Hardwood Floor Glossary

air-dried: lumber Lumber that has been piled in yards or sheds for any length of time. For the United States as a whole, the minimum moisture content of thoroughly air-dried lumber is 12 to 15%; the average is somewhat higher. In the South, the source of most American hard woods, air-dried lumber may be no lower than 19%.

anchor bolts: Bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to a concrete or masonry wall or floor.

asphalt: Most native asphalt is a residue from evaporated petroleum. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in gasoline and it melts when heated. Used widely in building for waterproofing floors, flooring tile, roof covers, exterior walls, etc.

backband: A simple molding that is sometimes used around the outer edge of a plain rectangular casing as a decorative feature.

backfill: The replacement of excavated earth into a trench around and against a basement foundation.

baseboard: A board that is placed against a wall around a room next to the floor to give a proper finish between the floor and wall. Also called a base.

base molding: Molding used to trim the upper edge of interior baseboard.

base shot: Molding used next to the floor on interior baseboards. Some time called a carpet strip.

beam: A structural member that transversely supports a load.

bearing partition: A partition that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.

blind nailing: Nailing in such a way that the nail heads are not visible on the face of the work; usually done at the tongue of matched boards.

block flooring: Wood flooring made of blocks (squares or rectangular pieces of wood), rather than strips.

bodied linseed oil: Linseed oil that has thickened in viscosity by suitable processing with heat or chemicals.

boiled linseed oil: Linseed oil in which enough lead, manganese, or cobalt salts have been incorporated to make the oil harden more rapidly when spread in thin coatings.

brace: An inclined piece of framing lumber that is applied to a wall or floor to stiffen the structure.

bridging: Small wood or metal members that are inserted in a diagonal position between the floor joists at midspan to act both as tension and compression members for the purpose of bracing the joists and spreading the action of the loads.

butt joint: The junction of the ends of two timbers or flooring boards in a square-cut joint.

condensation: Beads or drops of water (and frequently frost in extremely cold weather) that accumulate on the inside of the exterior covering of a building when warm, moisture-laden air from the interior reaches a point where the temperature no longer permits the air to sustain the moisture it holds.

cove molding: A molding with a concave face that is used as trim or to finish interior corners.

crawl space: A shallow space between the living quarters of a basement- less house that is normally enclosed by the foundation wall.

cross bridging: Diagonal bracing between adjacent floor joist spans to prevent the joists from twisting.

crown molding: A molding used on a cornice or whenever an interior angle is to be covered.

cut-in-brace: Nominal 2-inch thick members, usually 2 x4s, that are cut in between each stud diagonally.

d-Penny: As applied to nails, it originally indicated the price per hundred. The term now serves as a measure of nail length.

dado: A rectangular groove across the width of a board or plank.

direct nailing: Nailing perpendicular to the initial surface or the junction of the pieces joined. Also called face nailing.

drywall: Interior covering material, such as gypsum board or plywood, which is applied in large sheets or panels.

drywall construction: A type of construction in which the interior wall finish is applied in a dry condition, generally in the form of sheet materials or wood paneling, as contrasted to wet plaster.

fascia: A flat board or face used sometimes by itself, but usually in combination with moldings, which are often located at the outer face of the cornice.

filler (wood): A heavily pigmented preparation used for filling and leveling off the pores in open-pored wood.

footing: A masonry section, usually concrete, in a rectangular form that is wider than the bottom of the foundation wall or pier it supports.

foundation: The supporting portion of a structure below the first floor construction, or below grade, that includes the footings.

frost line: The depth of frost penetration in soil. This depth varies in different parts of the country

girder: A large principal beam of wood or steel that is used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length.

grain: The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in wood.

grain, edge: Lumber that has been sawed parallel to the pith of the log and approximately at right angles to the growth rings, i.e., the rings form an angle of less than 45 degrees with the surface of the piece. Also called vertical grain.

grain, flat: Lumber that has been sawed parallel to the pith of the log and approximately tangent to the growth rings, i.e., the rings form an angle of less than 45 degrees with the surface of the piece.

hardwood: Wood from deciduous trees, such as maple, oak, and cherry that is known for its hard and compact substance.

header: A beam that is placed perpendicular to the joists and to which the joists are nailed in framing.

heartwood: The wood that extends from the pith to the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the life process of the tree.

insulation: Any material high in resistance to heat transmission that when placed in the floors, walls, or ceiling of a structure will reduce the rate of heat flow.

joint: The space between the adjacent surfaces of two members or components that are joined and held together by nails, glue, cement, mortar, or other means.

joist: One of a series of parallel beams, usually 2 inches in thickness, that are used to support floor and ceiling loads and are supported in turn by larger beams, girders, or bearing walls.

kiln-dried lumber: Lumber that has been kiln-dried, often to a moisture content of 6 to 12 %. Common varieties of softwood lumber, such as framing lumber, are dried to a somewhat higher moisture content.

knot: In lumber, the portion of a branch or limb of a tree that appears on the edge or face of a piece.

lumber: The wood product of the sawmill and the planing mill that is not further manufactured other than by sawing, resawing, and passing lengthwise through a standard planing machine, crosscutting to length and matching. Boards are lumber less than 2 inches thick and 2 or more inches wide. Dimension lumber is hard lumber from 2 to, but not including, 5 inches thick and 2 or more inches wide.

matched lumber: Lumber that is depressed and shaped on one edge in a grooved pattern and on the other edge in a tongued pattern.

mil: Generally, all building materials made of finished wood and manufactured in mil plants and planing mills, but not flooring, ceiling, or siding.

miter joint: The joint of two pieces at an angle that bisects the joining angle. For example, the miter joint at the corner of a floor (90 degrees) is made at a 45-degree angle.

molding: A wood strip that has a curved or projecting surface that is used for decorative purposes.

mortise: A slot cut into a board, plank, or timber, usually edgewise, to receive the tenon of another board, plank, or timer to form a joint.

nonbearing wall: A wall that supports no load other than its own weight. notch A crosswise rabbet at the end of a board.

O.C. On center:: the measurement of spacing for studs, rafters, joists, and the like in a building from the center of one member to the center of the next.

paper, building: A general term for paper, felts, and similar sheet materials that are used in buildings without reference to their properties or uses.

parquet: Inlaid mosaic of wood, used especially for floors. Technically, a floor of parquetry or wood mosaics in individual or block pieces is called a parquet floor.

pier: A column of masonry, usually rectangular in horizontal cross section, that is used to support other structural members, such as flooring joists.

pitch pocket: An opening that extends parallel to the annual rings of growth that usually contain or have contained either solid or liquid pitch.

pith: The small, soft core at the original center of a tree around which wood formation takes place.

plywood: A piece of wood that is made of three or more layers of veneer that are joined with glue and usually laid with the grain of adjoining plies at right angles. Almost always an odd number plies are used to provide balanced construction.

pores: Wood cells of comparatively large diameter that have open ends and are set one above the other to form continuous tubes. The openings of the vessels on the surface of a piece of wood are referred to as pores.

quarter round: A small molding that has a cross section in the shape of a quarter circle.

rabbet: A rectangular longitudinal groove that is cut in the corner edge of a board or plank.

sapwood: The outer zone of wood that is next to the bark. In the living tree, it contains some living cells, as well as dead and dying cells. In most species, it is a lighter color than the heartwood. In all species, it is lacking in decay resistance.

screed: A small strip of wood that is laid under the flooring or subflooring and above a concrete slab to separate the two.

sealer: A finishing material, either clear or pigmented, that is usually applied directly over uncoated wood to seal the surface.

sleeper: Usually a wood member that is embedded in concrete, as in a floor, that serves to support and to fasten subflooring or flooring.

softwood: Wood from conifer trees such as Douglas fir, hemlock, and southern pine.

soil cover: A light covering of plastic film, roll roofing, or similar material that is used over the soil in crawl spaces to minimize moisture permeation of the area.

sole plate: The bottom horizontal member of a frame wall.

solid bridging: A solid member that is placed between adjacent floor joists near the center of the span to prevent the joists from twisting.

span: The distance between structural supports such as walls, columns, piers, beams, girders, and trusses.

story: The part of a building between any floor and the floor or roof above it.

stringer: A timber or other support for cross members in floors or ceilings.

strip flooring: Wood flooring that consists of narrow, matched strips, often of tongue-and-groove hardwood.

stud: One of a series of slender wood or metal vertical structural members that are placed as supporting elements in walls and partitions.

subfloor: Boards or plywood that are laid on joists over which a finish floor is to be laid.

termites: Insects that superficially resemble ants in size, general appearance, and habit of living in colonies. Hence, they are frequently called white ants. Subterranean termites establish themselves in buildings, not by being carried in with lumber, but by entering from ground nests after the building has been constructed. If unmolested, they eat out the woodwork and leave a shell of wood to conceal their activities. Damage may proceed so far as to cause the collapse of parts of a structure before discovery There are about 56 species of termites known in the United States, but the two major ones, classified by the manner in which they attack wood, are ground-inhabiting or subterranean termites (the most common) and dry-wood termites, which are found almost exclusively along the extreme southern border and the Gulf of Mexico in the United States.

termite shield: A shield, usually of non-corrodible metal, that is placed in or on a foundation wall or other mass of masonry or around pipes to prevent the passage of termites.

toe-nailing: To drive a nail at a slant with the initial surface in order to permit it to penetrate into a second member.

tongue-and-groove: Boards or planks that are machined in such a manner that there is a groove on one edge and a corresponding tongue on the other. The most popular dressing joint for hardwood flooring. Also known as dressed and matched.

trim: The finish materials in a building, such as baseboards or cornice moldings, that are applied around openings or at the floor and ceiling of rooms.

turpentine: A volatile oil that is used as a thinner in paints and as a solvent for varnishes. Chemically, a mixture of terpenes.

underlayment: A material that is placed under finish coverings, such as flooring or shingles, to provide a smooth, even surface for applying the finish.

vapor barrier: Material that is used to retard the movement of water vapor into floors and walls and to prevent condensation in them. It is usually considered as having a perm value of less than 1.0 and is applied separately over the warm side of exposed walls or as a part of batt or blanket insulation.

varnish: A thickened preparation of drying oil or drying oil and resin that is suitable for spreading on surfaces to form continuous, transparent coatings or for mixing with pigments to make enamels.

vehicle: The liquid portion of a finishing material; it consists of the binder and volatile thinners.

veneer: Thin sheets of wood that are made by rotary cutting or slicing a log. Hardwood veneers are often used for flooring.

volatile thinner: A liquid that evaporates readily and is used to thin or reduce the consistency of finishes without altering the relative volumes of pigments and nonvolatile vehicles.

wane: Bark, or the lack of wood from any cause, on the edge or corner of a piece of wood.

wood rays: Strips of cells that extend radially within a tree and vary in height from a few cells in some species to 4 inches or more in oak. The rays serve primarily to store food and to transport it horizontally in the tree.


top of page   home

Thursday, 2020-02-27 11:44