Floors Etc. Glossary of Terms | Definitions

any second level or higher

the process of adjusting (conditioning) the moisture content of flooring materials to the environment in which it is expected to perform

These fibers have a specific brand name and are manufactured to a strict set of standards and offer better performance, stain, static, and crush resistance. The fibers have been specially treated with stain and soil resistant resins, applied during the dyeing process. When you purchase a carpet made with any of these fibers, you’ll get a comprehensive warranty from the manufacturer.
Floors Etc. carries the following branded fibers:
  • R2X® by Shaw
  • Everstrand® by Mohawk
  • Smartstrand® by Mohawk

wood that is a minimum of 100 years old

any floor below ground level, including basements or sunken living rooms

when the hardwood boards expand across their width, causing them to lift upward and separate from the subfloor…
planks may show separation at the joints causing the floor to become uneven

condition where the secondary backing of the carpet separates from the primary backing

It can be caused by a variety of issues, including but not limited to:
  • a failure of the bonding agent, usually latex, between the primary and secondary backing.
  • improper installation
    Note: Floors Etc. has never had any reported issues regarding this issue on any carpets we have installed.
  • water damage – if carpet remains wet for an extended period, it could breakdown or deteriorate the latex glue.
    • Carpet loses 85 percent of its structural integrity while wet. Further, microbial growth from water-soaked carpet can actually feed on the latex glue. Carpets at risk are those that:
      • have been involved in a flood.
      • have been cleaned improperly with too much water

occur where two (carpet) ends meet – that is, where one roll finishes and the next one begins

condition where the center of a wood flooring board is higher than its edges

This is damage due to moisture exposure or imbalance.

condition where the edges of a wood flooring board are higher than its center

This is damage caused by excessive moisture which causes wood to expand.

damage or defect found on flooring made of composite material like laminate and engineered hardwood

You’ll know delamination when you see it because the flooring top layer begins to separate from the core. The floorboards might bubble or hump in the middle, or the top part might peel back from the edges. (This is not exclusive to flooring as it can be found on any laminate item, like a dresser or cabinet.)
  • Moisture damage is the primary culprit.
    • The layers that compose engineered wood are typically held together with glue. Intense pressure ensures its longevity and improves its ability to hold its shape, but once water penetrates the layers, the pressure releases and the layers begin to separate.
  • The best way to prevent delamination in your floors follow the Maintenance Guidelines provided to you upon installation – among those, be sure to choose your Engineered and Laminate cleaning products carefully
    • If the damage has already occurred, try to pinpoint the cause before you have it repaired to ensure you don’t have to deal with a repeat of the issue later.

the closeness of the yarns in a carpet

the time it takes the finish applied to achieve the cure necessary to hold prior to buffing or polishing

process of leveling or prepping the subfloor with
a sand aggregate mixed with water or
building up the subfloor with plywood and/or felt paper

occur where (carpet) seams and joins meet to form a right angle

the dead, inner wood, which often comprises the majority of a stem’s cross-section

  • Harder than sapwood – generally used for flooring materials
    • Natural accents of sapwood can be found in heartwood
  • Heartwood can usually be distinguished from sapwood by its darker color
    • HOWEVER:
      • Not all heartwood is dark
      • Not all dark-colored wood is heartwood

determines the hardness of one type of wood over another

Invented in 1906 by Gabriel Janka, an Austrian wood researcher and standardized in 1927 by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

area of a floor near the top or bottom step of a stair

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL): an engineered wood product that uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives

Made in a factory under controlled specifications, LVL offers several advantages over typical milled lumber. It is stronger, straighter, and more uniform. It is also much less likely to warp, twist, bow, or shrink. It is typically used for beams, headers, rimboard, and edge-forming material.

building materials designed to prevent water from getting past the barrier

at ground level

the approximate age at which old-growth features begin to appear is about half the maximum age of the predominant tree species (USDA Forest Service)

  • Old-growth forests are at least 200 years old
    • 8 to 9 million acres of old-growth forests remain – mostly on federally protected land.
  • Today most reclaimed wood originates from old-growth timber because most of the structures being deconstructed are more than 100 years old.

has the appearance of giant cornflakes pressed together to form structural panels in sizes similar to plywood, such as 4′ x 8′ x 5/8″

Floors Etc. believes plywood is better suited for flooring projects and opts not to use OSB in our flooring projects (exclusively using plywood where OSB might otherwise be substituted).

the distance from the top surface of the loops (cut or uncut) to the backing of the rug

a convex molding with a cross section in the form of a quarter circle (usually ¾” wide)

wood that has been salvaged and put to a new use or “upcycled”

flooring transition piece that eases the change in height from one floor level to the next

vertical backings to your stair steps

the living, outermost portion of a woody stem or branch

  • All wood starts as sapwood
  • Typically not used as primary source for flooring

occur in floor coverings wherever two lengths join side by side

the act of applying a well-blended mixture of ordinary cement with graded aggregates and water to a floor base, in order to form a sturdy sub-floor that is capable of taking on the Finish Floor

It is one of the most vital steps in flooring that plays a major role in ensuring the quality, finish and durability of the entire flooring

similar to quarter round and is used as a transition piece between finish floor and adjoining walls.

Unlike quarter round molding, the curve of shoe molding is less pronounced (usually ½” wide)

the result of a residue or oily substance on the flooring, which then attracts dirt particles

This has the appearance of a stain but is not necessarily the result of a spill (e.g.: residues from a spot treatment product; cooking oil mist residue; even residue from walking on floors in bare feet).

occurs when a substance comes into contact with the carpet (or other flooring) and embeds itself in the fibers

Certain materials are more prone to staining than others.

the horizontal, protruding edge of a stair where most foot traffic occurs

in the home renovation world, refers to the stabilizing layer of material directly beneath the finish floor

General Definition: any surface below another surface

flooring transition piece used as a bridge between two floors of approximately equal height;
covers the narrow gap in the doorway between two adjacent floors

transition piece that goes between floors at doorways

They can be flush (level with the floors) or raised. They can also be used as wide reducers.

full plank of wood with a rounded edge on the front (laid horizontally as a step or stair)

  • Tread With Return – stair tread with rounded edges on the side as well as the front
  • Pencil Round Nosing –resembles a pencil that has been laid sideways across the tread
  • Square Nosing – more contemporary option that protrudes slightly over the edge of the tread
  • No Overhang Nosing – contemporary option that sits flush with the treads

floor damage that is similar to cupping but is much more severe, which usually involves the floor buckling or even popping off the subfloor