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back archa concealed arch carrying the backing of a wall where the exterior facing is carried by a lintel.
  
back wallthe wall facing an observer who is standing at the entrance to a room, shower, or tub shower. backing. any material used as a base over which a finished material is to be installed.
  
back-butteringthe process of slathering the back of a stone tile with thinset material in order to ensure proper mortar coverage. this prevents hollow areas and subsequent future cracking of tiles. also helpful to ensure a level installation.
  
backing offsee featheredging tile. angle tile. see under tile, mounted.
  
backing roda flexible and compressible tipe of closed-cell foam polyethylene, butyl rubber, or open-cell or closed-cell polyurethane, rounded at surface to contact sealant. it is installed at the bottom or rear of a joint. often described as a “filler strip.”
  
backsplashthe area located between the countertop and lower cabinet. normally 16-18 inches in height.
  
balanced cutscuts of tile at the perimeter of an area that will not take full tiles. the cuts on opposite sides of such an area shall be the same size. also the same sized cuts on each side of a miter.
  
ball claya secondary clay, commonly characterized by the presence of organic matter, high plasticity high dry strength, long vitrification range, and a light color when fired.
  
ball millinga method of grinding and mixture material, with or without liquid, in a rotating cylinder or conical mill partially filled with grinding media such as balls or pebbles.
  
balustera miniature pillar or column supporting a rail, used in balustrades.
  
balustradean ornamental fencing consisting of a series of balusters supporting a handrail or molding.
  
bankerbench of timber or stone on which stone is shaped.
  
bar supporta rigid device used to support or hold reinforcing bars in proper position to prevent displacement before or during concrete placement.
  
basalta dense-textured (aphanitic), igneous rock relatively high in iron and magnesia minerals and relatively low in silica, generally dark grey to black, and feldspathic; a general term in contradistinction to felsite, a light-colored feldspathic and highly siliceous rock of similar texture and origin.
  
basalt warea black unglazed vitreous ceramic ware having the appearance of basalt rock. base. one or more rows of tile installed above the floor. see cove.
  
basethe bottom course of a stone wall, or the vertical first member above grade of a finished floor.
  
basis for acceptancethe method of determining whether a lot of ceramic tile is acceptable under these specifications.
  
batch mixera machine which mixes batches of concrete or mortar in contrast to a continuous mixer.
  
batch plantan operating installation of equipment including batchers and mixers as required for batching or for batching and mixing concrete materials; also called mixing plant when equipment is included.
  
bearing checka slot cut into the back of dimension stone to allow entry of a supporting angle or clip.
  
beating blocka wooden block used to embed tiles in a flat plane. the method used is called beating in.
  
bedthe top or bottom of a joint, natural bed; surface of stone parallel to its stratification. (1) in granites and marbles, a layer or sheet of the rock mass that is horizontal, commonly curved and lenticular as developed by fractures. sometimes applied also to the surface of parting between sheets. (2) in stratified rocks the unit layer formed by semidentation; of variable thickness, and commonly tilted or distorted by subsequent deformation; generally develops a rock cleavage, parting, or jointing along the planes of stratification.
  
bed jointa horizontal joint between stones, usually filled with mortar, lead, or sealant.
  
belleek chinaa highly translucent whiteware composed of a body containing a significant amount of frit and normally having a luster glaze. (produced commercially at belleek, ireland.)
  
belt coursea continuous horizontal course of flat stones placed in line marking a division in the wall plane.
  
bench markpermanent reference point or mark.
  
bentonitea clay composed principally of minerals of the montmorillonoid group, charactersized by high absorption and very large volume change with wetting or drying.
  
beryllium oxide (beo)an inorganic material of exceptionally high thermal conductivity which is toxic in the powder form.
  
bevelwhen the angle between two sides is greater or less than a right angle.
  
biscuit chipsglazed-over chips on the edge or corner of the body of a tile.
  
biscuit cracksany fractures in the body of a tile visible both on face and back.
  
bisque firesee fire, bisque.
  
black graniterock species known to petrologists as diabase, diorite, gabbro, and intermediate varieties are sometimes quarried as building stone, chiefly for ornamental use, and sold as “black granite”. as dimension blocks or slabs, they are valued specifically for their dark grey to black color when polished. scientifically, they are far removed in composition from true granites though they may be satisfactory used for some of the purposes to which commercial granites, are adapted. they possess an interlocking crystalline texture, but unlike granites, they contain little or no quartz or alkalic feldspar, and are characterized by an abundance of one or more of the common black rock-forming minerals (chiefly pyroxenes, hornblende, and biotite).
  
blaine finenessthe fineness of powdered materials such as cement and pozzolans, expressed as surface area usually in square centimeters per gram, determined by the blaine apparatus.
  
bleba small blister or bubble.
  
bleedstaining caused by corrosive metals, oil-based putties, mastics, caulking, or sealing compounds.
  
bleedingthe autogenous flow of mixing water within, or its emergence from newly placed concrete or mortar; caused by the settlement of the solid materials within the mass; also called water gain.
  
blendto mix or make homogeneous.
  
blisteringthe development during firing of enclosed or broken macroscopic vesicles or bubbles in a body, or in a glaze or other coating.
  
block anglea square of tile specially made for changing direction of the trim.
  
block cuttera machine used in the quarrying process for in-line drilling of small diameter holes.
  
blooma visible exudation or efflorescence on the surface.
  
blotsgreen marks or stains on the face of a tile.
  
bluestonea dense, hard, fine-grained, commonly feldspathic sandstone or siltstone of medium to dark or bluish-gray color that splits readily along original bedding planes to form thin slabs. bluestone is not a technical geologic term. it is considered to be a variety of flagstone, the thin relatively smooth-surfaced slabs being suitable for use as flagging. the term has been applied particularly to sandstones of devonian age that are being or have been quarried in eastern new york and pennsylvania and in western new jersey, but similar stones that occur elsewhere may be included. it has also been applied in places to thinly layered gneisses and schists that can be split and used as flagging, but such stones are not properly embraced by this definition, although they may be marketed properly as flagstone.
  
blungingthe wet process of blending, or suspending ceramic material in liquid by agitation. the structural portion of a ceramic article. this term also refers to the material or mixture from which the article is made.
  
bollarda tree-standing stone post or guard.
  
bondthe adherence of one material to another. effective bonds must be achieved between the mortar and scratch coat, between the tile and mortar, and between the adhesive and backing.
  
bond breakera material used to prevent adhesion of newly placed concrete and the substrate.
  
bond coata material used between the back of the tile and the prepared surface. suitable bond coats include pure portland cement, dry-set portland cement mortar, latex-type portland cement mortar, organic adhesive, and the like.
  
bond stoneused in varying percentages to anchor or bond the stone veneer to the backing material. bond stones are generally cut to twice the bed thickness of the material being used. border stone – usually a flat stone used as an edging material. a border stone is generally used to retain the field of the terrace or platform.
  
bonding agenta substance applied to a suitable substrate to create a bond between it and a succeeding layer as between a subsurface and a terrazzo topping or a succeeding plaster application.
  
bone ashcalcined bone consisting essentially of calcium phosphate.
  
boxa tapered metal box wedged in the top of columns or other heavy stones for hoisting.
  
brecciated marbleany marble composed of angular fragments.
  
brick trowelthe brick trowel is larger than the buttering trowel. the most popular size used by tilesetters is 5″ wide and 11″ long. it is used when any preparatory brick work has to be done. some tilesetters use it for quarry and terra cotta tilework. its greater surface and weight are advantageous in the buttering and tapping in of the larger tiles.
  
bridgea straightedge used as a starting line for the laying of tile. the straightedge can be blocked up to support tile over an opening.
  
bridge deckthe slab or other structure forming the travel surface of a bridge.
  
bright glazecolorless or colored ceramic glaze having high gloss.
  
broachto drill or cut out material left between closely spaced drill holes; a mason’s sharp-pointed chisel for dressing stone; an inclined piece of masonry filling the triangular space between the base of an octagonal spire and the top of a square tower; a type of chisel used for working narrow surfaces.
  
broom finishthe surface texture obtained by stroking a broom over freshly placed concrete. (see also brushed surface.)
  
brown coatthe second coat in three-coat plaster application.
  
brownstonea sandstone of characteristic brown or reddish-brown color that is due to a prominent amount of iron oxide, as interstitial material.
  
brushed finishobtained by brushing the stone with a coarse rotary-type wire brush.
  
brushed surfacea sandy texture obtained by brushing the surface of freshly placed or slightly hardened concrete with a stiff brush for architectural effect or, in pavements, to increase skid resistance. (see also broom finish.)
  
building officialthe official charged with administration and enforcement of the applicable building code, or his duly authorized representative.
  
building stone, naturalrock material in its natural state of composition and aggregation as it exists in the quarry and is usable in construction as dimension building stone.
  
bulkingincrease in the bulk volume of a quantity of sand in a moist condition over the volume of the same quantity dry or completely inundated.
  
bulking curvegraph of change in volume of a quantity of sand due to change in moisture content.
  
bulking factorratio of the volume of moist sand to the volume of the sand when dry.
  
bull floata tool comprising a large, flat, rectangular piece of wood, aluminum, or magnesium usually 8 in. (20 cm) wide and 42 to 60 in. (100 to 150 cm) long, and a handle 4 to 16 ft. (1 to 5 cm) in length used to smooth unformed surfaces of freshly placed concrete.
  
bullnosea trim tile with a convex radius on one edge. this tile is used for finishing the top of a wainscot or for turning an outside corner.
  
bullnose cornera type of bullnose trim with a convex radius on two adjacent edges.
  
bundled barsa group of not more than four parallel reinforcing bars in contact with each other, usually tied together.
  
burlapa coarse fabric of jute, hemp, or less commonly, flax, for use as a water-retaining covering in curing concrete surfaces; also called hessian.
  
bushhammera hammer that has a rectangular head with serrated or jagged faces. the bushhammer is used for roughing concrete to provide a bond for masonry. butterfly. a slang term for inside corner angles for trim shapes such as ab 106, af 105, af 200, ak 106, and au 106.
  
butt jointa plain square joint between two members.
  
butteringplacing mortar on stone with a trowel before setting into place.
  
buttering trowelthe blade of the buttering trowel is 41/2′ wide and 7″ long. it is used in buttering pure cement to tile, a method commonly used in the eastern states. the trowel is more efficient than the pointer for working on the larger and heavier tiles because more weight can be placed on it.
  
buttonback tiletile that have projections on the bondable side. many of, these projections are round and therefore the term buttonback. some projections are quite thick and can also be other shapes, such as square.