A terminology guide into flooring - a quick and easy jargon buster

Adhesive - also known as glue, cement, mucilage, or paste, is any non metallic substance applied to one or both surfaces of two separate items that binds them together and resists their separation.

Antique - this is a term often used in the visual finish of the plank with aged design and colours

Acclimatisation - It's good practice to purchase your flooring before the day of it getting laid as it is recommended to have the flooring stored in the designated room for at least 48 hours prior fitting to adapt to the room humidity.


Bevel - Wood, laminate and lvt planks can often come with a bevelled edge, a plank with just 2 sided bevel is 2V and a plank with all 4 sides bevelled is known as 4V

Brand - A specific manufacturer of products with consistent visual representation

Brushed - This is a term used for the finish on a product to give the plank a textured finish



Carpet - a floor covering made from thick woven fabric.

Click - This term is used for the installation system on a plank which enable two of the same plank to connect together 

Construction - This term is used for how the plank/product is made from

Colour Variation - is a term often used in real or engineered wood due to the natural colouring of the wood used



DPM - This is an abbreviated term for damp proof membrane which is used to prevent moisture rising up and through the product

Distressed - This term is used when a product is made to look rustic with deliberate imperfections




Edge - each brand/product range have their own style of plank and come in square edge or bevel edge along each side of the plank

End Joint - When two pieces of flooring are joined together at the ends

End Profile - A product in which is placed at the end of the planks and the walls to compliment the final finish

Engineered - A layered plywood backing comprising of a solid wood veneered wear layer.




Feature Strip – A strip used with Luxury Vinyl Tiles which attractively separates each plank.

Finish – A coating applied to the surface of the flooring which offers colouring and protection.

Fixed Lengths - A term in which each plank or block has a fixed length. 

Floating Floor – A term used in flooring where the product can be laid directly to the subsurface without any underlay or adhesive. Tongue and groove is usually another term for this style of installation




Grade – Determines how lively a natural flooring product is in terms of knots and variation.

Grouting Strip – Strips used with Luxury Vinyl Tiles which appears to look like grouting between the tiles.




Hand Scraped – A process used to create an uneven surface which adds visual character to the flooring

Hard Wax Oil – A finishing product which offers a protected layer.

HDF – High Density Fibreboard is an extremely hard wearing type of fibreboard which has been highly compressed.

Herringbone – A unique wood flooring pattern of blocks and can come in laminate and LVT as well as woods..

High Gloss – An extremely shiny surface applied to the flooring.

HPPC - High performance composite coating (HPCC) is a type of coating system that offers an excellent method of maintaining and preserving the integrity of pipelines.




Joint – Two edges come together to create a joining edge.




Knot – A term used where there is dark colouration by part of a branch, this gives the plank/block lots of character to the natural elements of the wood.




Lacquer – A type of flooring finish which can have a shiny or matt look.
Laminate Flooring – A hard surface floor with an MDF core and a melamine wear layer finished with a polyurethane layer
Luxury Vinyl Tiles – Vinyl products which are sold as individual planks or tiles, not roles of vinyl.




Maintenance – A guide on how to upkeep your floor/product

Matt -  A finish which has the opposite appearance to shiny.

Multi-ply - This is multiple layers of plywood which is tightly compressed together to create an engineered wood floor backing which then has a veneer layer on top of real wood.




Natural Grade – A term used for the grade of wood which is before rustic and will have more colour variations, knots, cracks and holes which some manufacturers will cover and fill in.

Nosing – A product which is to finish the corner of stairs




Oil – A product used to finish natural wood flooring products which can come in various colours and shades




Parquet – A term used in flooring where the planks or blocks of wood (solid or engineered) can be laid in various different patterns.

Plywood - A hardboard composite wood which is often used for levelling subsurfaces which is a cheap alternative to other materials.

Polyurethane – A finish used as a protection for natural flooring products often used on laminates and LVT

Prefinished – Natural floors which are already lacquered, oiled or stained.

Profiles – A product which is used to finish off around the walls



Ramp Profile – A term used for when a profile is used with a different floor height

Random Lengths – Some products come with planks of various lengths which will be described in the specifications of the product itself

Reclaimed – A term when creating a visual look that has been salvaged and restored look.

Rustic Grade – A natural flooring product which consists of natural variation and knots. 




Sanding – The ability to sand down and refinish a solid or engineered wood flooring product to rejuvenate the floor

Scotia – Also known as beading to go around skirting boards which hides any minor gaps and imperfections.

Screed – A latex self-levelling compound which is used to create a level subfloor.

Smoked – A term used for a  process which is used to darken any solid or engineered wood flooring products.

Solid Wood Flooring – A plank of wood made up of one raw solid piece of wood which is crafted into a beautiful plank

Square Edge – Once the flooring is connected together you won’t find a groove; the flooring planks will lie flush against one another.

Stair Nosing –A term used for a product which is used for the stairs styling

Subfloor – The existing floor, the flooring will sit on, this will either be concrete, floorboards, plywood or brick. 




Textured Surface -  A term used when describing what the product looks and feels like

Threshold - Often used between door frames to separate different flooring coverings between rooms

Tongue and Groove – A joining system where the tongue simply slides into groove to create a locking system. 




Underlay – A product which is placed under carpets, lvt, wood and laminate to give comfort and protection

Unfinished -  A term used for when a plank is in its natural state and in raw looking

UV Finish – A polyurethane finish which offers protection from natural light. 




V Groove - On each on range of plank there will either be a straight/square edge or a bevel on the sides of the plank, also known as V Groove

Vapour Barrier - This is a material to protect against water

Veneer - The top layer of a plank




Wide Plank – If a plank has a larger width than normal then this term is used.

Width - The width of the plank 

Whitewashed- When the surface of the flooring is stained and finished in a white colour often used in engineered wood. 

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