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hardwood glossary

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A product added to some finishes to make them more durable.

Chatter Marks

Ripple effects on a floor's surface caused by an improperly operated or maintained sanding machine.


A separation of wood running lengthwise that usually results from stress during drying.


When a finish cracks into small 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.


Chipboard is a type of paperboard used for subfloors. It has a low density and is not usually recommended for glue-down installations.


A problem caused by poor elasticity or adhesion to the base material where the film of the finishing material chips off in flakes.

Clam Shell Reducer Clear

See Reducer Strip/Reducer


A barbed fastener commonly used to fasten hardwood flooring to the subfloor.


The ability of a coating to hold together to itself, also referred to as an inward force.

Color Change

The lightening or darkening of the color of flooring due to exposure to light, a chemical reaction, or deprivation of light and air.

Compression Se

A condition where a piece of wood expands so much that it crushes cells in an adjoining piece, causing it to lose strength and crack.


See Softwoods

Conversion Varnish

See Swedish Finish


To hammer a nail or screw in a screw so that it sits beneath the surface of the floor.


A measurement that describes the square feet of surface area a gallon of product will cover.


Bubbles in the surface of a finish that have popped but not leveled, leaving a crater-like effect.


Small cracks or checks that interlace in the surface of a finishing product.


When a board deviates from being in a straight line.

Cross Direction

Composition of material where each layer is laid perpendicular to the material below.

Cross-Ply Construction

A method of construction where layers of wood are stacked in a "cross-grain" pattern, with each plank stacked in the opposite direction of the piece below. This makes the wood more resistant to expansion and contraction.


A problem that can occur at an end joint where the ends pull in opposite directions.


A type of crystallization where the lines join together at a centralized point.


A condition where individual strips or planks of flooring will appear convex where the center is raised above the edges.


A condition where individual strips or planks of flooring will appear concave with the edges raised above the center.


A term that is used when properties of an adhesive are changed by a chemical reaction which allows it to reach its maximum strength. This is generally done by condensation, heat, or another catalyst.

Custom Floors

When a floor is ordered to your exact specifications including species, finish, and design.


When sanding a floor, each time a floor is passed over with a sanding machine it is called a cut.