Flooring Terms Dictionary

Flooring Terms Jargon

Flooring Terms

Ceramic tile Flooring Term

Thin Set Flooring Term

Tack strip Flooring Term

Tile grout Flooring Term

Durarock Flooring Term

Shoe mold Flooring Term

Carpet pad Flooring Term

Z metal Flooring Term

Transition strip Flooring Term
Category Construction Glossary
Wood flooring is a type of flooring made from the timber of hardwoods, or of spruce or
hard pine. There are two basic manufactured types of hardwood. Wood flooring comes
unfinished, and once installed is sanded, then finished on site. More modernly, the product
is pre-finished in a factory. The products that are pre-finished are often a polyurethane
finish that has added aluminium oxide, however some companies use titanium dioxide or
other oxides instead. These metal oxide finishes are used in various types of floor coverings
and increase the wear a hardwood floor can handle.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid hardwoods are typically 3/4" or 19mm thick, although some do come in 3/8" (10mm) or
5/16" (8mm) thicknesses. Typically the wearing thickness, i.e., the thickness that can be
sanded over the lifetime of the floor, above the tongue-and-groove portion, is approximately
7/32" approaching 1/4". This type of hardwood flooring can be installed with a nail-down
installation method over wood subfloors. This type of hardwood is also very susceptible to
the effects of moisture and temperature, because hardwoods expand and contract with
moisture and temperature changes in the atmosphere. Since hardwoods expand and
contract in the width of the grain, this type of hardwood flooring is not recommended to be
installed over a concrete slab, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. There are some
instances where 3/8"-thick solid hardwood can be installed on a concrete slab.

Engineered Wood Flooring
Rather than having one solid piece of hardwood, the engineered hardwood method uses
layers of hardwood veneer to create a product that can range in thickness from 3/8" or 8mm
up to 9/16" or 14mm thick. The wood veneer can range in thickness depending on the
manufacturer, as will the top wearing thickness. In order to create an engineered hardwood,
these veneer layers are stacked one on top of the other with the grain of adjacent layers
oriented perpendicular to one other. Once the desired thickness is achieved, the boards are
then cut into the correct board width. From there, the boards are then manufactured to have
a tongue or groove on the edges. The final step is to add stain if necessary, and add a
finish. By doing this, the engineered hardwood becomes less susceptible to the effects of
moisture and temperature change, because wood expands and contracts in the width of the
grain direction. Therefore engineered hardwood is referred to as being dimensionally stable.
Solid hardwood does not have dimensional stability because all of the grain runs in the
same direction. Because of its dimensional stability, engineered hardwood can be glued
directly to concrete above or below grade, as opposed to solid hardwood which cannot.