A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O |P | Q | R | S | T |U | V | W

- A -

ABRASION RESISTANCE - That property of a surface that resists being worn away by a rubbing or friction process. Abrasion resistance isn't necessarily related to hardness, as believed by some, but is more closely comparable to, or can be correlated with, toughness.

ACCLIMATION - The process of letting the flooring adjust to the environment in which it will be installed. This is crucial to prevent excessive expansion or contraction due to humidity in the air or other job conditions.

ACCENT STRIP - a strip of wood flooring used in contrasting color to the rest of flooring. Can be used around the edges of a room, around a fireplace, or other features in order to highlight a specific area.

ACID - Chemical substance rated below 7 on the PH scale.

AIR-DRIED - Dried by exposure to air in a yard or shed without artificial heat. (Not Kiln Dried).

ALKALINITY - A measurement of an alkaline rating about 7 on the PH scale.

ANNUAL GROWTH RING - The layer of wood growth formed on a tree during a single growing season.

ASPHALT SATURATED FELT PAPER - A #15 asphalt felt paper that meets ASTM Standard D-4869 or asphalt laminated paper that meets federal specification UU-B-790a Grade B, Type I, Style 1a, or asphalt saturated paper that meets federal specification UU-B-790a, Grade D, Type I, Style 2 Commonly used as a vapor retarder.


- B -

BASE SHOE - A molding designed to be attached to baseboard molding to cover expansion space. Similar to quarter round in profile.

BASTARD SAWN - Lumber, primarily hardwoods, in which the annual rings make angles of 30 Degrees to 60 Degrees with the surface of the piece. Also known as Rift Sawn.

BELT SANDER - almost the same machine as a drum sander. Differences are that instead of being directly driven by a belt and pulley with a slotted drum, it is driven by an overhead spindle and has no slotted drum. However, some machines have both. The main advantage of a belt sander is that it uses belts — continuous loops of sand paper — thus in theory leaving fewer chatter marks.

BEVELED EDGE - The chamfered or beveled edge of wood flooring, plank, block and parquest. Also, see Eased Edge

BIRD’S EYE - a character found in maples. Very appealing, but relatively rare and expensive.

BOARD- FOOT - A unit of measurement of lumber represented by a board 1 foot long, 12 inches wide, and 1 inch thick or its cubic equivalent. In practice, the board foot calculation for lumber 1 inch or more in thickness is based on its nominal thickness and width and the actual length. Lumber with a nominal thickness of less than 1 inch is calculated as I inch.

BORDER - a decorative inlay of different colored woods assembled in a pattern around the perimeter of a room or rooms. Flooring is used to fill in and around the border, commonly called the "field."

BOW - The distortion of lumber in which there is a deviation, in a direction perpendicular to the flat face, from a straight line from end to end of the piece.

BUFFER - a walk-beside sanding machine used for fine sanding, commonly called "screening."

BULL NOSING - a plank of wood with a curved edge. Normally used at the tops of stairs or edges of an upstairs catwalk. Makes a nice finished edge for flooring.

BURL - A swirl or twist of the grain of the wood which usually occurs near a knot, but does not contain a knot, commonly found in the stump of a tree and where limbs branch out from the tree.

BUTT JOINT - where the ends of boards meet together in a wood floor.


- C -

CHATTER MARKS - Slight, closely spaced indentations causing a ripple effect on the surface of a wood floors.

CHECK - A lengthwise separation of the wood that usually extends across the rings of annual growth and commonly results from stress set up in wood during air drying or kiln-drying.

CHECKING (FINISH) - Similar to alligatoring, except that the finish is broken into smaller segments.Crowfoot checking is the name given to the defect when the breaks in the film form a definite three prong pattern with the breaks running outward from a central point of intersection. When the checks are generally arranged in parallel lines, the defect is known as line checking. Irregular checks without a definite pattern are known as irregular checking.

CHIPBOARD - A paperboard used for many purposes that may or may not have specifications for strength, color, or other characteristics. It is normally made from paper stock with a relatively low density in the thickness of 0.006 inch and up.

CLEAT - A barbed fastener commonly used as a mechanical device to fasten hardwood flooring.

COLOR CHANGE - Visual changes in the color of the wood species caused by exposure to light, deprivation of light and air, or some chemical reaction.

COMPRESSION SET - Caused when wood strips or parquet slats absorb excess moisture and expand so much that the cells along the edges of adjoining pieces in the floor are crushed. This causes them to loose resiliency and creates cracks when the floor returns to its normal moisture content.

CROOK - The distortion of a board in which there is a deviation, in a direction perpendicular to the edge, from a straight line from end to end of the piece.

CROSS-PULL - A condition occurring at an end-joint with the ends of flooring strips pulled in opposite directions.

CROWNING - A "convex" or "crowned" condition or appearance of individual strips, with the center of the strip higher than the edges. (Opposite of cupping.)

CUPPING - the uplifting of the edges of flooring due to excessive moisture. (Opposite of crowing).

CURE - To change the properties of an adhesive by chemical reaction (which may be condensation, polymerization, or vulcanization) and thereby develop maximum strength. Generally accomplished by the action of heat or a catalyst, with or without pressure.

CURLING - the end result of what happens to flooring when it was sanded when the moisture was still too high in the wood. When the flooring dries out, the edges curl downward, causing crowning in the center of the boards.


- D -

DELAMINATION - The separation of layers in a laminate, through failure within the adhesive, or at the bond between adhesive and laminate.

DIFFUSE - POROUS WOODS - Certain Hardwoods in which the pores tend to be uniform in size and distribution throughout each annual ring or to decrease in size slightly and gradually toward the outer border of the annual growth ring. (EXAMPLE: Hard Maple)

DIGS - a term used by floor refinishers for edger gouges.

DIMENSIONAL STABILITY - The ability to maintain the original intended dimensions when influenced by a foreign substance. Wood is hygroscopic, and is not dimensional stable with changes in moisture content below the fiber saturation point.

DISTRESSED - A heavy artificial texture in which the floor has been scraped, scratched, or gouged to give it a timeworn antique look.

DOOR JAMB SAW - a specialty tool for undercutting door jambs, cabinets, etc. Makes for a professional look.

DRUM SANDER - a walk-behind sander used for sanding large areas. Many run on 220V power. Uses cut sheets of sandpaper on a cylindrical, slotted drum.

DURABILITY - The ability of the wood species or finish to withstand the conditions or destructive agents with which it comes in contact in actual usage, without an appreciable change in appearance or other important properties.


- E -

EASED EDGE - The chamfered, or beveled edge, of strip flooring, plank, block, and parquet at approximately 45 degree angle. Eased edge is considered to be less of a indentation than beveled edge flooring.

EDGER - small but powerful disk sander used for sanding areas that a drum sander can't reach. Difficult to master.

END-JOINT - The place where two pieces of flooring are joined together end to end.

END LIFTING - A swelling of the top layer of engineered wood flooring, occurring at an end joint.

END MATCHED - In strip and plank flooring the ends of individual pieces have a tongue milled on one end and a groove milled on the opposite end, so that when the individual strips or planks are butted together, the tongue of one piece engages the groove of the next piece.

ENGINEERED FLOORING - An assembly made by bonding layers of veneer or lumber with an adhesive so that most adjacent layers have their grains going in perpendicular directions to increase dimensional stability.

EXPANSION - wood floors expand and contract with different humidity levels, so it is paramount that at least 1/2 inch be left by the edges of walls to allow for this movement.

EQUILIBRIUM MOISTURE CONTENT - The moisture content at which wood neither gains nor loses moisture when surrounded by air at a given relative humidity and temperature.


- F -

FADING - The loss of color due to exposure to light, heat or other destructive agents.

FEATURE STRIP - A molding accessory for parquet floors utilized to separate squares into patterns larger than the individual parquet units. It is available in widths from 5/16" to 2", the same thickness as the parquet, and is available in various lengths. The strip is flat and may have grooves on both sides to match the tongues of adjacent plank or parquet.

FIBERBOARD - A broad generic term inclusive of sheet materials of wisely varying densities manufactured of refined or partially refined wood (or other vegetable) fibers. Bonding agents and other materials may be added to increase strength, resistance to moisture, fire, or decay, or to improve some other property.

FIBER SATURATION POINT - The stage in drying or wetting wood at which the cell walls are saturated with water and the cell cavities are free from water. It is usually taken as approximately 30% moisture content, based on ovendry weight.

FIGURE - Inherent markings, designs, or configurations on the surface of the wood produced by the annual growth rings, rays, knots and deviations from regular grain.

FILLER - In woodworking, any substance used to fill the holes and irregularities in planed or sanded surfaces to decrease the porosity of the surface before applying finish coatings. Wood Filler - (for Cracks, Knot Holes, Worm Holes, Etc.) Usually a commercial wood putty, Plastic Wood, or other materials mixed to the consistency of putty. A wood filler may also be mixed on the job using sander dust from the final sanding, or other suitable material, mixed with oil, sealer, or finish.

FILLETS - The small components that comprise finger-block parquet. Also called fingers or slats. Fillet may also refer to the top layer of some engineered wood flooring.

FINGERS - See Fillets

FINGER BLOCK - Parquet made from small strips of wood assembled together. See Fillets.

FIRE RESISTANCE - the property of a material or assembly to withstand fire or given protection from it. Certain species naturally provide greater fire resistance than others. Classes are I-II-III or A-BC with Class I or A being the most fire resistant.

FIRE RETARDANT - A chemical or preparation of chemicals used to reduce flammability or to retard spread of a fire over the surface.

FLAG - A heavy dark mineral streak shaped like a banner.

FLAG WORM HOLE - One or more worm holes surrounded by a mineral streak.

FLAME SPREAD - The propagation of a flame away from the source of ignition across the surface of a liquid or solid, or through the volume of a gaseous mixture. NOTE: Most wood species are Class C Flame Spread unless the wood floor has been treated and marked as to flame spread.

FLECKS - The wide irregular conspicuous figure in Quartersawn oak flooring. (Also, See Rays, Wood)

FLOATING FLOOR - A floor that does not need to be nailed or glued to the sub floor. Typically, the flooring panels are connected together by adhesive or mechanical connectors.

FLOORING NAILS - Sometimes referred to as "cleats," these are special nails used in a flooring nailer. They are either "L" or "T" shaped.

FLOW - The characteristic of a coating that allows it to level or spread into a smooth film of uniform thickness before hardening.


- G -

GRADE - Wood flooring is sold in specific grades. Select is the best, with no knots and a very uniform color. Number One Grade has some small knots, dark streaks, and imperfections. Rustic — or Tavern Grade as it is sometimes called — has lots of knots, worm holes, and many color variations. There are also smaller classifications among these grades.