steel bars red brick common brick

reinforced concrete: concrete masonry embedded with steel bars or mesh for greater tensile strength

reinforcing rod: steel bar used to reinforce concrete

retarder: mixture of concrete or plaster with another ingredient that retards its set riprap broken stone chunks used for foundations

roofing: any of various ceramics, tiles, asphalts, or stones used to make roofs

roof: tile ceramic or asphalt square of roofing material

rough-cut stone: rubble; irregular, rough-dressed rock fragments

rubble: masonry made of rough, irregular rock fragments; rubblework

rubblework: rubble

safety glass: shatterproof glass made by placing layer of resin or transparent plastic between two panes of glass

scrap: discarded fragment, especially of metal, that can be reused, often in altered form

scrap iron: fragments of iron which can be recast

screening: fine, close mesh composed of metal wires, used especially to allow ventilation through doors or windows while excluding insects

shake: rock fragments scattered about and set in mortar as roofing

sheet glass: plate glass

sheeting: any material. especially metal or glass, cut into large, thin, flat pieces

sheet metal: metal cut into large, thin, flat pieces slate hard, bluish-gray, fine-grained rock used for roof tiles

smoked glass: glass colored or darkened by smoke

spun glass: fine threads of liquid glass

stained glass: glass colored by fusing of metallic oxides, enameling, or burning pigments into its surface, used for decorative windows

steel: hard, tough, rust-resistant iron alloy, used extensively for many purposes

steel mesh: fine, interwoven strands of steel steel plate hard, smooth sheets of steel stone hard, solid, non-metaffic mineral substance of which rocks consist

Syndecrete: Trademark. synthetic concrete

terra cotta: hard, reddish-brown clay earthenware, used for ornamental facing

tile: thin, usually square or rectangular piece of stone, concrete, or fired clay, used for roofing or flooring

tinfoil: paper-thin sheet of tin, or alloy of tin and lead, used for insulation

wire: long, very thin metal thread

wrought iron: tough, malleable, soft commercial iron with 1 or 2 percent slag content, used for furniture and fixtures


Also see:

top of page



Last modified: Thursday, 2007-06-14 22:50 PST