Glossary of Terms

A-F | G-L | M-Q | R-S | T-Z


Aluminum Oxide: The most durable finish available for use on hardwood and laminate floors. Aluminum oxide's tough surface helps reduces surface scratches.

Carbonized: The steaming process in which the sugars cook and caramelize inside the bamboo cane to produce the rich brown color in bamboo flooring.

Charcoal Antiqued Grain: A special charcoal wash treated grain technique that deepens the color of only select grain throughout the plank. This creates contrast within the wood itself.

Chisel Impact: Not only striking in appearance, it is one of the most time consuming hand-scraping techniques. On some stained colors, deeper tint is applied to the marks themselves creating further contrast with the surface.

Coarse Effect: Anvil chiseling throughout the body combined with unevenly carved beveled edges provides a more aggressive distressed style. Wire brushing is added to further define the grain within the plank. The overall surface of the flooring plank itself is flat without consistent wave fingers.

End cap: Also known as threshold or baby threshold, use this floor trim for transitions to carpet, masonry (fireplaces), sliding doors and other exterior door jambs.

Engineered: Engineered Floors consist of multiple high pressure fused layers of real wood with grains running in opposite directions. The top layer is the premium species of choice. This process creates the most durable hardwood floors available.

Exotic(s): Rare and difficult to source woods imported from around the world. Exotic woods are typically natural in tone with no stains applied, harder in density and with beautiful color variation.

Finger Lathe: The hand tool lathe is used to gently carve valleys into the surface of the floor. Flowing uneven paths combined with slight body and edge distressing throughout are characteristic.

Float, Floating, Floated: A common installation method in which the new floor is installed over an underlayment and not attached to the subfloor at any point. One of the fastest, easiest and most economical installation methods.

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Glue, Gluing, Glued: An installation method in which adhesive is spread onto the floor using a metal hand trowel. The flooring planks are then placed into the adhesive.

Glueless Locking Tongue and Groove: A glueless locking tongue and groove mechanically secures the flooring planks together without the need for additional adhesives. Glueless locking floors allow for a faster floating installation.

Hand-rubbed, Hand-applied Stains: The manual process of applying stains to the wood flooring by rubbing the color stain on and off with a soft cotton cloth. Improved color and grain depth result.

Hand-scraped, Hand-carved, Hand-sculpted: This premium feature is a process in which artisans carve depth and character by hand into the surface of a wood floor. A time worn appearance results.

High Density Fiberboard, HDF: A term used in describing the density of a laminate floor core board.

Installation Methods, Installation Techniques, Installation Type: The various methods in which a floor can be installed including nail down, glue down or floating installation methods. Detailed instructions are posted on this site for each collection.

Installation Rating: How easy or difficult the installation of the flooring is based upon other customers previous feedback. A "Moderate" or "Easy" rating is suitable for both DIY or professional installation. A "Difficult" rating is best left to a professional installer.

Janka: The Janka hardness rating measures the pound per inch (psi) density of a variety of wood flooring species. Denser floors have a higher density rating and are harder to gouge and indent from daily wear.

Lifestyle Surface: A heavy wood grain topical surface texture typically used in the rustic or traditional pattern selection of laminate flooring.

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Melamine Infused: The process of incorporating plastic into the High Density Core board (HDF) of a laminate flooring. This results in its moisture resistant capability.

Micro-bevel, Micro-beveled: Refers to slight round cut edge of the flooring plank. Micro-bevel edges give definition to the flooring plank and help reduce uneven plank height.

Nail-down, Nailed: The nail down installation is the traditional method of affixing the flooring plank to the wooden subfloor beneath. The nail is driven by a pneumatic (air-powered) flooring nail machine available at most local rental stores.

Natural: No color stain has been applied, only the protective no wax finish. What you see is the natural color of the actual wood species.

Neo-Prene Rubber: A premium sound deadening rubber underlayment for use under hard surface floors.

Over-wood: When one edge of a hardwood plank is slightly higher than its adjoining plank. This is typically caused by an uneven subfloor.

Plank(s): Defines a hardwood or laminate floor with an approximate board width of 4" or greater.

Ply: The structure of an engineered floor where various layers of thinner wood are adhered together. This results in the strongest most stable wood floor available.

Pre-finished, Preapplied, Factory-applied: Multiple layers of sealer/finish have already been applied at the factory. All of the choices on need no additional top coats, waxes or sealers applied, they are ready for installation and use.

Quarter Round: This is a wall trim. This is typically placed in front of an existing baseboard and covers the expansion gap required with many floors. It covers over the gap between the floor and the wall.

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Radiant Heat, Radiant Heating, Radiant Heat System, In-floor Heating: A heating system that is built into the floor. Radiant heat systems often consist of a network of tubes in which hot water travels.

Random Length Planks: More than one length of planks packaged in the cartons. Random length floors are the traditional format of hardwood flooring, offering a staggered appearance.

Reducer: Use this floor trim for transitioning down to adjoining lower floors. A good example of this use would be reducing down to a concrete or vinyl floor.

Refinished: The process in which a new clear coat of finish is applied to a hardwood floor surface renewing its life. This is typically a do it yourself job applied by a sponge mop.

Sanded: A process typically done in the past, sanding removes the top layer of wood from a hardwood floor. Modern protective finishes mean most wood floors installed today will not require actual sanding in the future.

Saw Kerf: This hand-scraping technique consists of a multitude of smaller intricate line marks in selected groups running throughout the body width of the wood surface. Features also include random, small and darkened burmish rectangle designs.

Solid Floors: A flooring plank constructed with one solid piece of a single species. The entire plank from top to bottom is made of a "solid" piece of a specific hardwood species.

Sound Transmission Reduction: Synonyms: acoustical underlayment, acoustical cushion, sound reduction, sound deadening, sound reducing underlayment, underlay attached, sound deadening underlayment, sound deadening cushion Underlayments for use as a foundation below the hard surface floor. Rubber and Cork underlayments are effective in the reduction of noise transmission from foot traffic in the room and rooms below.

Square Edge: The terms square edge refers to the area where the planks meet at the edges. Flooring planks with a square edge meet up to each other flush. There is no groove at the edges of the plank; they meet squarely.

Stain(s): Refers to a color treatment being factory applied to the surface of the wood. Staining wood floors allows for a wide range of interior design color options.

Stairnose: This trim allows you to install the flooring on your stairs. Use this trim on the edge of the stair tread to provide a curved wrap and build the rest of the step out of the new flooring material itself.

Staple, Stapled: The staple down installation is the method of affixing the flooring plank to the wooden subfloor beneath. The staple is driven by a pneumatic (air-powered) flooring nail machine available at most local rental stores.

Strand Woven: A term describing the unique manufacturing process in which bamboo is thrashed, bundled and densely compacted to exotic flooring plank with an 3000 PSI Janka rating.

Strip: The term that defines any floor with a 3 3/4" or narrower board width; the amount of individual appearing slats of wood that makes up the full width of a laminate floor board.

Structural Placement: The various levels (grades) in a home or building where the floor is able to be installed. For example, "below grade" refers to a basement level, "on grade" is the first floor and "above grade" is second floor or higher.

Subfloor(s): The base floor of a structure. Subfloors will typically be either concrete or wooden. New floors are installed on top of the subfloor.

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T-Molding: Use this floor trim in doorways and areas when transitioning to a similar or same height floor. An example would be doorways where this floor is being installed in both rooms, or areas where this floor is going to meet an existing floor of similar height.

UV-Cured: The Ultra Violet light baking process that each finish coat goes through after being applied at the factory. UV curing hardens the finish surface.

Wallbase: Trim that attaches to the wall and covers the flooring expansion gap (typically 1/4" gap or more). Can be combined with a quarter round when covering larger expansion gaps.

Wear Layer: The top layer of hardwood on an Engineered Floor. This is the surface area that is seen and walked on.

Zipper Punch: The newest of hand-sculpting techniques re-creates the impression of the teeth marks left in the wood by a hand held coarse file used centuries prior. The surface of the plank is flat with no wave, the beveled edges are slightly larger enhancing the plank effect.

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