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All Glossary Terms

Radiant Heat

Also known as in floor heating, the term refers to a heating system which uses hot water that runs through tubes under the subfloor, warming the surface of the floor.

Raised Grain

A natural characteristic of wood in which the face appears roughened but not torn where dense summerwood has raised above the softer springwood.

Random Length Planks

Different lengths of planks found in the same box, allowing the installer to stagger the flooring.

Random Width

Flooring that comes in several different widths in the same box.


An area of flooring with consistent thickness.

Rapidly Renewable

aka: recoat, re-coat

The name given to the process of a natural resource that renews itself very quickly. Renewable materials hold environmental appeal, such as the bamboo plant that re-grows from the same root, maturing in just about four to six years.


Describes aggregate that has come loose generally at the edges of joints.


See Medullary Rays


The act of sanding down to bare wood in order to refinish it.

Ready-Mixed Concrete

Concrete that has been pre-mixed at the factory.


A chemical or other substance that is consumed in a chemical reaction.

Rebar/ Reinforcing Bars

Steel bars that are installed in concrete to reinforce its structure.


A formulation of a specific amount of specific products that are combined to achieve a desired result.

Reclaimed Lumber

Flooring that is made from trees that have been underwater for about 100 years, giving this lumber a unique, inconsistent color.

Reclaimed Trees

Trees that have been underwater for about 100 years that are brought up and milled for flooring.


Applying a coat of finish over another for added protection.


A molding piece that is used when there is a transition between two flooring types of varying height. An example of this would be when bamboo flooring is reducing down to a concrete or vinyl floor.

Reducer Strip/Reducer

A molding accessory normally used at doorways and fireplaces or to divide a room that is grooved on one edge and tapered on the other.

Reentrant Corner

A corner or angle that points inward in a flooring surface. A concrete reentrant corner is prone to cracking without installation of a control joint.


The act of sanding a finished floor and apply a new layer of finish.


Refinishing is the application of a new clear coat finish to an existing floor. The process is intended to help refresh the life and appearance of a bamboo floor. Although it can be done as a do it yourself project, it is recommended the job be completed by a professional.

Reflection Cracking

Cracks in a material which resemble and coincide with cracks in the substrate.

Reinforced Concrete

Concrete that has been strengthened and reinforced by embedding wire mesh or steel rebar.

Relative Humidity

A measuring of the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the amount it would have if it were completely saturated at the same temperature.

Release Agent

A product that is applied to a stamping mat or textured skin to prevent it from sticking to the wet concrete. It is available in powder or liquid form.


Elastic, flexible, or has ""give"".


A material used for impregnating and bonding flooring.


A solvent that slows the drying of lacquers and other materials.

Rift Sawn

A method of sawing also known as bastard sawn, where the annual rings form an angle of 30 to 60 with the surface of the piece, giving it a uniform cut and stability.


A type of nail that has rings on the shaft to improve its holding characteristics.

Ring Porous

A term used to describe trees where the pores are larger at the start of each growth ring and smaller at the end of each growth ring. The large pores make springwood and the small pores make summerwood.


The most general term for what is used to make stone flooring. It is taken from the Earth's crust and consists of minerals and aggregates naturally formed together in a number of ways.

Rock Salt Finish

A process of finishing concrete flooring that involves broadcasting water softener salt pellets onto the surface. These pellets are pressed into the fresh concrete, then dissolved once the concrete is dry, leaving small craters in the concrete floor.

Rolling Loads

Weight created when you roll something across a floor on wheels. The weight of the object bears on the wheels, making it a rolling load.

Rotary Cut

A method of cutting wood where it is soaked in a solution then peeled into very thin layers using a rotary saw. This method can possibly alter the color of the natural wood and cause it to splinter.


A manufacturing process where a design is imprinted on a core layer using rotating cylinders. The design is then covered by a wear layer.


A material that is extremely elastic, durable, and resistant to shock, moisture, and electricity conduction.

Rubber Flooring

A type of flooring that is extremely durable and elastic. It is also resistant to shock and moisture and will not conduct electricity. It is warm to the touch and quiet when walked on.


aka: knuckles

Oddly shaped stone pieces that are often pieced together and held with a cementious material. This is often used for walls or in foundations and may have a finished surface.

Rustication Strip

A device that is attached to a form or form liner and used to imprint architectural details into concrete.