Laminate Flooring Glossary J-O

Posted on Sep 2nd 2014 Posted by David — Comments ↓

More of the growing glossary of Laminate Floor terminology.     Laminate Glossary A-B Laminate Glossary C Laminate Glossary D Laminate Glossary E-G Laminate Glossary H-I Laminate Glossary J-O Laminate Glossary P-R Laminate Glossary S Laminate Glossary T Laminate Glossary U-the end    

Laminate Flooring Glossary of Terms: J-O

JIS/JAS – The Japanese Formaldehyde Adhesive Emission Standards - Along with the American (CARB) and European rating systems for formaldehyde, the other well used one is the Japanese standard used for any building materials. They measure based on how many micrograms are emitted per square meter of material within an hour. A microgram is a millionth of a gram. Micrograms (μg) per meter squared hour (m2h). μg/m2h. I really had to search to unravel that odd measurement. The ratings basically come down to a star system, 1-4 of them with 1 noting the most emissions and 4 noting the least. Here's how they fall:

F**** – The emission rate for formaldehyde is below 5 μg/m2h. In Japan these materials may be used without restriction. F*** – Formaldehyde emissions fall between 5 and 20 μg/m2h . These are called Type 3 formaldehyde–emitting building materials and have restrictions for use. F** – Here the emissions are above 20 and up to 120 μg/m2h. These are also restricted, called Type 2 formaldehyde–emitting building materials. F* – Materials with this rating have emission rates that exceed 120 μg/m2h. In Japan these materials may not be used in construction. They're Type 1 formaldehyde–emitting building materials, not at all "green".


Joist - Effectively, this is what holds your room up, or a set of them do. Joists are the strongest, most basic building blocks of the floor, big, solid beams, a series of which are laid down parallel to one another beam to support floors or ceilings. On top of these will be laid a subfloor, a series of planks, some large, flat boards or concrete, and atop that the part of the floor you walk on, the floor 'covering' which can be laminate, hardwood, vinyl or what have you.

Laminate - A product made by laying plastic or another protective material over a flat surface. You end up with a flat material, hard or flexible. Technically this would be the top layer of a laminate floor board, but in this industry it also becomes the short way of referring to laminate flooring.

Laminate Flooring - It's a flooring product usually designed to resemble hardwood flooring. The material used to frequently contain plastics and resins, but that is no longer the tendency. The core material is usually made of wood fibers and particles formed into a board through heat and pressure. The top surface is a photographic image protected by a wear layer, usually aluminum oxide. Laminate floors are more durable than hardwoods (you can walk over them in your high heeled shoes, for example) and can be installed in more places than solid. They are also not limited to looking like wood.

They can look like tile, stone, heck they could look like a bunch of Mr. Spocks if someone thought that would sell well enough to produce them.

Laminated Plank Flooring - There are laminate tiles, but 99% of laminate floors are planks, so see above and just add the word 'plank'.

Laminated Wood - Aside from the very general 'Any piece of wood that has been laminated with something' this is also another way some people refer to laminate flooring.

Light Resistance - (see 'colorfastness' above)

Low Gloss - The industry term for this is 'matte', for surfaces that are deliberately not shiny, or glossy.

Here's a very nice low gloss flor, on eof our favorite customer photos.Here's a very nice low gloss floor, one of our favorite customer photos.

Low pressure laminate - These are laminate floors produced by being molded and cured at pressures close to 400 pounds per square inch. High pressure laminates use three times as much pressure in production.

Major Brand - We are a special deals place. Sometimes the conditions of our selling something at such a low price is that we are not allowed to cite the brand name on our website – they're still trying to sell it on theirs at full price, you see. So we call it a "Major Brand". How can you crack this code? Easy. Just search online for the name of the product, for example "Iron Mountain Vinyl Plank Flooring," and include the last 4 or 5 digits of our SKU code from that product's own page. So in my example you would add "66179" into the search box. We keep that part of their code because it's on the cartons, and it helps us make sure to get the right stuff out our doors to you. If you search for those, the same products should come up with their official brand names (and prices) from other dealers and the manufacturers.

Manufacturing Defects - These are defects or blemishes that don't come from a transportation mishap or misuse of an installed floor, but tie directly back to the manufacturing process. With a laminate floor they will be major things like banana boards (listed above) or uninstallable planks due to mis-manufactured locking mechanisms. Other issues would be the kinds that can appear on some planks in a second quality laminate floor, illustrated in the linked video.

Matte Finish - see 'Low Gloss' above, though in reality this is the proper term for it.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) - This is similar to High Density Fiberboard but made with less pressure and in some cases softer fibers. Typically the density falls between 500 and 1000 kg/m3, or 31 to 61 lbs/ft3.

Melamine Resin - It's a hard plastic, a thermosetting material used in kitchen utensils and plates, the ones that aren't microwave safe. When resins are used in the production of laminate flooring, this is usually the one employed.

Modern Style Laminates - What this means is 'whatever is trending', so we can't lay out a specific set of styles and features. When you shop for laminate flooring, this is the category where you will find the newly popular.

Moisture Barrier - This is used atop the subfloor, under the laminate flooring, where moisture buildup would be an issue, say over concrete. These come in nice, large rolls. If your laminate comes with attached padding, any moisture barrier needs would not be met because there would be a gap where the planks meet. On the other hand, almost all padding intended for laminates automatically comes with the moisture barrier component.

Moisture Content - It's the amount of water in any material. It is usually given as a percentage, specifically of the dry weight of the material. With flooring we aren't usually concerned with the content of the laminate so much as that of the subfloor.

Moisture Meter - A professional, usually expensive tool used to very specifically measure moisture content. If you hear your installers talking about pin type or pinless meters, or the Tramex Moisture Encounter or a calcium chloride test, this is what they're talking about.

Moisture Resistance - This is different from water resistance. A water resistant floor is going to keep sitting water from absorbing into the material. Moisture resistant material is also going to resist soaking in humidity, the moisture in the air.

MSRP - This is the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. That's the technical definition. Colloquially it means "Never, never, never pay more than this amount, and even this is probably too high."

Off-Goods - This does not mean or in any way connect with 'knock off goods'. To be honest, I thought this was just one of our little words, but I found that at least one of our manufacturers uses it too. With us it means anything we buy as a close-out, a factory second, an overrun in production, a discontinued item or other similar things, products you would expect to find at an outlet store. With Armstrong floors it means any material they produce that does not meet their specific 1st Quality grade standard for that particular product. These can be things that would be a defect in any floor, or things that don't happen to meet a particular product's desired look.

Overlay - With laminate flooring this is the top layer of the finished plank, a coating that goes over the image itself. It's also called the wear layer, and it's job is to keep your floor from wearing out as you walk and live on it

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David is has written and made videos about flooring products and installation since 2011 at Floors To Your Home (.com), where he is also the PPC Manager, a Researcher, a Website & Marketing Strategy Team member, Videographer, Social Strategist, Photographer and all around Resource Jito. In my spare time I shoot and edit video, put together a podcast, explore film history, and mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’). Connect with  W. David Lichty


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