Glossary of Industry Terms



Dago float

A slang term used to describe the use of a fresh mortar screed in lieu of float strips to rod floor mortar. This method is commonly used in floor work. Italian terrazzo workers use this technique to align “concrete” for placement of brass or aluminum strips to the desired grade.

Dago stick

A slang term used by tilesetters when referring to a small piece of wood used to rod off mortar that has been applied to fill the holes caused by the removal of float strips.


A hand-manipulated straightedge, usually 3 to S ft. (1 to 2.5) long, used in the early stage leveling operations of concrete or plaster, preceding supplemental floating and finishing.

Dash-bond coat

A thick slurry of portland cement, sand, and water flicked on surfaces with a paddle or brush to provide a base for subsequent portland cement plaster coats; sometimes used as a final finish on plaster.


The progressive formation on a concrete surface of a series of fine cracks at rather close intervals, often of random patterns, but in slabs on grade paralleling edges, joints, and cracks and usually curving across slab corners. (Also termed D-cracks and D-line cracks.)


A constant load that in structures is due to the mass of the members, the supported structure, and permanent attachments or accessories.


The form on which concrete for a slab is placed, also the floor or roof slab itself. (See also Bridge deck.)

Deck or floor mortar

Mortar commonly used for decks or floors. It consists of sand and regular portland cement mixed with water to a firm consistency.


Adorned, embellished, or made more attractive by means of color or surface detail. (ASTM C 242).

Decorating fire

See Fire, decorating.


See Decoration, inglaze; Decoration, overglaze; Decoration, underglaze.

Decoration, inglaze

A ceramic decoration applied on the surface of an unfired glaze and matured with the glaze. (ASTM C 242).

Decoration, overglaze

A ceramic or metallic decoration applied and fired on the previously glazed surface of ceramic ware. (ASTM C 242).

Decoration, underglaze

A ceramic decoration applied directly on the surface of ceramic ware and subsequently covered with a transparent glaze. (ASTM C 242).

Decorative tile

Tile with a ceramic decoration on the surface. (See heading under Decorated and Decoration.)

Deformation eutectic

See Eutectic, deformation.


A variation in position or shape of a structure or structural element due to effects of loads or volume change, usually measured as a linear deviation from an established plane rather than an angular variation.

Delft ware

A calcareous earthenware having an opaque white glaze and monochrome overglaze decorations. (Originated in Delft, Holland.) (ASTM C 242).


Ceramic whiteware made in a given pattern and in a full line of articles comprising a dinner service. (ASTM C 242).


Departure of color from that which is normal or desired.

Divider strips

In terrazzo work, nonferrous metal or plastic strips of different thickness, and embedded depths usually 5/s to 1’/a in. (10 to 40 mm), used to form panels in the topping.


The double carbonate of lime and magnesia having the general formula CaC03 MgCA3. (ASTM C 242).

Dope coat

Neat cement applied to the setting bed. Double bullnose. A type of trim with the same convex radius on two opposite sides.

Double headed nail

A nail with two heads at, or near, one end to permit easy removal; widely used in concrete formwork.


A steel pin, commonly a plain round steel bar, which extends into two adjoining portions of a concrete construction, as at a joint in a pavement slab, so as to connect the portions and transfer shear loads. Also, as used in the construction of column and wall sections, a deformed steel reinforcing bar placed so as to transmit tension or compression as well as shear loads.

Drain casting

See Casting, drain.

Dry edging

Rough edges and corners of glazed ceramic ware due to insufficient glaze coating. (ASTM C 242). Dry mix. See Process, dry.

Dry pack

Concrete or mortar mixtures deposited and consolidated by dry packing.

Dry packing

Placing of zero slump, or near zero slump, concrete, mortar, or grout by ramming into a confined space.

Dry pressing

See Pressing, dry.

Dry process

See Process, dry.


Removal by evaporation, of uncombined water or other volatile substance from a ceramic raw material or product, usually expedited by low temperature heating. (ASTM C 242).

Dry spots

Small areas on the face of tile which have been insufficiently glazed.

Dry-set mortar

A water-retentive hydraulic cement mortar usable with or without sand. When this mortar is used, neither the tile nor walls have to be soaked during the installation process.


The cracking that occurs in fired ceramic bodies due to thermally induced stresses. (ASTM C 242-72)


The application of dry portland cement to a wet floor or deck mortar surface. A pure coat is thus formed by suction of the dry cement.


A cut tile used as a filler in the run of a wall or floor area.


A slang term used by tilesetters when referring to a mortar accelerator.