First of all, you may notice that we have taken some liberty with a few of the hardwood flooring definitions by substituting useful information rather than reproducing marketing terminology which can get extremely confusing. Please contact us with any questions about other types of floors, or floor coverings such as laminate or engineered products. We are happy to share a logic base tripped through the production of any floor cover on the market.
Marketing Terms - Marketing terms differ from flooring industry terms; and in some cases, they differ dramatically. For example, #2 grade at a Heart Pine Flooring mill does not in any way shape or form resemble #2 grade from a lumber mill. One is graded based on suitability for building houses, the other because it lacks sufficient heart/sap wood to be sold as #1 Heart Pine.
‘Antiqued’ – The age a floor should reach before is called an antique is always been my first question, but this point is about the fact that Antiqued Heart Pine is not old at all, even by the marketing terms they use; if you know how to speak flooring. Antiqued is a finish style not an age description.
Reclaimed – Once more unless you do some research or have an honest flooring company, you might not understand the original definition. Repurposed, reclaimed means repurposed such as a beam being repurposed into flooring. It does not mean flooring turned into flooring, big difference scarcity, quality, and (should be) price.
Salvaged Flooring- Is simply old flooring taken up and sold in variety of thickness and state of salvage. For example, along with the holes check for the nails too. Many times, the board looks 5’ but with the ends butchered much of the board will not sustain any new finish or install. 30% waste is safe in this market. Know your source, see the materials, and understand the provenance.
Provenance- From Webster’s Dictionary; origin or area of origin. Antique flooring, for example, such as Kentucky Horse Barn, Cotton Gins and Whiskey Barrel Reclaimed sounds better than Chicken House or random barns thrown together. Right?
Laminate Hardwood Flooring- This sentence would not have been understood 20 years ago before several factors brought this soon to be landfill abomination to life. Every claim every warranty is worthless and there is never a reason to buy it even at .29 or whatever the closeouts go for today.
Vinyl Hardwoods – Other names; Tattoo Flooring, Sliver Floors and my favorite the fumigation required. If that joke does not land, search floors that make you sick (Lumber Box Store Formaldehyde) and you will see what happens when the industry cheaper and cheaper to wear out sooner and sooner.
Acclimation -The act of allowing wood moisture content to become at equilibrium with the environment in which it will perform. Acclimation is not measured in time, it occurs when the moisture level differential between your sub floor and floor are within the range or your wood type.
Air-Dried Dried by exposure to air in a yard or shed without artificial heat. (Not kiln dried)
Annual Growth Ring The layer of wood growth formed on a tree during a single growing season.
Beveled Edge The chambered or beveled edge of wood flooring, plank, block and parquet.
Board Foot A unit of measurement of lumber represented by a board 1 foot long, 12 inches’ wideand 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 1 inch.
Checking (finish) The finish is broken into smaller segments. Crowfoot checking is the name given to the defect when the breaks in the film form a definite three-prong pattern with the breaks running outward from a central point of intersection. When the checks are generally arranged in parallel lines; the defect is known as line checking. Irregular checks without a definite pattern are known as irregular checking.
Cleat A barbed fastener commonly used as a mechanical device to fasten hardwood flooring.
Covering- See Floor Covers
Color Change Visual changes in the color of the wood species caused by exposure to light,deprivation of light and air, or some chemical reaction.
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. Nightmare at installation.
Crowning A convex or crowned condition or appearance of individual strips with the center of the strip higher than the edges. The opposite of cupping.
Cupping A concave or dished appearance of individual strips with the edges raised above the center. The opposite of crowning.
Distressed A heavy artificial texture in which the floor has been scraped, scratched or gouged to give it a time-worn antique look.
Durability The ability of the wood species or finish to withstand the conditions or destructive agents with which it comes in contact in actual usage, without an appreciable change in appearance or other important properties.
End-Matched In tongue-and-groove strip and plank flooring, the 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 fits into the groove of the next piece. See Side-Matched and Tongue-and-Grooved.
Engineered An assembly made by bonding layers of veneer or lumber with an adhesive so that most adjacent layers have their grains going in perpendicular directions to increase dimensional stability.
Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) The moisture content at which wood neither gains nor loses moisture when surrounded by air at a given relative humidity and temperature.
Floor Covers A cover by definition is designed to be placed on top of something to protect or shield what ever it is on top of; in flooring we are talking about anything that is not designed to last as long as the house such as tile, laminate and engineered floor covers.
Hardness (Janka Scale) That property of the wood species or dried film of finishing material that causes it to withstand denting or being marked when pressure is exerted on its surface by an outside object or force.
Heartwood The wood extending from the pith to the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the life processes of a tree. It is usually darker than sapwood. See Pith and Sapwood. To learn more about how heartwood is created visit Wood Web or here is the short version; Heart Pine is function of age and species. How Heartwood is sold is based on the amount of Heart and or Sapwood visible on the face. Sapwood become Heartwood.
Knot The portion of a branch or limb that has been surrounded by subsequent growth of the stem. The 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. In hardwood strip flooring, small and pin knots aren't more than one-half inch in diameter. A sound knot is a knot cut approximately parallel to its long axis so that the exposed section is elongated.