Acclimation is allowing new flooring to adjust to the environment where it will be installed, especially to allow it to adjust to the levels of moisture and humidity before installation. It is important to let flooring acclimate for at least 48 hours in the rooms where it will be installed before installation so that it is less likely to warp, crack, spread or have other problems once it’s in place.
Also known as: flooring acclimation, hardwood flooring acclimation
A swirl or twist in the grain of hardwood flooring. Some types of hardwood floor have very distinctive burl patterns. Your flooring installation service should be conscious of burls, knots, coloration patterns and other unique attributes of your flooring when they place it for a better looking finished product.
Also known as: wood grain pattern, hardwood flooring grain, wood flooring burls
Some wood species have a natural color variation from board-to-board. This is true in hardwood flooring and manufactured wood flooring, including prefinished flooring. Ensure that your flooring installer knows how to appropriately space and lay flooring so that you don’t have unwanted patches of similar colored flooring, and instead have evenly distributed boards of varying colors.
Also known as: variegation, color patterns, hardwood flooring color variation
certified flooring installers
Flooring installers and flooring installation companies that are certified by certain manufacturers to install their flooring products. Certified flooring installers often have to take classes and pass tests that label them as certified installers. Some flooring brands offer better warranties to customers who have flooring installed by certified installers. Other brands don’t guarantee flooring that is installed by anyone other than a certified flooring installer.
Also known as: certified hardwood flooring installers, company certified flooring installers, certified flooring installation services
DIY is an acronym for “do it yourself,” and refers to projects that can be done by homeowners and laypeople instead of only professionals. DIY levels range from easy to difficult, so be sure you know how hard the project is before you decide whether to do it yourself or call a professional flooring installer. More advanced projects may require complex tools, materials and more DIY project experience.
Also known as: Do It Yourself, do-it-yourself, diy projects
engineered hardwood flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is made from multiple layers of wood assembled in a cross-ply (sometimes known as “crisscross”) construction. The top layer shows a particular wood species and color when the planks are installed, while the underlying layers may be a different type of wood or even plywood. Due to its construction, engineered hardwood is more stable and hardy than most kinds of solid hardwood. This means it may last longer, stand up to rougher conditions, and can usually be installed in situations calling for higher grades of hardwood and over concrete subflooring or other less-perfect subfloors.
Also known as: engineered wood flooring, engineered flooring, engineered hardwoods
Changes in the size and shape of wood floor due to swelling and contracting of the floor boards as a result of moisture and humidity in the air. To help avoid this, flooring should be acclimated in the room where it will be installed for at least 48 hours before installation. Homes with wood flooring should also be careful to maintain moderate temperatures and humidity, and to avoid sudden or severe temperature and humidity swings. Hardwood floors should also be avoided in very wet rooms or rooms where moisture may pool on the floor.
Also known as: wood flooring expansion, floor board swelling, wood floor board contraction
A space between flooring boards intentionally left to account for and avoid damage due to expansion. Small expansion gaps are wise to prevent damage to wood floors.
Also known as: wood flooring gaps, flexion gaps
Small spaces left between wood flooring edges and baseboards to allow for expansion are known as “expansion spacing”. These expansion spaces help prevent damage such as warped floorboards by leaving a little space for flooring to expand and contract near the baseboards. Without intentional expansion spacing, wood floors may buckle, warp, or pull up at the edges when exposed to humid conditions or moisture.
Also known as: floorboard spacing, expansion gap spacing, humidity expansion spacing
floating floor installation
Flooring installation method in which individual flooring planks are glued or interlocked together, without attachment to the subfloor is known as a “floating floor”. These floating floors are useful for reducing echoing and sound, and for certain types of wood flooring. It also allows homeowners to leave existing flooring in place when putting down new flooring. Floating floors can be installed over concrete, ceramic flooring, existing vinyl flooring, old wood flooring and even some types of low carpet.
Also known as: floating floor, floating flooring
Like with other building products, flooring comes in various grades, from low-grade and builder grade to high-grade and professional grade. Flooring grade reflects the quality of the flooring, and can often indicate how well it will stand up to use over time. Lower grades of flooring are usually less expensive than higher grades, but they may not offer the same value as higher grade flooring. Ensure your flooring installer is putting in the grade of flooring you expect. Flooring grade should be listed on your estimate and in the contract you sign.
Also known as: industrial grade flooring, residential grade flooring, professional grade flooring, flooring hardiness, value grade flooring
Different sheens of flooring is known as the floorings’ “gloss”. Gloss levels available include high gloss, semi-gloss, low gloss, and ultra-low gloss. Levels of flooring gloss depend on the type of flooring chosen, the flooring grade, and customer preferences. High-gloss flooring may be harder to maintain than other types of flooring because it may show dust and scratches more easily than lower-gloss flooring.
Also known as: gloss level, flooring gloss
Grade level refers to the level of construction relative to the ground around it. This, below-grade means below ground level, on-grade is at ground level, and above-grade is above ground level. Different types of flooring require different grade levels of installation.
Also known as: flooring grade level, flooring grade, grade of flooring
The visible lines in wood that show the natural growth rings of the original tree are known as the wood’s grain. In some species, these can be very pronounced and can add a unique, beautiful pattern to the floor. Flooring installers should take care when installing wood flooring with pronounced grain so that all of the grain is running in the same direction, and to mix up the pattern so the floor is uniform and even to fit the customers’ tastes.
Also known as: wood grain, hardwood flooring grain
Hands-scraped flooring is also called hand-sculpted flooring. With hand-scraped flooring, hardwood planks are individually scraped to create distinctive, one-of-a-kind floors with ridges, low areas and visual interest.
Also known as: hand-sculpted flooring, hand-scraped wood flooring, hand scraped wood flooring planks, hand scraped plank flooring
The core board used to make engineered hardwood is known as high-density fiberboard, or HDF. HDF is harder and more durable than plywood because it is made by compressing fibers of wood chips and then joining them with an adhesive or binder at high temperatures.
Also known as: HDF
high pressure laminate
High pressure laminate is laminate flooring created with an extra-hard fusing process. The surface, inner layers, and backing layer of high pressure laminate flooring are fused in a multiple-step press operation to make it more durable and stable than other types of laminate flooring.
Also known as: HPL, high pressure laminate flooring
Janka Hardness Test
The Janka Hardness Test is the hardness rating which rates the hardness of various wood species on a scale. The Janka Rating helps flooring installers and homeowners decide which wood flooring is best for their needs.
Also known as: Janka Hardness Rating, Janka Rating, Janka Test
Laminate flooring is a hard surface flooring that features a fiberboard core and Melamine top layer. Laminate flooring comes in blocks, planks, and squares. Laminate flooring is popular in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, entryways and other spaces that require a hardy and long-wearing flooring type.
Also known as: laminate floors, durable laminate flooring
laminate flooring glue
Laminate flooring glue is a special adhesive used to secure laminate flooring to the underflooring, and on other types of flooring, to provide extra durability and moisture resistance in areas that might be exposed to high moisture, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.
Also known as: laminate flooring adhesive, flooring adhesive, flooring glue, durable flooring adhesive, durable flooring glue, flooring mastic
locking installation system for flooring
The locking installation method of installing laminate or wood flooring includes the use of a unique tongue-and-groove secured system that allows for easy installation of boards by just locking edges into place. No glue is required in locking floor installation systems, so it is a faster way to install flooring. This is a common method for DIY floor installation. Locking floor installations are a type of floating floor installation, so they are sometimes referred to as “locking floating floors”.
Also known as: locking floors, locking flooring installation system, locking floating floors
A “nail down” is a common flooring installation method that uses nails to attach flooring to the subfloor.
Also known as: nailed floor, nail secure flooring
A clear finish for wood flooring that allows the natural colors and grain to show is known as a natural stain, since it doesn’t add artificial color or stain to the raw flooring.
Also known as: neutral stain, natural flooring stain, natural flooring stain, natural wood flooring stain
Hardwood floors that are stained and sealed by the manufacturer prior to installation are known as pre-finished flooring or prefinished flooring.
Also known as: prefinished flooring
radiant heated flooring
Heating systems installed under flooring are known as radiant heated flooring. This may be done by coils or water, depending on the installation. Radiant heating flooring systems are usually used under stone, tile, ceramic and other hard flooring that is often cold in winter.
Also known as: radiant heating, radiant heat floors, radiant heat flooring
Hardwood floors that are stained and sealed by the flooring installer or finishing contractor at the installation site are called site-finished flooring or unfinished flooring, as opposed to prefinished flooring.
Also known as: unfinished flooring, raw flooring
The structural layer that supports the flooring, and on which some types of flooring may be installed is known as the subfloor.
Also known as: subflooring
tongue and groove flooring
Tongue and groove flooring refers to flooring with alternating grooves and protruding areas that fit together so the flooring can be snapped into place. This type of flooring often doesn’t require another type of adhesive to keep the boards together, making it a faster way to install flooring.
Also known as: tongue and groove floor installation, tongue and groove boards, tongue and groove floors
A strip of flooring that bridges two floors of different heights to equalize the heights. Transition strips are functional and decorative, as they can tie in two rooms or two types of flooring with a finished look. A threshold is another name for a transition strip between two surfaces.
Also known as: transitional flooring strip, threshold
The layer of material installed over a subfloor to provides a better or more stable surface for new flooring is called an underlayment. Underlayments can be waterproof, soundproof or moisture proof to help keep the new flooring secure and protected.
Also known as: flooring underlay
VOC is an acronym for volatile organic compounds, which are gases that can trigger allergic reactions, asthma, and upper respiratory infections.
Also known as: volatile organic compounds, VOCs
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