Floors Direct North – Education Centre

Flooring Terms/Glossary

There are certain terms you will hear when looking for your ideal flooring. We hope the following list will help you understand just a few of them.  

AC RATING – LAMINATE – The AC rating tells you how durable your laminate is. The higher the rating the more durable the laminate.  

ACCLIMATIONIs the floors adjustment to the home/work environment, in terms of moisture and humidity. It is important to let most flooring acclimate before installing.

ALUMINUM OXIDE – A commonly used flooring finish because of its strength. Second in hardness to diamond, it serves as a protective coating and is found on most hardwoods these days

COLOUR VARIATION – Some wood species have a natural variation in light and dark tones from board-to-board.

SHOE MOULDING /DOORSTOP – is a finishing molding piece used along the outermost edges of the floor where it meets the wall. 1/4 round is also used for this purpose.

CROWNING – refers to warping where the center boards are higher than the sides.

CUPPING – Warping where the sides are higher than the center.

ENGINEERED – A term describing hardwood construction. Engineered hardwood is manufactured from multiple layers – or plies – of wood assembled in a cross-ply construction. The top layer reveals the wood species and color when the planks are installed. Due to its construction, engineered hardwood is more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood and can be installed below grade and over concrete subfloor.

FLOATING – Installation method in which individual planks lock together or are glued together then floated over under pad. Floating floors are directly attachment to the subfloor.

HAND-SCRAPED – is planks that are either hand or machine scraped to create distinctive, one-of-a-kind floors.

HDF (High density fiberboard) – is made by compressing fibers of wood chips with adhesive or binder and is used to make laminate/some engineered hardwoods. It provide more stability than plywood.

JANKA SCALE – Refers to the hardness rating on a scale for wood species.

MINERAL STREAKS – in wood are created by sap, more or less visible in boards.

MOLDINGS – are trim or transition pieces that are used in such places as doorways and give an installed floor a finished look. These include reducers and T moldings.

NAIL DOWN – is a flooring installation method that uses nails to attach flooring to a subfloor.

PRE-FINISHED – Hardwood floors that are stained with color and sealed with a protective finish by the manufacturer prior to installation.

STRIP FLOORING – are usually boards less than 3” in width.

SUB-FLOOR – is the structural layer which provides the home’s floor support. The sub-floor can receive floor coverings directly if the surface is appropriate, or indirectly via an underlayment if the surface is not suitable. The sub-floor is usually checked out prior to installation for suitability.

TONGE AND GROOVE – refers to the profile construction of the board edges, which allows them to be pushed together and locked for a more stable construction.

UNDERLAYMENT – is the layer of material usually installed on or over a subfloor that provides a surface suitable to receive a new floor covering.

URETHANE – is a protective finish for your wood.  Also UV CURED – UV lighting bonds the molecular structure of the urethane finish to improve stain resistance.

VOCs – is an acronym for volatile organic compounds, which are gases that can trigger allergic reactions, asthma, and upper respiratory infections.

WIRE-BRUSHED – is a technique to give wood boards a time-worn look. Great for pets.

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