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hardwood glossary

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See Color Fading

Feather Edge

An edge that starts thick and becomes gradually thinner to a point.

Feature Strip

A design feature similar to borders that are used as accents to enhance flooring.

Fiber Saturation Point

When drying or wetting wood, the stage in which the cell walls are full of water and the cell cavities are free of water.


A broad term used to describe a material made from wood and other vegetable fibers that are glued together with heat and pressure. There are different levels of density and strength known as low, medium, or high density.


The natural characteristics of wood such as the grain, rays, knots, and other markings.


Any compound used to fill in holes and irregularities in the surface of wood.


See Slats


A protective coating which generally adds sheen to the floor and protects it. When finish dries, the layer that rises to the top is called the film.


See Slats


A coating applied to the surface of a wood floor to provide protection.

Finish in Place

See Unfinished Wood Floor

Fire Resistance

A term used to describe the ability of flooring to withstand fire.

Fire Retardant

A chemical used to make a floor more fire resistant.

Fish Eyes

A problem that occurs when applying finish on a contaminated wood surface, which causes the finish to recede away from the area and fail to coat it. This forms round areas that lack finish. It is also referred to as crawling, cratering, or flow marks.


A natural characteristic of wood, described as a dark mineral streak that is shaped similar to a banner.

Flag Worm Hole

A natural wood characteristic described as one or more worm holes surrounded by a mineral streak.

Flame Spread

The spreading out of a flame away from the source of ignition across the surface of a liquid, solid, or gaseous mixture.

Flat Finish

A finish that lacks luster.

Flatting Agent

A solution added to a coating to reduce luster and produce a flat finish.


A term used to describe wide and irregular graining patterns in Quartersawn flooring.

Floating Floor Installation

A common flooring installation method where the floor floats on an underlayment and is hooked together in a tongue and groove mechanism. Glue is sometimes used in the seams of the tongue and groove, but the flooring is not attached to the subfloor. It is held down around the perimeter of the wall by the base molding


The ability of a coating to spread into a smooth and flat surface before hardening.

Ford Cup

A device which measures the viscosity of a liquid that was originally used by Ford Motor Company. It consists of a cup that holds a specific amount of a liquid which is emptied through a standardized hole in the bottom. Viscosity is measured by the amount of time it takes the cup to empty.