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All Glossary Terms


A cut pile carpet with thicker, longer yarn. It mats and crushes easily and is not recommended for very high traffic areas.


Limestone that is mostly composed of calcite or aragonite, which is usually fragments of shells.

Calcite Limestone

A type of natural stone composed of limestone and 5% or less magnesium carbonate.

Calcium Chloride Vapor-Emission Test

A test created by the ASTM which is used to measure the amount of moisture vapor a concrete slab emits over a period of generally 24 hours. This test uses un-hydrated calcium chloride and is available at most flooring retailers.


A continuous sheet of flooring that is made by being pressed between rollers.


When a material such as stone or cement is cut or sanded so that it is uniformly thick throughout the entire slab


See Bull Nosing


When bamboo canes undergo a steaming process their sugars and starches cook and caramelize inside. This produces a rich brown coloring effect in the bamboo.

Carpet Cushion

A layer of cushion that is placed under the carpeting. It gives carpet its soft cushiony feel and protects it from wear and tear.

Carpet Dying

The process of dying carpet by spraying or printing a color or pattern of colors directly onto the face of the carpet. It is also called continuous dying.


A trim that usually goes around windows, doors, or entryways.

Cast In Place

The act of laying and finishing concrete at the site of installation.


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


A flexible product that is spread into joints to provide a barrier against water and air.

Cement Backer Unit / C.B.U.

A layer of material that is placed between a wooden subfloor and cement flooring to provide support and a moisture barrier.

Cement Board

Panels of aggregate cement reinforced on each side with glass-fiber mesh.

Cement Body Tile

Tiles made of cement and sand.

Cement Replacement

Any material that is used to replace Portland cement. Sometimes used to improve design, these materials can include fly ash, granulated blast furnace slag, pozzolans, and so on.


A term used to describe materials that are cement like or are made with Portland cement.


A powdery material which is the result of the deterioration of a concrete flooring surface.

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.

Chemical Staining

The most creative method of staining concrete, which involves applying a formula that reacts with lime contained in the cement. It can be difficult to apply, but when done correctly can create rich colors, patterns, and textures that can mimic natural stones such as granite and marble.


Chipboard is a type of low-density paperboard used for subfloors. It 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.


Fasteners similar to nails - used with an air gun to nail down flooring.

Click System

Floor technology that allows flooring planks to be locked, clicked, or snapped together without adhesives much like puzzle pieces. This differs from the traditional tongue and groove system.

Coating System

A finishing system which usually involves a few to several applications of primers and coating materials, each of which must be allowed to dry before applying the next layer or coat.

Coefficient of Friction / C.O.F.

Refers to a surface's ability to resist objects slipping or sliding across.


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.

Color Chips

Small colored plastic chips that are broadcast onto uncured epoxy resin flooring systems to produce a color or mixture of colors.

Color Layering

The process of using layers of color to achieve a variety of finish effects such as antiquing or marbleizing.

Colored Concrete

Concrete that has been colored either by mixing in a coloring product during manufacturing or by applying a coloring product to the surface during or after installation.

Colored Hardener

A product that is broadcast over wet concrete which draws in moisture. This activates it and binds it together, creating a very dense and strong finish. It can increase the PSI of cement up to 7,500 PSI.

Colored Release Agents

A powder or liquid used with a pattern stamp to ensure that the stamp does not stick to the cement. These colored release agents must be sealed or protected by a wax finish.

Colored Surface Overlay Material

A colored layer of cement anywhere from "" to 1"" thick that is applied over a concrete subfloor and can often self-level, creating a flat surface.


Colorfastness is the ability of a material to resist fading or darkening from exposure to light.

Compact Laminate

A type of laminate made under extremely high pressure that has a thickness greater than or equal to 2mm.

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.

Compressive Strength

A measurement of the amount of compression concrete or cement can take without breaking. Measured in pounds per square inch or PSI.

Concrete Countertops

Countertops made from concrete that are either manufactured to your specifications in the factory or custom built on site.

Concrete Stamping

The act of imprinting patterns into wet concrete to mimic stone, tile, wood planks, and so on.

Concrete Surface Profile (CSP)

The degree of roughness or texture on the surface of concrete.

Conductive Tile

A type of tile flooring that conducts electricity and can often transmit it safely to the ground below.


See Softwoods


A word used to describe the thickness of concrete or its ability to flow.


The method in which a product is manufactured.

Continuous Laminate Flooring

A type of laminate flooring in a continuous sheet that is adhered to a core.

Control/Contraction Joint

A groove cut in a slab of concrete which helps to control cracking.

Conventional Installation

A tile flooring installation method using cement mortar to affix the tile to the subfloor.

Conversion Varnish

See Swedish Finish


A cream, yellow, or grayish colored limestone found on the shoreline near St. Augustine, Florida. It contains full or broken shells and sometimes small amounts of coral that are imbedded in calcite. It is very coarse and porous.


The center of a panel which often provides its structural durability.

Cork Flooring

A highly durable, natural flooring option made from the bark of the cork oak tree. It is a renewable source of flooring, as the tree is not harmed in its harvesting. It is equal in price to hardwood and less expensive than bamboo. It is available in an array of colors, patterns, and textures.

Cork Oak Tree

Formally known as Quercus suber, it is an evergreen oak native to Europe and Africa. It forms a very thick bark which can be harvested for cork flooring and other products without harming the tree.


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


A tile used as a trim around corners and baseboards that is concave on one edge.


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


A split or separation in the surface of a floor. Often must extend to a specific depth to be considered a crack.

Crack Chasing

The act of cleaning out and routing concrete cracks before filling with a concrete filler.

Crack Stitching

A concrete crack repair method that involves drilling a hole on each side of the crack and grouting in wire or metal strips to fill the crack.

Cracks (Moving)

Concrete cracks that go completely through the concrete slab and are still moving.

Cracks (Static)

Concrete cracks that are only on the surface of concrete and do not extend all the way down through the slab.


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

Craze Cracks

Cracks in concrete that are tiny and random, which are caused by the surface mortar shrinking.


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


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

A construction technique of layers of plywood stacked in opposing directions to provide floor stability and strength.


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 problem that occurs when the surface of concrete dries too fast - often from exposure to sunlight, heat, or wind - causing the appearance of crust or cracks on the surface.

Crystalline Limestone

A type of limestone made of calcite and interlocking crystalline grains of different minerals.


Culm refers to the stalk or stem of bamboo that can be seen above the ground.


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


A curative is a compound that has the ability to bond molecules together and create a polymer reaction.


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

Curing Compound

A substance that is put on the surface of wet concrete, forming a layer and preventing evaporation of water.


Refers to the padding that is placed under the carpet or sometimes attached to the back of the carpet itself. It provides comfort when walked on and support for the carpet itself. It is also called a padding or underlay. Most cushions range from 1/4""- 7/16"" thick.

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.

Cut Pile

A type of carpet which is constructed of small loops of yarn that are bound together. The loops are then cut to create the surface of the carpet.

Cut Stone

Natural stone that has been cut or trimmed to a specified dimension.

Cut-Loop Pile

A type of carpet that is constructed of small loops of yarn that are bound together. Some of the loops are cut and some are not.