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All Glossary Terms

Above Grade

Above ground level


The wearing away and scuffing of the finish layer of a floor, generally caused by friction from dirt and debris.

Abrasion Resistance

The ability of a flooring surface to resist abrasion when in contact with abrasive materials.

Abrasive Blasting

The act of using an abrasive material propelled at a high speed onto a flooring surface to clean or roughen it. It is commonly referred to as sandblasting, shot blasting, or bead blasting.


Absorbing or taking in a liquid or gas.


A product used to shorten the curing time of a flooring surface such as concrete or a resin-based coating.


The process of leaving flooring where it will be installed for a length of time before installation, allowing it to adapt to the temperature and humidity of the area.


One of the most common solvents often used to clean residue off a surface or to thin other products. It is a flammable substance.

Acid Etching

A process of applying phosphoric or muriatic acid to a concrete floor which cleans and 'etches' the surface.

Acid Stains

An advanced method of colorizing concrete that involves applying an acidic, water-based solution mixed with inorganic salts to the floor's surface for 1-6 hours. The solution is then neutralized with ammonia and water and cleaned up with a wet/dry vacuum. The appearance is generally earth toned and may appear marbleized.

Acid-Washed Finish.

A finishing method often used on concrete, marble and limestone flooring that gives it a rustic, etched look. It can also be used to diminish shine on surfaces.


A chemical with a pH rating below 7.

Acoustical underlayment

A bamboo floor's underlayment acts as impact insulation to absorb and thereby reduce sounds. Materials like cork and rubber are often used as underlayments to reduce and absorb the waves of sound beneath hard surface floors like bamboo.

Acrylic Impregnated

A term used to describe wood flooring that is impregnated with acrylic monomers and then polymerized.

Acrylic Resin

A transparent, synthetic resin made by polymerizing acrylic and methacrylic acid. It is fairly resistant to external contaminates.


The act of one material attaching to another.


The ability of one material to stick to another.


A material, often called glue, that bonds one material to another.

Adhesive Stencils

Stencils with adhesive backing that are often applied to concrete or another surface and then used to create a pattern or picture by using a stain, dye, gel, or other method to apply color.


An ingredient other than water, cement, and aggregate that can be added to concrete at the site of installation or at the factory to modify its properties in a number of ways. For example, it can lengthen or shorten hardening time.


The adhesion of molecules or particles to a surface.

Advanced Decay

Decay of wood or other material in an advanced stage to the point where it becomes structurally unstable.

Agglomerate Marble

Small pieces of marble that are bound together.


A material that is added to wet concrete to improve its structural durability. Common aggregate materials include gravel, sand, rock, and stone.

Air Content

A measurement of the amount of air trapped inside concrete expressed as a percent of the entire volume.

Air Entrainment

The process of creating tiny air bubbles in concrete by adding a mixture that is said to be "air–entrainment" which helps improve durability and resistance to damage from freezing and thawing.


Dried by air without the use of special equipment.


A chemical substance often used to neutralize acidic substances.


A chemical with a pH rating above 7.

Alkaline Cleaner

A cleaner with a pH rating above 9.

All Purpose Cleaner

A cleanser that can be used on almost any type of hard flooring, which is always alkaline and not acidic.


When a finish cracks into large segments that appear to resemble alligator hide. This is usually caused by applying coating too heavily or over other coatings that have not cured. It can also be caused by using thinners meant to speed drying time or by applying a layer of finish over another layer with less elasticity.

Aluminum Oxide

A type of finish used on flooring that is considered to be the most durable and scratch resistant.


When flooring changes and takes on a yellowish color.

Aniline Dyes

Dyes made from aniline oils or coal tar derivatives and used in wood stains.

Annual Growth Ring

Every year that a tree grows its trunk and branches add a layer of growth marked by a growth ring.


A floor with a non-slip finish.


The ability to resist the growth of most bacteria, mold, fungi, yeast and mildew.

Antique Flooring

Flooring that is removed from old building or houses and sold to be reinstalled and refinished.


A method of giving a surface an aged, slightly worn appearance.


The ability to resist production of static electricity.

Applicator Drag

When your applicator seems to drag when applying an additional coat of finish over another coat that is not completely dry. This can cause marks or streaks.

Applicator Marks or Streaks

Occurs when applying another layer of finish before the first one is completely cured. The applicator is drawn across the uncured finish and drags, leaving marks or streaks.

Asphalt Saturated Felt Paper/Asphalt Paper/Felt Paper

A 15lb paper made of asphalt that meets ASTM Standards and helps to resist moisture transfer.


American Standard Testing Methods, one of the largest international organizations that develops standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

Attached Cushion

A padding or cushion that can be made of foam, rubber, PVC or other material which is attached to the carpet and sits on the subfloor. It provides thickness, cushion, and stability.

Average Pile Yarn Weight

A measurement of the mass of yarn in a square yard of carpet expressed as ounces per square yard.