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ACRYLIC/WOOD - The generic name for
wood-plastic-composites utilizing wood impregnated with acrylic
monomers and polymerized within the wood cells by gamma irradiation.
Some versions are cured by heat radiation. (In the case of
acrylic/wood parquet, a semi-built-in finish is developed.)
AIR-DRIED - Dried by exposure to air in a
yard or shed without artificial heat.
ALLIGATORING - The appearance of paint,
and floor finish film that is cracked into large segments, resembling
the hide of an alligator. This is caused by heavy coats, recoating
before bottom coats is completely dry, the use of thinners that
evaporate too quickly, or by a less elastic material applied over a
more elastic one.
AMBER - A yellowish translucent
resin formerly used in the manufacture of varnish, but now very scarce
and expensive. Also used to refer to the color of a resin or varnish.
ANNUAL GROWTH RING - The layer of wood
growth, including spring and summerwood formed on a tree during a
single growing season.
SHOE - A molding designed to be attached to base 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)
BEVELED EDGE- (See Eased Edge)
BLEEDING - When to color of a stain or
other coating material works up into succeeding coats, imparting to
them a certain amount of color, it is said to bleed.
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.
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.
BURL - A swirl or twist of the grain of
the wood which usually occurs near a knot, but does not contain a
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
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.
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.
CONIFEROUS- (See Softwoods)
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.
CROSSPULL - A condition occurring at an
end-joint with the ends of flooring strips pulled in opposite
- A "convex" or "crowned" condition or appearance
of individual strips, with the center of the strip higher than the
edges. (Opposite of cupping.)
- A "concave" or "dished" appearance of individual
strips, with the edges raised above the center. (Opposite of
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.
FLOORS - Wood floors that are made to order. Complete
flexibility is allowed for design, specie grade, etc.
DECAY - The decomposition of wood by
- Advanced Decay - The older stage of
decay in which destruction is readily recognized by soft, pitted,
or crumbly areas. Decided discoloration or bleaching of the rotted
wood is often apparent.
- Incipient Decay - The early stage of
decay that has not proceeded far enough to soften or otherwise
perceptibly impair the hardness of the wood. It is usually
accompanied by a slight discoloration or bleaching of the wood.
DELAMINATION - The separation of
layers in a laminate, through failure within the adhesive, or at the
bond between adhesive and laminate.
DECIDUOUS - (See Hardwoods)
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)
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
time-worn antique look. (A common method of distressing is
DRY WALL - Interior covering material,
such as gypsum board, hardboard, or plywood, which is applied in large
sheets or panels.
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.
END - JOINT - The place where two pieces
of flooring are joined together end to end.
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.
(A male projection milled on one edge of a strip, plank, slat or unit
to be engaged with a female counterpart on an adjoining unit.)
MOISTURE CONTENT - The moisture content at which wood neither
gains nor loses moisture when surrounded by air at a given relative
humidity and temperature.
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
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 oven dry 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
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 sealer, or finish.
FIRE RESISTANCE - The property of a
material or assembly, to withstand fire or give protection from it.
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 a
solid, or through the volume of a gaseous mixture.
FLECKS - The wide irregular
conspicuous figure in Quartersawn oak flooring. (Also, See Rays, Wood)
HARDWOOD- Generally, one of the botanical
groups of deciduous trees that have broad leaves in contrast to the
conifers or softwoods. The term has no reference to the actual
hardness of the wood.
HEARTWOOD - The wood extending from the
pith of the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the
life processes of the tree. It is usually darker than sapwood.
HEAVY STREAKS - Spots and streaks of
sufficient size and density to severely mar the appearance of the
HONEY COMBING - Checks often not visible
at the surface, that occur in the interior of a piece of wood, usually
along the wood rays.
HYGROSCOPIC - A substance that can absorb
and retain moisture, or lose or throw off moisture. Wood and Wood
Products are hygroscopic. They expand with absorption of moisture, and
dimensions become smaller when moisture is lost or thrown off.
INTUMESCE - To expand with heat to
provide a low density film; used in reference to certain fire
JOINTED FLOORING - Strip flooring,
generally Birch, Beech & Hard Maple or Pecan, manufactured with
Square Edges and no tongue or groove, usually end-matched. Used
principally for factory floors where the square edges make replacement
of strips easier.
JOIST - One of a series of parallel beams
used to support floor or ceiling loads and supported in turn by larger
beams, girders, or bearing walls.
KILN - (Pronounced "Kill") A
chamber having controlled air flow, temperature, and relative
humidity, for drying lumber, veneer and other wood products.
KILN DRIED - Dried in a Kiln with the use
of artificial heat.
KNOT - That portion of a branch or
limb which has been surrounded by subsequent growth of the stem. 'Me
shape of the knot as it appears on a cut surface depends on the angle
of the cut relative to the long axis of the knot.
- Small Knot - In hardwood strip
flooring not over 1/2" in diameter.
- Pin Knot - A knot that is not more
than 1/2 inch in diameter.
- Sound Knot - A knot cut approximately
parallel to its long axis so that the exposed section is
LAMINATED WOOD - An assembly made by
bonding layers of veneer or lumber with an adhesive. May also refer to
edge-glued lumber items such as treads, etc.
MANUFACTURING DEFECTS - Includes all
defects or blemishes that are produced in manufacturing, such as
chipped grain, tom grain, skips in dressing, hit and miss (a series of
surfaced areas with skips between them), variation in machining,
machine burn, mismatching.
MEDULLARY RAYS - Strips of cells
extending radially within a tree and varying in height from a few
cells in some species to four or more inches in oak. The rays serve
primarily to store food and transport it horizontally in the tree. On
quartersawn oak, the rays form a conspicuous figure, sometimes
referred to as Flecks.
MINERAL STREAK - Wood containing an
accumulation of mineral matter introduced by sap flow, causing an
unnatural color ranging from greenish brown to black.
MEDIA - A wood floor that is predominantly of wood but
incorporates other materials such as slate, stone, ceramic, marble,
metal and painted finishes (faux).
CONTENT - The amount of moisture in wood expressed as a
percentage of the weight of the oven dry wood.
National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association
hardwood flooring is manufactured at 6% to 9% moisture content, with a
5% allowance for pieces up to 12% moisture content.
American Parquet Association parquet flooring is
to be 7% to 11% moisture content at time of shipment. 5% of the
flooring may be outside of this range.
MOSAIC PARQUET - A parquet flooring made
up of small solid pieces of wood (slats) assembled in units that may
consist of individual squares, units with slats arranged in single or
double herringbone design, or units or squares bordered with slats of
the same or contrasting species.
- A hardwood molding used to cover the outside comer of a step, milled
to meet the hardwood floor in the horizontal plane, to meet the riser
in the vertical plane. (Usually used on landings.)
NOMINAL SIZE - As applied to timber or
lumber, the size by which it is known and sold in the market; often
differs from the actual size.
PARQUET - A patterned floor.
PARQUET FLOOR SQUARE - Basically a
"tile" composed of individual slats held in place by a
mechanical fastening (banding) or other means such as paper backing. A
square may or may not possess tongues and grooves to interlock, and is
not necessarily regular in dimension.
PARQUET FLOOR UNITS - A unit consists of
four (sometimes three) or more squares or "tiles" fastened
PARTICLEBOARD - A generic term for a
material manufactured from wood particles or other ligno-cellulosic
material and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder.
PIN WORM HOLE - In hardwood flooring - a
small round hole not over 1/16" in diameter, made by a small wood
- Flakeboard - A particle panel product
composed of flakes.
- Oriented Strand Board - A type of
particle panel product composed of strand-type flakes which are
purposefully aligned in directions which make a panel stronger,
stiffer, and with improved dimensional properties in the alignment
directions than a panel with random flake orientation.
- Waferboard - A particle panel product
made of wafer-type flakes. Usually manufactured to possess equal
properties in all directions parallel to the plane of the panel.
PITH- The small, soft core occurring near
the center of a tree trunk, branch, twig, or log.
- The annual growth rings make an angle of less than 45 Degrees with
the surface of the piece. This exposes the pores of the springwood and
dense summerwood of the annual growth ring in ring porous woods to
produce a pleasing grain pattern.
PLANER BITE - A groove cut in the surface
of the piece deeper than intended by the planer knives.
PLANK- Solid boards, usually
3/4" thick and 3" to 8" wide designed to be installed
in parallel rows. Edges may be beveled to simulate the appearance of
Colonial American plank floors.
PLUGS - Dowels that simulate the Colonial
American plugged, or pegged plank look. Sometimes used to cover
counter-sunk screws when installing plank.
- A completely finished flooring that requires installation only.
- The annual growth rings form an angle of 45 Degrees - 90 Degrees
with the surface of the piece. In Quartersawed strips the modularly
rays or pith rays in ring porous woods are exposed as flecks which are
reflective and produce a distinctive grain pattern.
RAISED GRAIN - A roughened or fuzzy
condition on the face of the flooring in which the dense summer- wood
in raised above the softer springwood, but not torn or separated.
RAYS, WOOD - Strips of cells extending
radialy within a tree and varying in height from a few cells in some
species to 4 inches or more in oak. The rays serve primarily to store
food and transport it horizontally in the tree. On Quartersawn oak
flooring, the rays form a conspicuous figure, sometimes referred to as
STRIP - A teardrop shaped molding accessory for hardwood
flooring, normally used at doorways, but sometimes at fireplaces and
as a room divider. It is grooved on one edge and tapered, or
feathered, on the other edge. Various lengths are available.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY - Ratio of the amount
of water vapor present in the air to that which the air would hold at
saturation at the same temperature. It is usually considered on the
basis of the weight of the vapor but, for accuracy, should be
considered on the basis of vapor pressures.
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 Bastard Sawn)
RING POROUS - A group of hardwoods in
which the pores are comparatively large at the beginning of each
annual growth ring and decrease in size, more or less abruptly, toward
the outer portion of the annual growth ring. The large pores are
springwood and the smaller pores are sunmerwood.
SAPWOOD - The wood near the outside of
the tree. Usually lighter in color than heartwood.
SAWN - (See Plainsawed,
SCREEDS - Usually a 2" X 4"
laid flat side down and attached to a concrete subfloor to provide a
nailing surface for tongued and grooved strip flooring or a wood
SLEEPER - Another name for SCREEDS.
SHAKE - A separation along the grain, the
greater part of which occurs between the annual growth rings.
SHEATHING - The structural covering,
usually boards or plywood, placed over exterior studding or rafters of
SLATS - The small solid hardwood pieces
which form Mosaic Parquet Squares.
SLIP-TONGUE - A spline or small strip of
wood or metal used to reverse or change direction in installing
standard tongue and groove strip flooring. Sometimes used in laying
3/4" solid tongue and groove parquet.
SOFTWOOD - General term used to describe
lumber produced from needle and/or cone bearing trees (Conifers)
SPLIT - Separations of wood fiber running
parallel to the grain.
SQUARES - Usually composed of an equal
number of Slats.
SQUARE EDGE - A flooring that is NOT
Tongue & Grooved. Square edged strip flooring is face nailed when
installed. (Also See Jointed Flooring.)
SQUARE JOINT - Tongue & Grooved strip
or plank flooring with edges that are not eased or beveled.
STAIN - A discoloration occurring in or
on flooring of any color other than the natural color of the species.
For instance, blue stain, brown stain.
STREAKS - (See Mineral Streaks)
STRIP FLOORING - Solid boards to be
installed in parallel rows now produced in these thicknesses
1/2", 3/4", 33/32" and these widths 1 1/2",
2", 2 1/4", and occasionally 3 1/4". The strips are
tongue and grooved and end matched. They are for nail down
installation directly to wood or plywood subfloors; or over wood
screeds on concrete slab construction.
STUD - One of a series of slender wood
structural members used as supporting elements in walls and
TONGUE & GROOVE (T&G) - In strip,
plank, and parquet flooring made from strip, and some mosaic parquet;
a tongue is milled one edge and a groove on the opposite edge. As the
flooring is installed the tongue of each strip, slat, or unit, is
engaged with the groove of the adjacent strip or unit.
TRIM - The finish materials in a
building, such as moldings, applied around openings (window trim, door
trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, shoemold,
cornice, and other moldings)
UNFINISHED - A product which must be
sanded and have stain and/or a finish applied after installation.
UNITS - Four or more basic Mosaic Parquet
Squares; or four or more slats in 3/4" parquet, usually made from
T&G strip flooring combined into a parquet unit.
V-JOINT - A term used in plank flooring
to indicate that edges are eased or beveled to simulate cracks in
floors of early Colonial American homes.
VAPOR BARRIER - A material with a high
resistance to vapor movement, such as foil, plastic film, or specially
coated paper, that is used to control condensation or prevent
migration of moisture.
- Any distortion of a piece of flooring from its true plane that may
occur in seasoning.
WIRE BRUSHING - A method for imparting an
artificial texture or distressed appearance to the surface of hardwood
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