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A

AC Wear Layer: Refers to “Abrasion Class.” A wear layer rating system designed for laminate flooring products. AC3 and above is suitable for light commercial applications.

Acclimation: The balance of flooring to its environment in regards to moisture, humidity, and heat.

Aluminum Oxide: Micro-metallic particles commonly added to polyurethane finishes to increase scratch resistance.

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C

Character Grade: Refers to substantial light and dark color variation that creates a mosaic flooring pattern.

Crowning: Warping where plank centers are higher than the sides.

Cupping: Warping where sides of the plank are higher than the center.

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D

Dimensional Stability: Flooring retains its dimension (specification) when exposed to environmental variations.

Distressed: Texturing that features scrapes, scratches or gouges to produce a time-worn visual.

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E

Edge Treatment: Describes the milling of sides and ends of flooring products. Common edge treatments include square, eased, beveled, and micro-beveled.

Embossed: Manufacturing technique used to add realistic texturing to vinyl-based and laminate flooring products.

Embossed in Register (EIR): Increases the texture and visual depth of vinyl and laminate products by aligning the embossing with the print design.

Engineered: Manufactured core board consisting of multiple plies or layers of material that when combined increase dimensional stability.

Engineered Vinyl Plank (EVP): Refers to rigid core vinyl products consisting of multiple plies, including composite core, vinyl top layer, and clear wear layer.

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F

Finish: The surface coating applied to flooring products. Common finishes include polyurethane, oil, and wax.

Floating Floor: Installation method where individual planks are secured by plank edges and end joints without direct attachment to the sub-floor.

FloorScore™: Third party certification that insures low emission and off-gassing standards for improved indoor air quality.

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G

Grade Level: The building level relative to ground level. Below grade (below ground), on grade (ground level), above grade (above ground).

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H

Hand-Scraped: Flooring planks are scraped or sculpted to add a time-worn appearance and texture.

High Density Plastic Composite (HDPC™): The latest innovation in rigid core composite flooring. May be co-extruded with vinyl top layer or include hardwood or bamboo top layers.

High Density Fiberboard (HDF): Wood fibers are highly compressed to form extremely dense hardboard. Commonly used as core board for laminate flooring.

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L

Laminate Flooring: Hard surface flooring that comprises a surface wear layer, decorative film and HDF or MDF core. Popular visuals include hardwood, tile, and stone.

Leveling Compound: Used to repair and level pitted and damaged or un-even sub-floors prior to installing final flooring.

Locking System: Installation system milled into flooring profiles that locks the edges and end joints together, without glue, creating a floating floor that is not secured to the sub-floor.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT): Flexible vinyl-based flooring product featuring a urethane top coat, decorative film, and solid PVC base. Visuals include hardwood, tile, and stone.

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M

Molding/Trim: Used to add a finishing touch to final flooring installation. Room transitions include threshold, T-mold, and reducer. Perimeter wall/floor moldings include shoe (quarter round) and wall base.

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N

Nano Finish Technology: Small “Nano” particles of aluminum oxide (ceramic bead) are added to polyurethane finishes to provide superior abrasion resistance.

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O

Oriented Strand Board (OSB): Engineered hardboard consisting of wood chips compressed into 4’ x 8’ sheets. Commonly used as sub-floors, and/or siding and roofing, in home construction.

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P

Parquet: Decorative geometric designs featured within inlaid woodwork. Parquet floor tiles are typically square in dimension.

Ply/Plies: Refers to layers of wood or composite material used to manufacture engineered flooring.

Plywood: Thin layers of wood veneers (minimum three) are glued together to create 4’ x 8’ sheets. Commonly used for building and as a sub-floor material.

Prefinished: Flooring that is sealed with protective finish by the manufacturer prior to installation. May also include color enhancement (stain).

Polyurethane/Urethane: A clear protective finish that protects flooring without the need to wax or buff.

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S

Species: Refers to the type of tree represented in hardwood flooring visuals. Common examples include oak, hickory, walnut, and cherry.

Stair Nosing: Finished piece attached to the front edge of stairs that creates a rounded “bullnose” effect.

Sub-Floor: The flooring layer attached directly to structural flooring joists in home construction. Final flooring products are installed over sub-floor underlayment.

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T

Tapping Block: Wood or plastic block used against flooring products to ease planks into position during installation.

Telegraphing: Sub-floor imperfections that become visible through flooring. Typically occurs with vinyl products.

Tongue-and-Groove: Milling of “male” and female” edge and end joints that when coupled together tightly connect flooring planks. Typically used with nail-down and glue-down flooring installation.

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U

Underlayment Pad: Protective layer installed over sub-floor that provides a moisture barrier and/or pad prior to installing flooring.

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V

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): Chemical compounds, such as formaldehyde, that can release gasses into indoor environments and trigger upper respiratory ailments.

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W

Wear Layer: The upper most or top layer of flooring represented in multi-ply engineered flooring products or a thin film layer on top of vinyl products that protects the décor pattern.

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