SAH Archipedia uses terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) to categorize and classify metadata for the entries in the database. For more information on the Getty AAT, click here

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wall tile (tile)

Tile, often glazed, designed to be used as a facing on a wall.


Building board, usually made of wood pulp, gypsum, or plastic, and used for surfacing walls and ceilings.


Papers or paperlike materials, often decorative in nature, made primarily for attachment to walls and ceilings but sometimes applied to other surfaces.

walnut (wood)

Wood of several trees belonging to the genus Juglans, ranging in color from grey-brown to purple brown, used in making cabinetwork, veneer, butts and rifle stocks.

water (inorganic material)

A liquid made up of molecules of hydrogen and oxygen (HO2). When pure, it is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. It exists in gaseous, liquid, and solid forms; it is liquid at room temperature. It is the liquid of which seas, lakes, and rivers are composed, and which falls as rain. Water is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds. It is vital to life, participating in virtually every process that occurs in plants and animals. One of its most important properties is its ability to dissolve many other substances. The versatility of water as a solvent is essential to living organisms. The term "water" is typically used to refer to the liquid form of this compound; for the solid or gaseous forms, use "ice" or "water vapor."

water tables

Courses of stone projecting beyond the face of a wall to guide water away from the face of the wall. Courses of stone projecting beyond the face of a wall to guide water away from the face of the wall.

water-struck brick

Brick formed in molds that have been watered in order to prevent the brick from sticking; brick formed in the slop molding method.

waterfalls (natural bodies of water)

Perpendicular or very steep descents of the water of a stream. May be used for artificial waterfalls only if highly naturalistic in form and context; otherwise prefer "cascades" or "fountains."

wattle (building materials)

A framework of interwoven rods, poles, or branches; used with daub as a building material.

wattle and daub

Construction consisting of upright posts or stakes interwoven with twigs or tree branches and plastered with a mixture of clay and straw.

welded wire fabric

Designates heavy metal wire welded together in a grid pattern and used as reinforcing in concrete slabs.

western hemlock (wood)

Wood of the Tsuga heterophylla, commonly found from Alaska to northern California.

western red cedar (wood)

Wood of the Thuja plicata species, having a reddish to dull brown heartwood with a faint, sweetish odor. The wood is used for shingles, boat making, and other purposes for which resistance to moisture, decay, and insect damage is important.

wet collodion process

Photographic process that uses a collodion binder which must be coated on the support, exposed, and developed before the collodion has become dry. A silver halide is the light-sensitive agent, and the process may be used to produce positives or negatives.

white cedar (wood)

General term referring to wood from several species, including Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic White Cypress), Cupressus lusitanica (Mexican White Cedar), and Thuja occidentalis (Eastern Arborvitae).

white marble

Marble with a mineral composition resulting in a predominantly white color.

white metal

Alloy predominantly of tin, usually of 92% tin and 8% antimony, having a white or silvery appearance.

white oak (general, plants)

General term for types of oaks native to Europe, Asia, north Africa, and North America, characterized by having a short acorn that matures in six months, is sweet or slightly bitter, ahd the inside of the acorn shell hairless.

white oak (wood)

In the lumber trade, a general term for wood of many species of oak belonging to a subgroup of oak trees, including Q. alba and others, all characterized by having acorns that mature in six months, are sweet or slightly bitter, and have a hairless inside shell. Trees are native to Europe, Asia, north Africa, and North America.

white pine (wood)

Pale, soft wood from any of many species of North American pines, generally native to eastern and central parts of the continent.

whitewash (water-base paint)

Paint having the principal ingredients water and lime paste; one of the oldest types of paint, used for both exterior and interior surfaces.


Woven reed, rattan, twigs, or other material, especially used to construct furniture.

willow (wood)

Wood of trees of the genus Salix. The wood is tough and bends easily without splitting. In ancient Egypt, willow was used for handles, poles, bowls, boats, and domestic items. Willow has been used for Italian panel paintings and Gothic sculptures in southern Germany. Since willow wood has a low mineral content, it was favored for the production of charcoal. Other uses have included basketry, wickerwork, small turned pieces, hoops, crates, excelsior, cricket bats, artificial limbs, and agricultural implements.


Filament or slender rod of drawn metal.

wire-cut brick

Brick cut to size by a wire before firing.

No description is available for this term.

wood (plant material)

The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

wood board

Timber sawn into thin pieces, and having considerable extent of surface on two sides, with the other two sides being narrow. Usually reserved for rectangular pieces having much greater length than breadth.

wood preservative

Any of various chemical treatments added to cut wood products in order to minimize insect and fungal infestations. Wood preservatives are typically applied by spraying, brushing, immersion or pressure treatments. Some of these biocide materials may be toxic to humans. Examples are tar oils (creosote, anthracene oil, chlorinated naphthalenes), copper naphthenate, zinc naphthenate, borates, sodium fluoride, and copper chromated arsenate.


The art of fashioning or ornamenting objects of wood by cutting with a sharp implement.

woodwork (general works)

General term for visual works, parts of works, interior fittings of architecture, or other works made of wood. Examples include moldings and staircases, cabinets and furniture, and wooden sculptures or toys.

woody plants

Term used to describe trees, shubs, and vines; plants that have lignified secondary xylem in their stems. Term used to describe trees, shubs, and vines; plants that have lignified secondary xylem in their stems.

worked lumber

Lumber that in addition to being dressed has been matched, shiplapped, or patterned.

wrought iron (iron alloy)

Iron alloy of fibrous nature made by melting white cast iron, passing an oxidizing flame over it, and rolling it into a mass; valued for its corrosion resistance and ductility. When describing objects produced or shaped by beating with a hammer, use "wrought."