More from an in-the-works full glossary of Laminate Floor terminology. It's tough to divide these last three because there's so much T, but not a lot of S or After T. So this will be the first of three short posts that are the last of what will ultimately be one, really long one in the Learning Center. 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: S
Scratch Resistant - This refers to the fact that, or how much, a laminate is able to not be scratched by scratchy things. Most laminates will list this term as a quality, meaning that the laminate does this. There is not a rating for how scratch resistant a laminate floor is.
Seam - Anywhere two planks connect together, that's a seam, whether beveled and obvious or glossy, smooth and flat.
Second Quality - This is similar to 'off goods' above, sometimes a synonym. When a factory produces a laminate floor, they have sets of specifications the final product must meet, and if a certain plank doesn't, but is still installable, it becomes a 'second'. We have a video called What are Laminate Flooring Seconds, and How Do I Get a Great Floor? which we filmed at a house where these were being installed. We show the planks and the process we used to get the finished floor to look like this at about ¼ the normal price for this flooring.
Shoe Base – see Base Shoe. Same thing, it just depends on who's speaking. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.
Skirting board - see baseboard. For the explanation see Shoe Base.
Single Plank - This is a style of laminate flooring where each plank is designed to look like a single board, vs. styles where a plank of laminate may look like it has two or more boards already together in the long direction. We have pictures of these different styles under Plank Design above.
SKU – Are you ready? "Storage Keeping Unit"! That's what that means. SKU stands for storage keeping unit. It is any individual place or business's code for any particular thing, separate from the thing's own code, such as a UPC code or a manufacturer's code. It is often pronounced 'skew', though I prefer the rarely used 'skoo' myself. Ess-kay-yoo is the way our customer service people should say it to you since it's such an insider term, but you can say any of these to us and we should know what you mean.
Smooth Surface - This means that the surface is not textured. There is no distressing or hand-scraping texture to these. They can be high gloss or matte, any level of shine.
Species (with laminates) - The species designation is usually used for hardwood, where a particular species of tree is made into the boards. There are not actual species of laminates, but since they can look like hardwood, the designation can tell you what type of wood was used for the image. This way if you're looking at a product called Winter's Bone, you can see that it is a stylized pine, for instance.
SQFT - The abbreviation for Square Feet. That's the measurement by which most flooring is sold. It comes from taking the measurements of the length and the width of your floor area and multiplying them. A 10' x 10' room has 100 sqft of flooring. If you have a 12' x 16' room you have 192 sqft. 1' x 1'? You'd have one square foot of flooring. One. Who has a room like that? No one. That's called a clothes hamper.
Square Edge - This is one of the two main types of designs for the edges of your planks, in which they link together snugly and smoothly, forming an undisturbed flat surface across the seam. With the other, 'beveled', an angle is cut so that as planks meet they form a V shaped notch, emphasizing the outlines of each plank.
Stabilizing layer – This is the bottom of a laminate plank, a structural, hard layer that attaches to the bottom of the core board and gives it extra strength. In combination with the top layers it balances, or stabilizes, the plank.
Stain Resistance - This is a nice one, because aside from just water, the biggest non-violent issue with a floor is the spilling of something like wine or, you know, blood. Most floors are going to stain, older carpets especially, some vinyls, many woods depending on the finish used – but laminate handles these things quite well. The standard surface coating is so non-porous that the staining molecules don't really get a hold. One common test, and you'll see it in some of our videos, is the Sharpie Test, where we mark on a laminate with a Sharpie Permanent marker, then wipe it right off with acetone. Take a look at this video starting at 53 seconds in.
Strip Flooring - With laminates this refers to styles designed to look like multiple planks, lengthwise, two or more, but more specifically may refer to multi-strip flooring, where the look is of many strips an inch or smaller in width. See an example above under Plank Design.
Substrate - This is the technical name for the core material of a laminate floor plank.
subfloor - This is the top structural support layer of a floor's foundation, over which a finished floor is laid. Generally these are made of wood or concrete, and the condition of your subfloor must always be checked and attended to before installing any floor covering (laminates, hardwood, vinyl planks etc.)
Surface Layer - This is a broad term for the top layer of a laminate, hardwood, what have you – the part your foot touches and that you see day to day.
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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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