Stone, often called ‘dimension stone’, is quarried from the earth, cut into individual masonry units, and tooled or carved. Various types of stone may be used for building projects, though granite, limestone, marble, sandstone and slate are most commonly used for architectural applications.

Stone may be laid as rubble (irregularly shaped) masonry held together with mortar, it may be laid in ashlar (uniformly carved) units, or it may be thin veneer units hung from a steel structure. For solid-masonry construction, below-grade foundation walls were often built with rubble masonry, whereas ashlar stone was used on above-ground walls.

Stones can have polished, honed and flamed textures, or may be tooled to create unique finishes. Ornate patterns may also be carved into the stone to create decorative features.