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All Glossary Terms

M. S. D. S.

Stands for Material Safety Data Sheet, a required sheet that lists any hazardous ingredients, safety precautions, and first aid information that a consumer should know about a product.

Magic Trowel

A drywall tool that is used for spreading decorative concrete.

Main Light Source

Refers to the main source of light in a room, generally a window or a glass door. Flooring should be installed parallel to the source so that the light shines down the length of the boards.

Manufactured Stone / Agglomerate Stone

A type of flooring that consists of a binding material such as cement, polyester, or epoxy with stone chips suspended in it. It has quadruple the flexibility of granite and is less prone to cracking and chipping.

Manufacturing Defects

Defects that occur during production, not natural blemishes. For example, incorrectly sized boards, improperly squared edges, high moisture content upon arrival, chipped grain, machine burn, and so on.

Mao Bamboo

Mao is a type of bamboo predominantly grown in Southern China. Mao is one of the largest and strongest bamboo species and therefore the most used in the production of bamboo flooring.


A type of limestone that is extremely hard and durable and often polished to a shine. It contains re-crystallized calcite or dolomite, is available in a multitude of colors, and often has the appearance of veins. Common types of marble include Travertine,


The process of giving a surface the appearance of marble by layering finishes.

Margin Trowel

A tool with a 5""- 8"" flat blade attached to a handle that is used to apply patching products and also to scrape cement and other products off larger finishing tools. It is also known as a pointed mason's trowel or a pointer.


The act of covering areas of a flooring surface with tape or a stencil and then applying a decorative treatment on uncovered areas.

Masonry Cement

A mixture of cement with hydrated lime added to increase the workability.


A general term that refers to a glue or adhesive.


The appearance of matted or crushed carpet generally visible in areas with high traffic.


A term generally used to describe someone who professionally installs flooring.


An artistic centerpiece of a floor that is often used in parquet flooring.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

A type of material similar to particleboard that is used to make the core of some flooring products. It is made of wood waste fibers that are compressed and glued together under high heat and pressure.

Medium Duty Tile

Tile that meets specific standards and is suitable for medium traffic areas.

Medullary Rays

A visible characteristic in wood consisting of strips of cells running horizontally up and down the tree, which were used to store and transport the tree's food and nutrients.

Melamine Infused

A process where plastic is incorporated into the core board of a piece of flooring, increasing its moisture resistance and durability.

Melamine Resin

A plastic that is infused into the core of some flooring materials to increase its moisture resistance and durability.


A word used to describe a protective layer formed over a surface. Often it is made of a clear plastic.


Due to its composition of millions of microscopic air pockets, cork flooring can flex under foot pressure or other heavy objects and then return to its original shape after impact. This is called having a ""memory"".

Metamorphic Rock

A type of rock created when igneous or sedimentary rock ""morphs,"" usually due to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust. Examples of this include marble, quartzite, and slate.


The ""morphing"" of an igneous or sedimentary rock, usually due to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust.

Mexican Paver Tile

A terracotta-like tile flooring that is usually unglazed and is available in many colors and textures.


Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association


A wood flooring term which describes the cut of an angle at approximately 45º on the top edge of a plank or strip which forms a shallow V shaped groove when it comes together with another plank or strip on either side. It is rounded on both edges a

Micro-fiber Mop

A mop composed of microscopic fibers, often used to spread finishing material onto a flooring surface.


A V–shaped groove formed by cutting the edge of a strip of wood at a 90° angle and then at a 45° angle.


A very thin coating that is less than an 1/8 inch thick and usually has a polymer base.


A measurement often used to describe the thickness of a coat that is equal to 1/1,000 of an inch.


A term used to describe a substance that looks white or similar to milk.


To cut wood into strips, planks, or other desired shape.

Mineral Spirits

A solvent often used to clean dried glue or other stubborn stains.

Mineral Streak

A streak found in wood that can range from black to greenish brown that is a result of mineral matter buildup from the flow of sap.

Miter Joint

The place where two pieces of flooring come together at an angle.

Mix Design

A recipe that determines the thickness, drying time, appearance, or other concrete variable. Can include water, aggregate, cement, or other admixture.

Mixed Media

A type of flooring that is mostly wood but incorporates other materials such as ceramic, marble, slate, stone, etc.

Mixing Paddle

A device shaped like a paddle that is inserted into a drill and used to mix liquids.

Mixing Station

An area where supplies and mixing materials are kept and mixed.


A sample of flooring made to give an example of what colors and designs are available or will be used for a project.

Modular Multiple-Cut / Pattern Cut

Standard patterns or cuts of stone cut in different multiples of a height.

Moisture Barrier

A layer of plastic, foil, specialty paper or other material that is applied between the floor and subfloor to prevent the migration of moisture.

Moisture Content

A measuring of the amount of moisture in wood or other flooring. It is calculated as a percentage of the weight of the dry wood.

Moisture Meter

A device used to measure the moisture level in flooring.

Moisture Vapor Transmission

The migration of moisture, often between the subfloor and flooring.


Finish that is cured by contact with moisture.


Trims that are used to cover the expansion gap or to transition to another flooring surface.


Tiles fired in a single setting at temperatures in excess of 2000F.


A cementious mixture that also contains sand, water, and lime and is used to adhere masonry such as ceramic tile or stone to the surface beneath.


A pattern or irregular design created with small pieces of flooring.

Mosaic Parquet

A type of parquet flooring that forms a mosaic by using small pieces of wood and arranging them in a herringbone design.

Mosaic Tile

Small tiles usually less than six square inches, usually pieced together to form patterns or irregular designs.


see Mao

Mottling Effect

An appearance of lines that look like veins or of lighter or darker areas of color on a concrete floor.

Mounted Tile

Tile that is pre-mounted either on the surface or on the backside by mesh, paper, resin, or another material.


A slang term for mortar made of sand and cement.

Muratic Acid

An acid often used on concrete subfloors to neutralize alkalinity.