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hardwood glossary

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A type of wood floor made from combining small pieces of wood in different patterns.

Parquet Floor Square

Parquet flooring pieces that are fastened to form a tile.

Parquet Floor Units

Parquet flooring that consists of three or more tiles fastened together.


A generic term for a panel composed of wood and other vegetable material bound together with glue and pressure. Includes flakeboard, a type of particleboard made of flakes of material, oriented strand board, a type of particleboard made of strand-type flakes of material arranged to add maximum durability to the panel, and waferboard, a type of particle board made of wafer-like flakes.

Peeled Veneer

A way of manufacturing the top layer of engineered wood flooring where the log is peeled to produce a thin layer of wood.


A problem where the dried film of a finish comes loose in flakes or sheets.

Penetrating Stains

Stains that have penetrated into wood or other flooring surface.

Petroleum Spirits

See Mineral Spirits

pH Value

A scale used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of a material, which is determined by the amount of hydrogen ion. A pH rating over 7 is considered alkaline, below 7 is considered acidic and 7 is considered neutral.


The sensitivity of a material that causes it to get lighter or darker when exposed to light.


Very small solid particles of color used in products such as paint or enamel.

Pigment Stains

Stains created by combining volatile thinners with pigment.

Pilot Hole

A hole drilled to accommodate a screw or nail, which helps prevent splitting of the wood.

Pin Holes/Pin Lines

Tiny holes or lines in finish caused by finish sinking into low or less dense areas, which can be corrected by applying an additional coat of finish.

Pin Knot

A knot that is less than " in diameter.

Pin Worm Hole

A small hole in wood made from the boring of an insect that does not exceed 1/16" in diameter.


A word used to describe the softer area of the core in the center of a trunk or branch.


A method of sawing where wood is cut so that the annual growth rings make an angle of less than 45 with the surface producing a pleasing pattern.

Planer Bite

A term used to describe cuts made too deeply by a planer knife.


Flooring boards that are usually 3" to 8" wide and are usually installed in parallel rows.


Small pegs that are used to cover nails or screws that have been countersunk or are used to simulate a Colonial American flooring look.


Boards constructed in cross-directional layers which provide more dimensional stability.

Pneumatic fastener

Similar to a manual fastener, you use a rubber mallet to apply pressure to the springs in order to drive the staple or nails into the floor. The big difference is that you don't have to apply a lot of pressure to the equipment because you're assisted by an air compressor.


Several units of urethane chemically joined together which is able to solidify.


The most common type of finish that is very durable, has care free maintenance, and is available in water based or oil based formulas.


When finish or other materials are disintegrated to the point where they become a fine powder.


Flooring that is finished completely before being sold to a consumer, which requires no sanding or finishing after installation.