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Flooring advice
A-Z of Flooring Terms
May 1st, 2020

Ever wondered what the difference is between stair nosing and scotia? What an AC rating or click system is? You’ll find all these and more explained in our A-Z guide of all the flooring terms you need to know...


5G Click System

5G is an advanced click flooring system, relying on a locking profile for fast and simple DIY installation. 5G Click uses a plastic widget on the short edge to provide a robust joint on all sides that can be simply pushed down into place with ease.

5GS and 5GC Click System

The latest evolutions in click system technology, as well as a locking profile on the long edge, 5GS and 5GC Click use an advanced version of the widget used in 5G for enhanced stability.

AC rating

The Abrasion Class (AC) ratings range from AC1 to AC5; they indicate how durable the flooring is. AC1, AC2 and AC3 are common in homes, along with AC4 and AC5 which are also suitable for commercial use. The AC rating is applied to all laminate and vinyl flooring.

Ash

Similar in appearance to oak, ash wood flooring is slightly lighter and harder than oak.

Authentic surface

Found on laminate and luxury vinyl floors, authentic surface is a textured layer that replicates wood grain or stone for added realism.

Bathroom-ready

If a floor is bathroom-ready it has water-resistant and slip-resistant surfaces. These floors are ready to take on the demands of bathroom use. Shop all bathroom floors here.

Brushed

Found on real wood floors, brushed finish highlights the natural grain of the wood.

Carpet grippers

Also known as gripper rods, these are long, thin pieces of wood installed at the edge of the room. Covered in nails, they hold carpets in place to ensure they don’t more and are kept tidy. Shop all carpet accessories here.

Click System

Fast and simple for DIY installation, a click system has a locking profile on the long edge that easily clicks into place. You’ll find a click system on laminate, luxury click vinyl, and some engineered wood floors.

Commercial use

With super-strong construction and the enhanced durability of wear layers, commercial use floors are suitable for shops, offices, hotels, and other commercial spaces. Look out for an AC rating of AC4 or AC5 for the highest level of durability.

DIY-ready

DIY-ready floors are easy to install without the need for a professional fitter. If you’re looking at DIYing your new flooring yourself, we have video tutorials on how to install click-fitengineered wood, laminate, and luxury click vinyl.

Door profile

Usually made of metal or wood, a door profile joins two floors when they meet in a doorway. They are available in a wide range of finishes and for each different flooring combination. You can view our full range of door profiles here.

Easy-clean

Easy-clean floors have a specialist surface that’s perfect for busy lifestyles. Spills and marks are easy to wipe away.

End profile

End profiles are normally used in commercial settings to define where the floor stops. View our full range of end profiles here.

Engineered wood

Engineered wood flooring is made up of layers of real wood, as opposed to a single piece of solid wood. These floors can be sanded back and refinished to maintain its appearance over decades.

Expansion

Floors naturally expand and shrink slightly over time with changing room temperatures. When fitting, be sure to leave the appropriate expansion gap. To do this, you can use edge spacers or flooring off-cuts when fitting. Expansion gaps are covered by skirting board or scotia.

Invisible Oiled

An invisible oiled coating creates lasting protection while letting wood floor’s natural beauty shine through while maintaining its natural matte texture.

Knots

Knots in real wood flooring are dark circles that occur naturally in anything made from real wood. They do not affect the strength or durability of the plank.

Lacquered

A lacquered finish offers excellent durability and resistance to stains and marks on real wood floors.

Laminate

Laminate is a cost-effective alternative to real wood and features a textured surface that looks and feels like real wood.

Luxury click vinyl (LVT)

Luxury click vinyl is a 100% waterproof flooring with the natural appearance of wood or stone. This flooring can be easily fitted by even novice DIYers. To see how easy it is to fit yourself, check out our installation guide.

Luxury glue down vinyl

Luxury glue down vinyl is secure and resilient. This floor has all the benefits of luxury click vinyl but requires a professional or a keen DIYer with experience using adhesive to fit to ensure longevity.

Matte Lacquered

Matte Lacquered is a durable flooring finish with a matte texture preserves the floor’s natural beauty with a modern matte finish. A stain-resistant coating for busy homes found on real wood floors.

Mineral streaks

Mineral streaks in wood floors are dark marks caused by different minerals that the tree absorbed from its environment when it was growing. No two are ever the same, even in boards from the same tree.

Nature

A wood grain with natural variation, limited mineral streaks, occasional sapwood, and small and medium-sized knots. A classic look in real wood floors.

Oak

Oak is an extremely hard, durable material for flooring that’s also resistant to insect and fungal attacks. It’s not commonly known for warping or splitting.

Oiled

An oiled floor offers a natural appearance with minimal sheen. Found as a coating on real wood, it’s ideal for creating a classic look in the home.

Pet-friendly

If a floor is classed as “pet-friendly” it offers enhanced durability, designed to stand up to the paws, spills, and accidents of pets. Most commonly a feature associated with laminate and vinyl flooring.

PU coating

Also called a polyurethane coating, this additional layer is applied on top of the patterned wear layers of certain floors to make it easier to wipe up spills and helps to prevent stains.

Rigid core vinyl

A luxury vinyl tile with a resilient 70% limestone core. This 100% waterproof flooring is perfect for DIYers thanks to its easy click installation. Rigid core is unique in its suitability for conservatories thanks to its ability to withstand surface temperatures of up to 60°C. For more information about rigid core vinyl, read our dedicated post

Rustic

A grade of real wood flooring with a lively wood pattern, a swirling grain, and deep colour variation. Features small mineral streaks, sapwood, and knots of all sizes to create a naturally rustic look on floors made of real wood.

Sapwood

Wood is categorized as sapwood or heartwood, depending on the formation and location within the tree. Sapwood is lighter in colour and is formed within the outer layers of a tree

Scotia

Scotia is a thin and decorative piece of wood or metal used to cover your new floors’ expansion gap. Scotia can be used on its own or with skirting board. Shop our scotia range here.

Select

A grade of wood with a grain of little variation in appearance and no sapwood; giving less pronounced colour changes. With minimal pinhole knots, these real wood floors create a clean, contemporary look.

Sheet vinyl

Versatile and practical, water resistant sheet vinyl (also known as cushioned vinyl or rolled vinyl) can be loose laid up to a certain m², depending on the particular floor chosen. Sheet vinyl is cut to the desired length directly from the roll.

Shrinkage

Floors made of natural materials (such as wood) naturally shrink and expand slightly over time with changing temperatures.

Skirting

Usually wooden, skirting board covers the bottom of your wall. It hides the expansion gap and join where the floor meets the wall. Available in a variety of colours and styles, view and shop our entire range of skirting boards here.

Smoothed

A smoothed surface on solid or engineered wood floors that is sanded for a smooth finish.

Solid wood

A solid wood floor is made of a single, solid piece of real wood. This differs from engineered wood floors as those boards are constructed in layers. Solid wood floors can be sanded back and refinished to maintain its appearance over decades.

Stair nosing

Stair nosing is a thin strip of wood which is added to hardwood floors on stairs to join when they meet at a right angle. Shop stair nosing here.

T-profile

T-profiles are used with all types of flooring to make the transition between two floors easy and elegant. Usually found in either gold or silver metal, or with a wood effect.

Tongue & Groove (T&G)

Tongue & Groove (T&G) is a traditional fixing method that uses glue or nails on each flooring plank to ensure a secure join. Found often on solid and some engineered wood floors, this type of fixing is recommended for professional installation. You can find our full T&G floors here.

Underfloor heating compatible

If a floor is underfloor heating compatible, it has been tested by the manufacturer to be safe with water-based or electric underfloor heating systems - under their guidelines. Floors that are compatible with underfloor heating will usually include a guide as to the maximum surface temperature they can safely reach before causing any damage.

Underlay

Underlay is a layer of cushioning made of materials such as sponge, foam, or even recycled plastic. Different underlay is recommended for different floors and offer varying benefits. They also come in varying thicknesses that will change the feel of your floor underfoot. Underlay is not normally fixed or glued to the subfloor. You can shop our full range of underlay here.

UV Oiled

A floor that has been UV oiled has a protective coating which penetrates the wood’s surface to enhance the grain and leave the wood with a natural matte texture.

Warranty

Guaranteed quality for a set period under normal domestic use, as per the manufacturer’s terms and conditions.

Waterproof

Waterproof floors are suited to most rooms in the home but their best qualities shine through in bathrooms, kitchens, and utilities. Waterproof flooring is a safe choice for rooms that may be subjected to a lot of moisture or spillages. These floors offer a lasting protection.

Water-resistant

Ideal for bathrooms and kitchens, water-resistant floors are safe from spills and water up to the number of hours indicated. These floors are not completely waterproof and will only be safe from water damage for the period each time stated.

Wax Oiled

Penetrates wood’s surface for lasting protection and enhances the grain and natural beauty. A silky-smooth matte finish which develops character over time.

Wear layer

The wear layer is the top surface layer of flooring that provides durability and stain and scratch resistance. Found on all floors in varying thicknesses. The wear layer on solid and engineered wood floors can be sanded back and re-varnished several times.

Now you know all the flooring terms you could possibly need to, start shopping for your new floor!