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All Glossary Terms

Painting Concrete

The act of painting a layer of color on a hard concrete surface, often done to cover a repair.


Sections of flooring.

Paper and Wire

A tile installation method which involves using wire mesh and tar paper as a backing.


aka: hdf, high density fiberboard

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 material composed of wood and other vegetable material that is bound together with glue.

Pattern End Matched

When the pattern on flooring panels match up with the next panel end to end to create a continuous pattern.

Patterned Concrete

See Stamped Concrete.

Paver Tile/Pavers

aka: Moso bamboo

Dust-pressed porcelain or clay tiles that are similar to ceramic mosaic tiles. Also may be vitreous stone, glazed or unglazed.


When raised seams meet and form a peak.

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 Sealer

A sealing product that penetrates the flooring surface, which helps protect it from water and contaminates.

Penetrating Stains

Stains that have penetrated into wood or other flooring surface.

Perimeter Adhered

An installation method where the flooring is only adhered to the perimeter of the room and at the seams.


The ability of liquid or gas to penetrate a material.


Stone used as steps or for arches.

Petroleum Spirits

See Mineral Spirits

pH Value

A scale measuring the acidity or alkalinity of a material, which is determined by the amount of hydrogen ion it contains. 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.


Also known as the face of the carpet, it consists of the yarn that makes the surface of carpet. It is found in loops, cut loops, and a combination of both.

Pile Crush

A condition that occurs when areas of carpet experience heavy traffic or furniture, which causes the pile to become crushed and lose thickness. It can be permanent in some situations.

Pile Height

A measurement from the primary backing of carpet to the tip of the tufts. It is also referred to as the nap. Carpet with shorter pile height tends to hold up better.


A condition that occurs where fibers from different tufts become knotted together, forming masses or pills. These can usually be cut off with scissors.

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 0.5" 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.

Pitch Faced Finish / Pitch Face Stone

A method of taking stone from the quarry, similar to split faced stone, only it is chiseled along a straight plane exposing the natural cleft. It has a bold, rough texture.


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 installed in parallel rows.


A term used to describe wet concrete that is easily moldable.

Plastic Shrinkage Cracks

Cracks that appear in the surface of wet concrete that is still in its plastic state.


A term describing the consistency of wet concrete or its ability to be molded.

Platform Tools

Metal or plastic tools that are used to stamp deep grooves in wet concrete which are often later grouted.


Layers of wood glued together in a cross-grain pattern, making them more resistant to expansion and contraction. They are used in engineered wood floors.

Plucked Finish

A finish texture that is achieved by plucking small particles out of the surface.


aka: ply, plys

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



A truly level surface.


A luxury carpet that is smooth and velvety. It is normally made from cut pile carpet that is brushed or sheared.


Single ends of carpet yarn that are twisted together to form plied carpet.


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

Pointed Masons Trowel

See Mason Trowel

Polished Concrete

Concrete that is polished to a certain degree of shine or gloss using diamond impregnated abrasives.

Polished Finish

A finish that has a high degree of shine or gloss and a strong reflection of light.


A synthetic material that is often used in carpet yarn. It is not as resilient as nylon, but is fairly fade and stain resistant.

Polymer - Modified Overlay

An overlay often used as a design element or to improve resistance and performance that is cement based and mixed with polymer resins.

Polymer Stain

An acrylic-urethane based polymer solution that is used to finish flooring, available in a wide array of colors.


A synthetic material that is often used to make carpet yarn. It is also known as olefin. Generally used for loop-pile constructions, it is fairly stain and fade resistant.


Several units of urethane chemically joined together and able to solidify.


A result of the weakened aggregate particles breaking loose, which results in crater-like holes in the surface of concrete that can be several inches in diameter.

Porcelain Tile

Very dense and smooth dust-pressed mosaic or paver tile.


The amount and size of tiny holes or pores in a flooring surface.

Portland Cement

The most common type of concrete, which is usually made by burning clay and limestone.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content

Products that have been recycled from waste after consumer use.

Post-Industrial Recycled Content

Products that have been recycled from waste after industrial use.

Pot Life

The amount of time you have to work with cement or another product once it has been opened or mixed with another material before it begins to cure.


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

Power Stretcher

A device used to stretch carpet to prevent wrinkles when using a tack-less strip installation.


A siliceous and aluminous replacement for cement that reacts chemically with calcium hydroxide to become cementitious.


The usage of sealers or finish applied at the factory making floors ready for immediate installation and use.

Pre-Glued Flooring

An easy to install type of flooring that has adhesive pre-applied to the back or to the tongue and groove of each piece of flooring.

Pre-Grouted Tile

Tile that is pre-grouted in sheets and bonded together usually using an elastomeric material.


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



The process of combining materials together using pressure.


A substance applied to a flooring surface before finishing, which creates a stronger bond for the finishing coats.


The amount of roughness or texture a surface has.

Pull Bar

A device used to tighten tongue and groove joints.

Pump-up Sprayer

A tool which uses a pump that builds pressure to expel a sealer or other product.