Glossary of Terms


Adhesives – Adhesives are substances that allow two or more surfaces to be bonded or stuck to one another. Common adhesives include tapes, sprays, glues and pastes. Merkley Supply carries epoxy adhesives for use with insulation, concrete, wood flooring, brick, tile and stone.

Air Barrier – Air barriers are protective, air-resistant materials applied in conjunction with a building component (such as a wall, ceiling or sill plate) to prevent the movement of air through that component. Merkley Supply carries a variety of air barrier products to help reduce uncontrolled movement of air through homes and commercial buildings.

Angle Iron – An angle iron is a length of steel or iron bent at a right angle along its long dimension and used as a support or structural framework. Merkley Supply carries angle irons for use in masonry projects.

Asphalt Sealer – Asphalt sealers provide a water- and weather-resistant coating to asphalt surfaces such as driveways and walkways. Merkley Supply carries asphalt sealer products to protect asphalt installations.


Building Stone – Building stone is a term to describe masonry products that are suitable for building structures such as building foundations and walls—as opposed to those made for cosmetic purposes such as fireplace veneers. Merkley Supply carries a large selection of building stone.


Caulking – Caulking is a flexible material used to seal exterior cracks and openings commonly found around windows or foundations. Merkley Supply carries caulking products to prevent water and air leakage in residential and commercial construction projects.

Cement – Cement is a powdered substance made of lime and clay that is mixed with water and sand to make mortar (an adhesive) or with water, sand and gravel to make concrete. Merkley Supply carries ready-mix cement and concrete block products for residential and commercial building projects.

Concrete – Concrete is an artificial stone-like building material composed of sand, gravel, cement and water. Merkley Supply carries concrete blocks and concrete fibre for residential and commercial building projects.

Concrete Fibre – Concrete fibres provide secondary reinforcement in concrete and prevent concrete drying, shrinkage and cracking. Merkley Supply carries concrete fibre forms.

Concrete Form Hardware – Concrete form hardware includes the ties, bolts and holders used to connect and hold modular concrete forms and panels. Merkley Supply carries a variety of concrete form hardware materials.

Concrete Repair Mortars – Concrete Repair Mortars are cement-like substances that can be applied by trowel or low pressure wet spray processes to repair or restore concrete. Merkley Supply carries concrete repair mortars for patch repairs on surfaces such as concrete floors, steps walls or columns.

Concrete Sealers – Concrete sealers prevent water and dirt from seeping into concrete by making the concrete less porous. Merkley Supply carries concrete sealers to extend the life of residential and commercial concrete projects.

Construction Grouts – Construction grouts are industrial-strength grouts that neither shrink nor corrode and are used to secure structural building elements such as bolts, bars, beams and columns. Merkley Supply carries construction grouts for use in projects requiring strong, non-corrosive grouting work.


Drainage Tubing – Drainage tubes are long, plastic tubes used to control the quantity and quality of water found within an area’s surface or subsurface. They are commonly used to drain foundations, golf courses or farmland and can range from a few feet to thousands of feet in length. Merkley Supply carries drainage tubing for construction projects.


Epoxy Adhesives – Epoxy adhesives are two-part adhesives used to bond materials such as wood, metal or composite materials. Merkley Supply carries epoxy adhesives of various strengths, setting times and elasticities.

Expansion Joint – Expansion joints are coal-based (bituminous) fibre strips that are inserted between concrete blocks, bricks or concrete paving to prevent concrete from cracking during temperature changes. The joints allow for small expansion and contraction movements to occur without causing damage to the concrete. Merkley Supply carries expansion joints for masonry and construction projects.


Fasteners – A fastener is a mechanical device that joins or affixes two or more objects together. Merkley Supply carries fasteners used in most masonry, building and flooring projects.

Flue Liners – Flue liners are fire-resistant materials that line the space of passage in a chimney or pipe through which smoke, gas or fumes ascend. Flue liners are generally made of clay, terra-cotta pipe or stainless steel and may be round or square. Merkley Supply carries flue liners to protect chimneys and extend chimney life.

Form Hardware – Form hardware refers to the ties, clips, hooks, brackets, pins and clamps used to secure brick, concrete or lumber forms to a building’s scaffolding. Merkley Supply carries a variety of form hardware for residential and commercial building projects.


Insulation – Insulation is material used in the walls and roof of a building in order to reduce heat transfer through building walls. Insulation is commonly made of materials such as fibreglass, rock wool, urethane foam, polystyrene, cellulose and vermiculite and comes in different forms including blanket, batt, rigid, fill, reflective, made of glass wool, cotton or wood fibre. Merkley Supply carries insulation products for residential and commercial building projects.

Insulation Adhesives – Insulation adhesives are materials used to adhere insulation to a surface such as a wall or roof. These adhesives can come in varying forms including tapes, foams and sprays. Merkley Supply carries insulation adhesives for use in residential and commercial insulation projects.


Landscaping Products – Landscaping products include paving stone, natural stone and manufactured stone products used for exterior projects such as walkways, driveways, patios, steps and walls. Merkley Supply carries a variety of landscaping products including stone pavers, stone tiles and natural stone products for exterior landscaping.


Marble Slabs – Marble is metamorphosed limestone composed of calcite, and is often swirled or clouded with colour. Merkley Supply carries marble slabs for use as a decorative building material for internal or external residential and commercial projects such as floors or countertops.

Masonry Reinforcing – Masonry reinforcing products include ties and anchors used to tie masonry walls to steel, concrete, brick or other masonry products. Merkley Supply carries a variety of masonry reinforcing products for commercial and residential building projects.

Mortar Colours – Mortar colours are finely ground iron oxide pigments manufactured for use as a colouring medium in mortar. Merkley Supply carries mortar colours for use in adding colour to brick mortar or stucco to match, complement or contrast brick, block or stone.

MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheets are printed literature provided (by law) by manufacturers of goods that constitute or contain hazardous materials. MSDS provide detailed hazard and precautionary information for the goods in question. MSDS information is available from Merkley Supply upon request.


Natural Stone – Natural stone is a term used to differentiate non-manufactured stone products such as limestone, travertine, marble and granite from human-made “cultured stone” products. Merkley Supply carries natural stone products suitable for both interior projects (such as fireplaces) and exterior projects (such as exterior cladding for houses).


Patio Slabs – Patio slabs are pre-assembled slabs of stone, concrete or brick that can be laid down to form outdoor patios. Merkley Supply carries patio slabs for exterior projects for commercial or residential use.

Polyethylene Film – Polyethylene film is used as a protective film for bundling building materials. Merkley Supply carries polyethylene film for use as air barriers and to wrap and bundle products.


Repair Mortars – Repair Mortars are patching materials used to make structural repairs to any concrete, masonry or stucco surface. Repair mortars are normally powdery substances mixed with water that harden after being applied to a surface. Merkley Supply carries repair mortars for masonry projects.


Sealers and Sealants – Sealants and sealers are used to protect concrete and masonry surfaces from dirt, oil and chemicals and form a clear or glossy seal over the surface. Merkley Supply carries sealers and sealants of all types to protect, seal and beautify concrete and masonry projects.

Sheathing Tape – Sheathing tape is strong red polypropylene tape used over exterior gypsum or cement-based sheathing as a flexible, water-resistant sealer. Sheathing refers to materials placed over exterior studding or rafters of a structure, and sheathing tape is applied over the sheathing to provide a continuous air and water barrier. Merkley Supply carries sheathing tape to help protect a building’s sheathing from air and water damage.

Silica Sand – Silica sand is a high-purity sand often used in the preparation of concrete. Merkley Supply carries silica sand for concrete projects.

Slate – Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split into thin, smooth layers or sheets. Merkley Supply carries slate for interior and exterior applications such as patios, walkways, pool decks, shower stalls, flooring, hearths, mantles and table tops.

Snow fencing – Snow fences are used to control drifting snow during winter months. Normally made of plastic or wooden pickets and galvanized type wire. Merkley Supply carries snow fencing to help prevent drifting snow near construction projects.

Stone siding – Also called stone veneers, stone siding products are applied to exterior building walls to give the appearance of a solid stone or brick wall. Merkley Supply carries a variety of products that can be used for stone siding.

Stucco – A fine plaster or cement used as a coating for walls or for decoration. Merkley Supply carries stucco repair products, such as silica and bonding agents.