This is a glossary of some of the common
floor terminology, to help you get a better
understanding of hardwood flooring.
Glossary of Common Engineered Flooring
Decor Layer: The top finish layer of a
laminate floating floor, adhered to an HDF core. The decor
surface is a photographic reproduction of a real-wood surface or
ceramic tile. The decor layer is covered with a top layer made
of aluminum oxide.
Engineered Floating Floor: A hard-surface
floor made from wood or other natural products adhered to a core
such as High-Density Fibreboard (HDF) for structural stability
and durability. An engineered floating floor is designed for
minimal expansion and contraction with changes in interior
temperature and humidity.
Expansion Gap: A gap (usually 3/8") that
must be left around the edges of a room and any installed
obstructions to allow for natural expansion and contraction in a
floating floor that occurs with changes in room temperature and
Floating Reducer: A sloping, graduated
moulding constructed of wood or polymer, used to join floating
floor planks or tiles to an adjoining floor surface of unequal
Floating Stair Nose: A moulding constructed
of wood or polymer, used along the leading edge of a stair tread
to finish off the installation of floating floor planks or tiles
over existing stair treads.
Glueless Floating Floor: Any engineered
floor that fastens in place without nails or glue over an
existing floor or subfloor.
High-Density Fibreboard (HDF): A
high-strength, engineered fibreboard designef for applications
where increased strength is needed. Made by compressing wood
fibres with resins under high pressure into an engineered
substrate. Often used as an engineeered floating floor core
material. HDF pressure is greater than 50 lbs. per cu. ft. or
800 kg per cubic metre.
Laminate: A hard-surface floorcovering made
with a melamine-impregnated decor layer with an aluminum oxide
finish layer, and a HDF core on top of a melamine backing layer.
Laminate floors have a high-resolution photo of wood on the top
layer whereas engineered wood floors have a top layer of real
Square Nose: A moulding constructed of wood
or polymer, used to trim floating floors along walls around the
perimeter of a room.
Subfloor: A pre-existing structural
supporting surface, such as plywood, waferboard or concrete.
T-Moulding: A T-shaped moulding constructed
of wood or polymer used to join floating floor tiles or planks
of the same height together in dorrways between rooms. Also used
in single large rooms where the distance is extreme and a
mid-way joint is required for proper stability of floating floor
tiles or planks.
Underlayment: Foam or other material such
as Cork (which is also used as a sound barrier) and laid over an
existing floor or subfloor. Floating floor planks or tiles are
installed on top of the underlayment material.
Uniclic Joint: The joint system patented by
Unilin Decor of Belgium. A glueless tongue-and-groove design
milled to tolerances of 1/1000" in which the lower lip exerts
constant pressure at a 45-degree angle on the tongue, holding it
in place by constant pretension.
Wear Layer: The finish layer of an
engineered floating floor such as Hardwood, Cork or Linoleum,
adhered to an HDF core. A wear layer may be natural or stained
with a finish colour. The wear layer is usually coated by a top
layer of urethane.
Wear Resistance: The ability of the surface
protection (such as aluminum oxide or urethane) that has been
applied to either the decor layer or the wear layer, to
withstand normal traffic.