Natural Stone Terminology: Cut Matters
Whether you’re pulling together your perfect kitchen or bath look yourself or relying on professional designer input, the cut of your chosen natural countertop stone matters and can play an important part in the overall look and finished product.
Let’s take a look at some of the terms that you may hear when shopping and examine how they can influence your space.
Vein cut (against the vein) is when the slab is cut from the quarry block parallel to the natural bedding plane.
This type of cut highlights the more linear nature with striping and lengthwise movement of compressed sediment in lighter or darker colors with similar hues, rather than large variation in color – often lending itself to a more modern or spa-like look.
Cross cut (with the vein) is when the slab is taken from the quarry block perpendicular to the natural bedding plane. In other words, it is cut at a 90-degree angle from a vein cut slab.
The cross-section of these mineral veins and stone layers create a swirly or flowery look and will produce more of a mixture of shading within the same slab of natural material for a more artistic feel.
Bookmatching is when the veining and movement from one slab is mirrored in another. When placed end to end, the motion from one slab carries on to the next, creating a continuing flow or mirror-like pattern, like an open book.
The process of bookmatching happens during manufacturing when alternating sides of the slab are polished. Bookmatched slabs are generally more costly because this process is more labor and time-intensive.
Not all stones are suitable for bookmatching. Typically, those that are cross cut with stronger movement and veining work best.
Note that these terms refer to the mining and manufacturing of natural stone material – like granite, marble or quartzite. Manufactured quartz products do not generally use these cut terms as they are made from formulas and molds.
Enjoy exploring all the options for timeless or contemporary countertop beauty! For more inspiration, try out our Room Visualizer tool.