- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Feb 2018
Stone dressing is the working of quarried stone into the shape and size required for use. This can be necessary as stones obtained from quarrying generally do not have the exact required dimensions or finish.
Stones may be dressed at the quarry site itself, as this reduces the weight that needs to be transported and so reduces costs.
Stone dressing can be carried out using a variety of tools depending upon the finish required. Rough finishes may be achieved using quarry hammers and chisels, whereas rubbed or polished finishes may be achieved by rubbing or grinding a cut stone surface, either by hand (using sand and water, pumice stone, and so on), or by machine.
There are several types of finish that can be achieved by stone dressing:
- Axed: Hard stones such as granite are dressed using a stone axe.
- Boasted: A boaster is used to create parallel horizontal, vertical or inclined lines.
- Combed: A steel comb with sharp teeth is dragged in all directions across the surface of soft stones.
- Circular: Predominantly used for columns, circular finished stones are made into a rounded shape.
- Chisel-drafted margins: A chisel is used on stones forming uniform joints to create pitched, square or chamfered margins.
- Furrowed: The middle portion of the stone projects from the sides by around 15 mm, and deep grooves made across it.
- Moulded: Stones are moulded into decorative strips of various shapes.
- Polished: Usually for marbles, granites and so on.
- Punched: A machine depresses the stone surface creating hollows and ridges.
- Reticulated: A margin is left around the surface, and irregular shapes formed in the finish.
- Rusticated: A rough or patterned surface is cut into the visible face of masonry blocks.
- Scrabbling: Irregular projections are removed using a scrabbling hammer leaving a rough finish.
- Sunk: The original surface is depressed into wide grooves, marks, and so on.
- Vermiculated: Similar to reticulated but the shapes are curved, giving a ‘worm-eaten’ aesthetic.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Conservation in the heritage cities of Venice and Liverpool.
Which room is the most fun to design? Find out the 'Grand Designs' presenter's unusual choice in our interview.
Full suite of speakers are announced for this year's BSRIA Briefing event.
Book your place for the Architectural Technology Awards 2018.
There are many ways of classifying types of building. Have a look at our range of building articles.
BSRIA have launched the 'major update' of the go-to design framework guide for building services.
How to get results with building life cycle assessment.
Government publishes a prospectus inviting proposals for new 'garden communities'.
The Morandi motorway bridge in Genoa collapses during rainstorm while undergoing maintenance works.
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.