Lions Flooring Glossary

Use the flooring glossary below to learn about flooring terms and their meanings.

Use the menu below to jump to the lettered section.

A | Lions Floor

Above-Grade Level
A suspended floor located above the surface of the ground, over a well-ventilated air space with at least 18 inches between the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member and any point of the ground. An above-grade subfloor is normally over a basement or a crawl space.

The act of allowing wood moisture content to become at equilibrium with the environment in which it will perform (See EMC, Equilibrium Moisture Content)

The sounds of floor traffic and dropped objects are important when considering types of flooring materials. The cushioning of impacts reduces the generation of airborne sound within the room and the level of sound that can be transmitted to adjacent areas. It also minimizes the transmission of impact-generated, structure-borne noises throughout the building. In multifamily dwellings, the transmission of impact-generated noise is of primary concern. Resilient flooring, in general, "give" under the impact of footsteps, dropped objects and rolling loads. The resilience helps to reduce traffic noise. In comparison with other hard-surfaced flooring (wood, marble, ceramic, concrete, metal), resilient floors are low noise producers.

The property that causes one material to stick to another. Adhesion is affected by the condition of the surface to be coated and by the closeness of contact, as well as by the molecular forces of the unlike substances. Thus, the surface should allow a certain amount of penetration, should be chemically clean and not too smooth, hard or nonporous for good adhesion.

Adhesive Bleeding
Undesired migration of materials in the adhesive to the surface of the floor between flooring joints.

American Society of Testing Materials - sets testing standards for a variety of materials including resilient flooring. Also American Standard Testing Methods.

B | Lions Floor

Incapable of being troweled satisfactorily, the adhesive "balls up" under the trowel, and is usually due to a dusty or dirty substrate. May also occur when the adhesive has been frozen.

Base Shoe
A molding designed to be attached to baseboard molding to cover expansion space. It is the alternative to a quarter-round in profile.

The finished exposed board around the wall at the floor.

Below-Grade Level
Below ground level partially or completely below the surrounding ground level and in direct contact with the ground or with fill which is in direct contact with the ground. Presence of moisture is assumed, and the subfloor must be tested to determine the moisture level.

Beveled Edge
The chamfered or beveled edge of strip flooring, plank, block and parquet. See Eased Edge.

The offer or proposal of any contractor to the architect, owner or general contractor to furnish material and/or labor for one or more parts of a building.

Biophilic Design
Biophilic design seeks to reconnect building occupants to nature. Flooring contributes to biophilic design by replicating colors and textures found in nature, and by the sustainable attributes of the flooring itself.

a.) Undesired migration of materials in an adhesive to the surface of the floor between tile joints. May be caused by moisture in subfloor, not enough open time, too much adhesive, solvent removers in the subfloor, or the use of no-rinse strippers within the first two years of the installation.

A raised spot on the surface of a floor similar in shape to a blister on human skin. How soon after installation a blister develops can help determine the cause. Blisters that occur within a few hours are usually due to a concentration of trapped air. Blisters that occur at a later time often indicate the presence of moisture in the substrate.

The formation of bubbles or pimples on the surface of finished work. It is caused by exposure to excessive heat, grease or other volatile material under the finish, by moisture in the wood or by the too frequent application of coats. Anything that causes a gas or vapor to form under the film may cause blistering.

Bond Test
A 72-hour test to determine if resilient flooring can be adhered to the subfloor with the recommended adhesive. The test determines whether the adhesive is compatible with the subfloor. It can also detect the presence of moisture. Bond testing determines the compatibility of adhesive with sealers, curing agents and other foreign matter and determines the necessity of their removal.

a) The adherence of one material to another. b) The adhesion between two dissimilar materials.

The distortion of vinyl plank in which there is a deviation, in a direction perpendicular to the flat face, from a straight line from end to end of the piece.

A specific type of warping when a vinyl plank has a curvature from end to end, flat wise, from a straight line.

C | Lions Floor

Chalk Line
Usually a cotton cord coated with chalk. The cord is pulled taunt and snapped to mark a straight line. The chalk line is used to align spots, screeds and tiles.

See particleboard.

Closed Specification
An architect's specification for one manufacturer's material only.

Exposure to strong sunlight may affect the performance and appearance of some types of resilient floors by causing fading, shrinking or blistering. There is an ASTM test for Colorfastness.

Combination Base & Shoe
A dual purpose molding that is 2" high and extends out from the wall 3/4" at the toe and is 78" long. Prefinished or unfinished available.

Commercial Flooring
Floors designed for installation in commercial settings such as schools, hospitals, public buildings and institutions. Also referred to as contract flooring.

Concrete Floor Moisture

Moisture conditions may exist which will forewarn of possible moisture problems Concrete floor moisture - Concrete floors directly in contact with the ground are never completely dry. Also, the moisture content of new concrete is high, regardless of grade levels. Resilient floors may be seriously affected when installed directly over wet concrete. This can cause an installation failure.

Concrete Sealer
Sealers are normally a finish coating used to protect concrete floors from traffic and surface cleaning and should not be used when the slab is intended as a substrate for resilient flooring. Sealers are designed to prevent water and dirt from getting into the concrete from the surface and render the concrete less porous. Sealers may interfere with the bond adhesives, and a bond test should always be run.

Conductive Flooring
A floor designed to carry off built-up static electricity and reduce the risk of explosion in potentially explosive environments.

Cove Base
Usually made of vinyl or rubber in a variety of sizes and shapes, cove base is designed to give a finished appearance between the floor and the wall. Check to see the base meets requirements of ASTM F 1861, Standard Specification for Resilient Wall Base.

A trim piece having one edge with a concave radius. A cove is used to form a junction between the bottom wall course and the floor.

A convex or crowned condition or appearance of individual strips with the center of the strip higher than the edges. The opposite of cupping.

A concave or dished appearance of individual strips with the edges raised above the center. The opposite of crowning. There is an ASTM Test for this.

Cutback Adhesives
Refers to asphalt adhesives which have been liquefied with petroleum solvents. When the lighter fractions are boiled away from petroleum oil, the thick residue left is asphalt. To make it fluid again, solvent is added and the asphalt is "cut back." This requires a chemical abatement.

D | Lions Floor

Damp Mopping
This procedure involves the removal of fine dust, grit and spills from the floor surface with a mop dampened with a neutral detergent solution. Performed daily, this procedure helps to control grit and can reduce time and money spent on more intensive maintenance procedures. Key Word is “Damp”.

Any abnormality lowering the value of a product no matter why, when, or how it developed.

A variation in the position or shapes of a structure or structural element because of loads or volume change; usually measured as a linear deviation from an established plan rather than an angular variation.

The separation of layers in an engineered/laminate through failure within the adhesive or at the bond between adhesive and laminate.

A heavy artificial texture in which the floor has been scraped, scratched or gouged to give it a timeworn antique look. A common method of distressing is wire brushing.

The ability of the wear layer to withstand the conditions or destructive agents with which it comes in contact in actual usage, without an appreciable change in appearance or other important properties.

E | Lions Floor

Ease Of Cleaning
Most dependent on the porosity of the surface that provides voids for dirt entrapment, presence of surface coatings, uniform coverage of the coating, and toughness of the surface coating to stand-up to wear and maintenance routines.

Eased Edge or Micro Bevel
A slight bevel in the plank to add visual separation of each plank when the floor is installed so it does not look like sheet vinyl.

Embodied Carbon
Embodied carbon -- or carbon footprint as it is commonly called -- measures greenhouse gases released from a product over its lifecycle, including during manufacturing.

A permanent multilevel surface of flooring produced by mechanical or chemical means during manufacturing. Embossing provides a three-dimensional appearance. It also prolongs finish retention matte/gloss because only the high points of the embossing receive surface abrasion.

End Joint
The place where two pieces of flooring are joined together end to end.

ESD Flooring
Electrostatic Dissipative flooring helps control static discharges in mission-critical environments, like clean rooms and computer rooms. We do not have this.

A preliminary cost figure prepared by contractors or others to give a job owner and/or architect a rough idea of the cost of a completed building

Expansion Joint
Separations between adjoining parts of a concrete slab allowing separate movement of the parts. They are usually filled with an elastomeric type of material. Expansion joints should never be filled with a cementitious underlayment product because any movement of the separate parts may cause the underlayment to break up and be pushed out of the joint. Resilient flooring should not be installed over this type of joint as cracking and buckling may occur. Expansion joint covers should be used instead.

Expansion Gap/Zone
An "air" space around the perimeter of a floor structure which allows for growth and expansion of the floor due to changes in environmental conditions.

F | Lions Floor

The loss of color due to exposure to light, heat or other destructive agents. There is an ASTM test for this.

Floor Machine Brush
A circular brush with the bristles of varying stiffness and abrasiveness, depending on whether it's to be used for scrubbing, buffing or stripping. Bristles are made of natural or synthetic fibers or grit-impregnated nylon. Always follow flooring manufacturer's guidelines for choosing the floor machine brush with the appropriate stiffness and abrasiveness.

Floor Machine Pad
A non-woven nylon, polyester, or natural fiber disc up to 1" thick. Each disc has various types and sizes of intertwined fibers, some of which may have grit particles bound to the fiber surface. Coarseness of the pad determines its use least coarse for buffing, with increasing coarseness for scrubbing and stripping. Pads are color-coded to designate their coarseness and use. Lighter-color pads tend to be less abrasive, with darker-color pads being the most abrasive. Pad manufacturer's generally follow these guidelines 1. Natural fiber for burnishing; 2. White for polishing; 3. Beige for buffing; 4. Red for spray-buffing and light scrubbing; 5. Blue or green (medium abrasive) for scrubbing and stripping; 6. Brown or black (extremely abrasive). There is a limit of RPM’s and pad types that should be used on LVP.

Floor Machine
A single-disc machine that can be equipped with either pads or brushes. It can be used for scrubbing, buffing and stripping.

The structural portion of a building or wall below the first floor construction, including the footings.

Freeze/Thaw Stable
An adhesive which is able to be frozen and thawed for a specified number of times without the emulsion breaking. When an adhesive is harmed by freezing, it is the handling characteristics which are affected. The adhesive becomes rubbery, stringy and thick, and is unable to be troweled or applied to the substrate.

Full Spread Installation
Spreading the adhesive over the entire substrate before placing the flooring.

G | Lions Floor

The nominal thickness of a flooring material or of a layer within the material. With resilient flooring, wear layer and backing gauge are often listed separately.

General Contractor
The "prime contractor" or major contractor, who, under the architect, is the firm in charge of any construction. The general contractor is responsible for the completion of all portions of the project which fall under his supervision and bases his bid for all the work under his direction on the bids provided him by the subcontractors. A general contracting firm may do a number of the major items in the job, i.e. masonry, carpentry, etc.,

The luster, shininess or reflecting ability of a surface.

A groove or cavity in the flooring surface accompanied by material removal and penetration below the immediate flooring surface.

The level of the subfloor in relation to the surrounding ground.

H | Lions Floor

Health Product Declaration (HPD)
An HPD is a reporting tool that standardizes the disclosures of all ingredients associated with making a product.

High-Speed Buffer
A floor machine designed for buffing and spray-buffing at speeds of 300 to 1100 rpm. (For machines in the 1100 to 2000 plus rpm range, see Ultra High-Speed buffer.)

The amount of water vapor in the air. See Relative Humidity.

Hydrostatic Pressure
Pressure which forces water up through a below-grade slab, generally causing installation problems due to moisture. This occurs when the water table is higher than the slab. Hydrostatic pressure is caused by the weight of the water pressing down on itself. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the cause of most problems with resilient flooring.

An instrument for measuring the degree of humidity or relative humidity of the atmosphere.

I | Lions Floor

Impact Insulation Class- IIC
IIC is the measurement of how well a product resists the direct transfer of an impact, over a wide frequency range, from an elevated floor to the room below.

Impact Loads
Impact loads are momentary indentations like those produced from walking traffic. These impact pressures are high (often as much as several thousand pounds per square inch), and the smaller or sharper the impact area, the more damaging the indentation. NOTE The extremely high forces exerted by high heels or spiked shoes (1,000 psi or more) may visibly damage Laminate, LVP, and other commercial floor coverings. See also Static Loads and Rolling Loads.

Impact Test
A test for determining the resistance to shattering of a dried film by dropping a weight onto the finish. There is an ASTM test for this.

The intensity of a color as seen by the eye.

J | Lions Floor

The side of a doorway, door frame or window.

The junction of precut surfaces butted together, such as tile or underlayment boards. Underlayment joints must be skim coated, so they do not telegraph through glue down LVP.

L | Lions Floor

Layout Lines
Lines chalked on a substrate to guide in accurately installing flooring.

(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design®) A green building rating system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 through a consensus-based process. LEED is a tool for buildings of all types and sizes. LEED certification offers third party validation of a project’s environmental features and verifies that the building is operating exactly the way it was designed to.

Long strings of adhesive developed between the flooring and the substrate as a result of the water evaporating or migrating from the adhesive. This is normally seen in rubber-based adhesives and is a desirable characteristic. It is important to remember that not all adhesives have legs and legs are not a necessary characteristic for good adhesion to occur.

A surface or line with all points at the same elevation. Horizontally straight.

The act of making a subfloor conform to ASTM standard of 3/16’ for every 10 Feet.

Low VOC= Volatile Organic Compounds
Complies with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1.2017 and/or the South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule #1168.

M | Lions Floor

Manufacturing Defects
Includes all defects or blemishes that are produced in manufacturing, gouges, dimensional deformities, variation in machining, machine burn, and mismatching. Dye Lot mismatch is NOT a manufacturing defect.

Mineral Spirits
A solvent product used as a thinner and/or cleaner.

Mitered Corners
A 45-degree angle cut in the flooring to create custom borders and insets. These cuts require that a new groove be cut and the vinyl plank back beveled prior to final installation.

Moisture Vapor Barrier
Usually a polyethylene film used to impede or block the transmission of water from the subfloor up to the flooring structure.

Different moldings are available; reducer strip, threshold, quarter round, stair nosing, combination base and shoe and T-Molding.

N | Lions Floor

Neutral Cleaner
A mild (pH of 6 to 8) detergent that does not contain any strongly alkaline materials, and is designed to remove soil, not floor polish.

O | Lions Floor

On Grade
At ground level or in direct contact with the ground, over fill which is in direct contact with the ground, or with less then 18" of well-ventilated space between the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member and any point of the ground. This is normally a floor which is on ground level with no basement or crawlspace beneath.

OP1 Free
Products are Ortho-Phthalate free, with the exception of recycled content.

Open Specification
This is a specification where the architect's requirements for material are stated but in which no specific manufacturer's product is listed. When a specification of this kind is written, the architect and/or the owner must approve material made by one or several manufacturers and then bids are made.

Open Time or Flash Time
Amount of time recommended for the adhesive to set before it is covered with the flooring. Open time is affected by temperature, humidity, and porosity of the slab/wood grade underlayment.

Having been living at one time (like petroleum, crude oil, coal, wood, etc.) or derived from living materials and/or containing carbon and hydrogen atoms; primarily relates to plastics being derived from petroleum.

Oriented Strand Board panels are constructed of strand-like wood particles arranged in layers (usually 3-5) oriented at right angles to each other. No longer used as an underlayment board for LVP because of telegraphing of the chip board through the vinyl plank.

P | Lions Floor

Petroleum Spirits
Another name for mineral spirits.

pH Value
The concentration of the hydrogen ion in a material. A pH value of 7 is considered neutral. Lower values are acidic; higher values are alkaline.

Phthalate Free
Products that are free of ortho-phthalates including DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIDP and DNOP.

A drawing representing a projection of any one of the floors or horizontal cross sections of a building or of the horizontal plane of any object or area.

Plasticizer Migration
The migration of the plasticizer in the flooring to the adhesive. This causes unwanted softening of the adhesive and may lead to release of the bond. Extreme, pressure, heat and moisture will speed up this process.

A fabricated wood board made of three or more separate plies or panels of wood veneer laid with grain of adjoining plies at right angles. The most dimensionally stable of wood underlayment boards, plywood is recommended for all applications of resilient flooring. Standards for acceptable underlayments for resilient floors are set by the APA. Suitable plywood underlayments are always stamped with the APA trademark.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)- Vinyl!
PVC is synthetic plastic made of chlorine (derived from industrial grade salt) and carbon (derived predominantly from oil/gas via ethylene). PVC is a very durable plastic. It has the lowest carbon footprint of any plastic and because it is a thermoplastic, cradle-to-cradle PVC is 100% recyclable. Any PVC which already contains recycled materials is not.

A matter which is porous or contains pores which can absorb liquid. Subfloors, which are porous, are normally concrete and wood.

Factory finished flooring that only requires installation and not to be sealed or stained. LVP is pre-finished.

Q | Lions Floor

Quarter Round
A molding, small in size, with the profile of a quarter circle. Frequently used as base molding for resilient flooring.

R | Lions Floor

Radiant-Heated Subfloor
A subfloor which also serves to heat an area. Generally, heating coils, pipes for warm/hot water or ducts are built into the subfloor. Resilient flooring may be installed over radiant-heated subfloors as long as the surface temperature does not exceed 85° F. When temperatures exceed this limit, the flooring can soften and increase the risk of indentation and expansion of the vinyl resulting in peaking.

Recycled Content
Product contains recycled content as defined by ISO 14021.

Reducer Strip
A teardrop shaped molding accessory for hardwood flooring, normally used at doorways, but sometimes at fireplaces and as a room divider. It is grooved on one edge and tapered or feathered on the other edge.

Relative Humidity
Ratio of the amount of water vapor present in the subfloor to that which the subfloor would hold at saturation at the same temperature. High RH can result in installation failure and will require a moisture barrier.

Rolling Loads
Loads carried on anything with wheels. The wheels serve as the main point of impact to the floor and this can result in high impact per square inch.

When recommended, roll in one direction and then roll in the cross direction to activate the bond in the adhesive.

S | Lions Floor

A mechanical means of roughing a surface to obtain a better bond.

Any finishing material that is applied with the primary purpose of stopping the absorption of succeeding coats.

Sealer-Wax Finishes
A combination of a sealer, generally varnish, with wax. Both the sealer and wax are normally burnished to enhance wear and appearance. Water spots and stains easily, but is simple to repair.

The degree of luster of the dried film of a finishing material.

Shelf Life
The period which the manufacturer guarantees the unopened adhesive will be useable. The date of manufacture is normally stamped somewhere on the adhesive container.

The detailed selections of the architect, covering all the material and labor methods to be used.

Spread Rate
The amount of coverage which can be expected from a given amount of adhesive when spread using the recommended trowel or nap roller. Spread rate will depend on porosity of sub-floor.

Stair Nosing
A molding designed for the purpose of trimming a stair landing or the border of an open room that adjoins a room that is a lower level. One side possesses a rounded nose. Available prefinished with urethane to blend with the floor or available unfinished.

Stair Risers
The vertical board under the tread in a set of stairs.

Stair Treads
The horizontal board which forms the "walking" portion of the set of stairs, or can be made to match LVT and sold as a trim piece.

Static Dissipative Flooring
Static-control flooring used extensively in the electronics industry to prevent damage to sensitive components.

Static Load Indentation Resistance
Ability to resist or bounce back from high load, small indenture exposure, like hospital beds, table legs, chair legs, stiletto heels, etc.

Static Loads
Static loads are any loads remaining in a stationary position for long periods of time. Static load limit values have been established to aid in the selection and protection of resilient flooring for use under these conditions, and these values are listed on each product page. There is an ASTM test for this.

Sound Transmission Class (STC) is the rating of airborne sound transmission. The STC of floor/ceiling (or wall) structure is a measure of the decibel difference between the airborne sound energy striking one side of the structure and the sound energy radiated into a receiving room on the other side. LVT will have little effect on airborne sound transmission between contiguous rooms

A floor laid as a base for underlayment, resilient floor covering or other finished flooring.

A smooth surface used beneath floor covering - such as concrete, underlayment, or existing resilient flooring.

T | Lions Floor

When the irregularities, imperfections, or patterns of the substrate are visibly transmitted through the flooring.

A molding designed for obtaining an expansion space up to 1/2" wide between two different floors or hard surface floors of the same thickness or as an internal expansion space for long spans with rigid core.

Traffic Wear and Durability
The durability of flooring products as related to traffic wear takes into consideration many factors. Abrasion resistance; Dynamic Loads rolling and sliding; and Static Loads standing loads (anything that makes contact to the floor and does not move like furniture/appliances/medical beds.

Transition Strip/Reducer
A trim piece which smoothly transitions a higher piece of flooring to a lower piece or vice versa, such as carpet tile to vinyl plank.

Baseboards, base shoe, stair nose, and quarter round, etc.

A hand tool with notches used for spreading adhesives onto the substrate. Trowels are recommended with notches which leave adhesive ridges of a size which will ensure complete contact with the flooring being installed. There a different types of notched trowels.

When incomplete bonding causes releasing from the substrate and long areas of the flooring forming tunnel-like deformities, usually over underlayment joints. This is why you skim coat these joints when using glue down LVP.

U | Lions Floor

Ultra High-Speed Buffer
Usually a single-disc buffer that operates in the 1100 to 2000 plus rpm range. Not good for LVP.

A procedure that removes the appropriate amount of trim around doors and passageways whereby allowing the floating floor to pass freely underneath.

A material placed under LVT to provide a suitable installation surface if necessary.

V | Lions Floor

Vapor Barrier
A material, such as foil, plastic film or specially coated paper, with a high resistance to vapor movement, used to control condensation or prevent migration of moisture

Vinyl Composition Tile
A resilient tile floor covering composed of binder, fillers and pigments compounded with suitable stabilizers and processing aides. This flooring is low cost, though maintenance is costly in the long run. Easy to sell against with LVP.

W | Lions Floor

Walk-Off Mat
A sheet of material placed at building entrances to remove gritty soil from the soles of shoes. Mats should be as wide as the doorway.

Wear Layer
The portion of a resilient floor covering that contains or protects the pattern and design exclusive of temporary finishes or maintenance coatings.

Deterioration caused from use. A diminishing from the accumulation of abrasion, gouging, scratching, and scuffing of the thickness of the flooring.

Working Time
When installing glue down LVP, this is the amount of time from the point when the adhesive is dry to the touch until the tile will no longer bond. Temperature, humidity and porosity of the subfloor affect working time.

Z | Lions Floor

Zero VOC
Adhesives with zero VOC’s.