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hardwood glossary

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Sand Screen

A product used with a buffer to sand a wood floor before sealing or recoating. It ranges from 40-240 grit which is very fine to very coarse.

Sand Screening

A process of using a buffer and a sand screen, which can be very coarse or very fine, to sand a wood floor before sealing or recoating.


A term used to describe the wood that is toward the outside of the tree and is usually lighter in color than the wood on the inside.


A finish that appears to have a soft sheen.


The method in which planks or strips are milled from wood.

Sawn Veneer

Refers to the surface of an engineered wood floor that has been sawn rather than peeled. These veneers are more stable and can often be refinished more times.


Indentations or breaks caused by abrasive friction.

Screen and Coat.

A process of resurfacing the floor where it is lightly sanded and a new coat of finish is applied.

Scuff Mark

The scratch-like damage that occurs from walking without lifting your feet or sliding objects across the floor.


A coat that is applied to the surface of a floor before applying additional coats of finish, which prevents them from being absorbed into the flooring itself.

Sealer-Wax Finish

A finish that is made of a sealer, usually varnish, combined with a wax.


A grade of wood flooring that has a small amount of knots and mineral streaking, but may include sapwood.


When two or more parts of a mixture are broken up into their individual parts.


When pigment or another solid ingredient separates from the film of a finish or other material and settles to the bottom.


Used to refer to the degree of darkness or lightness of a color. Often described as light, medium or dark shade.


A condition which occurs between annual growth rings where the grain will separate.


A covering placed over the exterior studding or rafters in a structure.

Sheen (Hardwood)

The amount of luster a surface has.


A finishing product made from resins excreted from the Lac Beetle. As a word of caution, it may become tacky in very humid area and lacks abrasion resistance, and may water spot.


A tongue and groove system used on the sides of strips and planks so that when butted together, the tongue of one piece fits into the groove of the next piece.


The film that rises to the surface when a finishing material dries.


Small pieces of wood that are laid together in simple or intricate designs to form Parquet flooring.


Usually a 2" x 4" glued to a concrete subfloor, which a subfloor or new flooring is then nailed to.

Sliced Cut

One of several methods of cutting a piece of wood flooring, which tends to show a more uniform grain pattern. This method requires that the wood is presoaked, which can alter the natural color and also cause it to splinter.

Slip Resistance

A measurement of the frictional resistance of an object from moving across a surface.


A small strip inserted in a groove when the installer wants to reverse the direction of the wood they are installing. This results in two grooves butting up and this strip acts as a tongue for both grooves.

Small Knot

A knot less than "- ¾" in diameter.


Softwoods are coniferous trees that are considered gymnosperms and they produce seeds that do not have a covering and keep their leaves year round, such as pine trees. The term does not relate to the hardness of the wood, although they do tend to be softer than hardwoods.

Solid Board Group 1

Solid Board Group 1 A group of wood species known to be very strong and stiff.

Sound Knot

When wood is parallel to the long axis of a knot, elongating it.


Refers to a variety of wood. For example, red oak, maple, and ash are species.


A condition in which wood fiber separates parallel to the grain.

Square Edge

A square-shaped edge that does not contain a tongue or groove.

Square Joint

Flooring that does not have a beveled or eased edge.


A term generally used in parquet flooring, meaning a unit of smaller pieces of wood bonded together.

Squaring Up

The act of making sure the first row of flooring is parallel and perpendicular to the walls to ensure that the rest of the flooring is as well.


The ability of an object to not have a reaction to forces or other variations applied to it.


A transparent or semitransparent product that changes the color of wood but does not affect the texture or markings.


The act of applying a transparent or semitransparent product that changes the color of wood but does not affect texture or markings.

Stapled Down

A flooring installation method that used staples to affix the flooring to the subfloor.

Stop Mark

A mark left on the floor as a result of a drum or belt sander being left too long without moving.


See Mineral Streaks

Strip Flooring

Flooring sold in various thickness and widths, which is usually less than 3" wide.


A piece of wood used as a support.


The base floor of a structure on top of which the flooring is installed. Typically this is wood or concrete.


The exterior layer of flooring. This is the area that you see and walk on.

Surface Drying

When a coating dries on top but may still be soft inside.

Surface Tension

A property of the surface of a liquid that causes it to behave as an elastic membrane.

Swedish Finish

A finish usually applied after installation that contains an acid curing conversion varnish. This type of finish is very stain, water and spot resistant.