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Hardwood | Glossary

The adaptation of the laminate floor to its installation environment.

Beveled Edge
Planks that have a very distinctive, deep v-groove.

Board Foot  
Unit of measurement of lumber represented by a board 1 foot long, 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick or its cubic equivalent. 

Designs which frame or customize a hardwood flooring installation.

A twist of the grain of the wood that usually occurs near a knot.

A barbed fastener commonly used to fasten hardwood flooring.

Colour Change
Visual change in the colour of a wood species caused by light exposure, light deprivation of light or air, and sometimes from chemical reaction.

Dimensional Stability
The ability to maintain its dimensions when influenced by an exterior substance, such as moisture.  Where there are changes in moisture below the fiber saturation point, engineered hardwood is more dimensionally stable than solid wood.

An artificial texture applied to a floor by scraping, scratching or gouging to give a floor a worn or antique look.

The ability of wood or finish to withstand the environmental conditions it is exposed to in everyday use, without an appreciable change in its appearance.

Eased Edge or Micro-Bevel
Planks that have a slight beveled edge, or shallow v-groove.

End Joint
Where two pieces of hardwood flooring are joined together – end to end.

Engineered Hardwood
Wood made of a thin layer of solid hardwood glued or laminated onto a core board such as plywood or high density fiberboard to make the planks of flooring.  Due to its construction, engineered hardwood is more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood when being installed below grade and over a concrete subfloor.

Environmentally/Eco friendly
Also, known as “Green Friendly”, refers to products, processes, services, laws, guidelines and policies that cause minimal or no harm to our ecosystems. Okanagan Hardwood was the first hardwood flooring company to introduce the innovative “Dust Free Sanding System”, a process that reduces the dust created by sanding to 98%.

Expansion Spacing
The amount of space that is left at the baseboard to allow for expansion.

The coating applied to hardwood floors which provides durability.  Many types of finishes are available – water-based, oil-based, UV protection, anti-slip – and available in all sheen levels from high gloss to matte.

Flat Sawn
Also known as “Plain Sawn”, the wood is cut in long planks where the rings run parallel to the board. 

Floating Floor
A hardwood floor that does not need to be nailed of glued to a subfloor.  For a standard tongue and groove, the wood is floated by applying a bead of glue into the groove and then inserting the tongue of the next board.  Some engineered hardwood floors have a locking system, or click-lock, instead of tongue and groove, so no glue is needed for assembly. 

Floor Protectors
There are many types of floor protectors – from formed discs that table and chair legs rest upon to distribute the weight of the furniture evenly, to replaceable felt pads used to provide a soft surface against finished hardwood floors, preventing scratching when the furniture is moved.

Forest Stewardship Council
A non-profit organization that was established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.  FSC Certification is given to companies that practice forestry consistent with the standards set out by the Forest Stewardship Council, such as environmental responsibility, economic viability and social responsibility.

Refers to the alignment of fibres in the wood which designate the pattern seen on the flooring.

Prime Grade is the highest grade of wood flooring as it is fairly uniform in appearance and has very little discolouration or knotsSelect Grade contains some knots, mineral streaks and colour variation. 

Natural Grade has larger knots, mineral streaks and colour variation. 

Rustic Grade has the most knots, mineral streaks and colour variation.

Distinctive patterns scraped into hardwood planks for a unique and rustic look.

High density fibreboard
The core board used to make engineered hardwood.

Janka Hardness Scale
Rates the hardness for wood species.  Determined by the amount of force used to drive a .444-inch steel ball into a plank of wood that is .222 inches in diameter.

Small ovals, outlined with resin which stand out from the grain.   

Micro Bevel Edge
Similar to the design of a bevel edge, but with a shallow “v” shaped groove.

Mineral Streak
Created by sap in the wood, causing streaks in the wood.

Moisture Content
The amount of moisture in hardwood boards is measured by hand held meters to determine if boards are dry enough for the installation to proceed. 

Flush, T-mould, Base, Quarter Round, Threshold, Stairnose – there are many different types used for transitions between wood floors and other surfaces, edging and for softening the transition in front of a wall base.

The National Wood Flooring Association is a non-profit trade association that represents all segments of the hardwood flooring industry.  Provides training and resources, and certifies professionals. Okanagan Hardwood Flooring is a long-term member of the NWFA.

Geometric patterns of inlaid wood, sometimes made up of contrasting woods.

A layer of wood, used in the description of engineered hardwood flooring.

Each log is sawed at a radial angle into four quarters, and then each quarter is then plain sawn.  The result is a straight grain pattern that is visually attractive, and dimensionally stable. 

Radiant Heat
A system of heating installed under flooring.

Reclaimed Wood
Wood used in hardwood flooring that has been salvaged from old structures such as schoolhouses and barns – unique, and containing its own history, reclaimed timbers are very popular.

Sanding a wood floor, in varying degrees, in order to apply new layers of finish.  Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished many times.

Site Finished
Hardwood floors that are finished at the installation site. 

Refers to the type of tree where a hardwood floor board comes from.  Usually divided into Exotic and Domestic species, depending on the location where the species grows.

Strip Flooring
Boards that are less than 3 inches in diameter.

A structural layer that provides support for a floor covering that is installed upon it.

Ultraviolet light that can affect certain wood species.  UV window films can protect your floor and furnishings by blocking up to 99% of the UV rays.  There are UV protective qualities in certain finishing products, which help to protect hardwood floors.

Layer of material installed over a subfloor before laying down a hardwood floor.

Thin layer of real hardwood glued to a core board in the creation of engineered flooring.

Wide Plank
Usually, any floor board that is 4 inches or wider.  Many manufacturers qualify wide plank as a board that is 6 inches or more in width.  

Wood Grain
The lines that naturally appear in hardwood – produced by the sawing pattern used.