2014 blogpost glossaries laminateflooring

Laminate Flooring Glossary P-R

Laminate Flooring Glossary P-R

More from an in-the-works full 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: P-R

Padding being installed"Padding being installed"  

Pad – Floor pad is usually required under a floating laminate floor. If you think about it, with laminate you would be putting a hard, flat plank on top of a hard, flat subfloor. The padding eliminates clacking and helps these two surfaces handle micro-milimeter sized imperfections that any floor can have. We have written some pieces on Padding in general (with video!), When You Need Floor Padding and How Much ‘Stuff' Can Be Under Your Laminate Flooring that should be really helpful in helping you determine what you need and want.

Attached Padding

Pad Attached - Many laminate floors come with padding pre-attached to the bottoms of the planks. This can make installation a little easier or just eliminate the need to buy the rolls. The padding is almost always 2mm thick, which is the standard, basic thickness of a laminate floor padding. With certain thicknesses of laminate more is allowed underneath, so that if you do buy rolls the two in combination can lead to a softer walk. Be sure to check the piece linked above on how much can go under a laminate.

Pad, Free (usually shown as "Free Pad!") – We offer this with most of our laminate floors. It means that either the laminate has attached padding, or that we send the needed amount of basic padding along with the floor order. It just makes padding one less thing to think about and manage as you buy and/or install your laminate floor.

Pad Included - we send it with your order!Pad Included - we send it with your order!

Pad Included - When we note this, it means that the padding is not attached to the planks, but that we include it with your purchase.

Pad Not Included - This means that free padding is not offered with the particular laminate floor.

Panels - Finished pieces of laminate flooring. These can be planks or tiles (usually squares). The more common term you'll hear is plank because most laminates come that way. You'll hear that even over ‘board', because technically a board is made from a single piece of wood (see ‘board' above, where I say the exact same thing… so I guess you could just stay here).

Particleboard - This is a board made not of a single piece of wood cut into shape, but also not made of multiple layers, like a laminate plank. It's made of little bits and pieces, all bigger than fibers, bonded together into the shape of a board with heat, pressure and sometimes a synthetic resin. These can be used as core boards in some products, but are usually not what we find in laminates. Those tend to be fiberboards.

Pattern End Matched - You probably won't hear this one much. It describes the ends of different flooring panels being designed so that where the planks meet at the ends the pattern continues unbroken. It would give the effect of multiple planks connected together looking like one really long board. The only product we have carried that employs this feature is our Krono Original Double Length Laminate Floors, designed to be installed with the planks paired together to look exactly like double length boards in the finished floor.

The matched ends allow the planks patterns to flow together.

The matched ends allow the planks patterns to flow together.

 Moisture Barrier made of plastic

Moisture Barrier made of plastic

PE Film (Polyethylene film) - This can be the substance of a moisture barrier, or what you may hear called a vapor barrier, two different terms for... well, for two different things. With flooring we need a moisture barrier, not a vapor barrier. These will usually be 6 mils thick (about 1/7 of a millimeter), and go between a cement subfloor and the padding under your laminate. It is designed to keep moisture and humidity from rising up from under the flooring.

Peaking - This happens when moisture is absorbed into the core board of a laminate plank. This area swells, deforming the plank and sometimes raising one plank above the other where they join at a seam. This kind of damage is irreparable.

Peaking shown where the two planks join and on the end closest to the camera.Peaking shown where the two planks join and on the end closest to the camera.  

Performance classification – This is obviously a generic term, but in flooring it refers to the European system of designating the uses for which a laminate plank is qualified. It covers some of the same territory as the Abrasion Class rating. The designations cover moderate, general and heavy usage for domestic purposes and the same three levels for commercial purposes. The tests cover a laminate's resistance to abrasion, cigarette burns, damage from furniture legs and chair castor chairs, impacts, staining and swelling. Here's what the symbols on the cartons will look like:

For more info Google "EN 13329"  

Plank - Technically is a tile which happens to be at least five or six times wider than it is thick, five or six times longer than it is wide. It is also the term used for most individual pieces of laminate flooring, rather than ‘board'.

Plank Design - On our site this refers to whether each plank is designed to look like a single plank, like two vertical planks, three, a whole bunch of little ones or a tile look.

Single Plank - the whole width is to look like one board

Two Strip - Each plank looks like two rows of boards

Three Strip - Each plank looks like three rows of thin boards

Multi-Strip - Imagine installing this look with real, little strips! One of the benefits of laminates, right here.

Tile Look - Just what it sounds like, warmer than stone tiles, easier to put in too.

Pollutants - With a laminate floor the pollutants that concern us would be in any solvents, such as the formaldehyde which can be in resins used in manufacturing the planks. At the present (we're writing this in 2014) laminates in general are so low in pollutants that laminate flooring is widely regarded as ‘low-emission' or ‘emission-free', meeting the CARB standards and earning it the E1 rating in Europe.

Pressing - This is the part of the laminate manufacturing process by which the different layers are combined using pressure. When would you hear this? Perhaps if someone might say "That defect must have happened during pressing," otherwise it is not likely to come up in many conversations about laminate flooring.

Pressure resistance - This would broadly cover the impact, high heel and furniture dent resistances of a laminate floor, but they are usually broken out like that rather than being referred to this way. As a rule, unlike real wood, which is all to some degree ‘spongey', or able to be compressed, most laminates are not. They either do nothing or they chip or break, and fortunately the resistances are stronger than those of wood, so this does not render them fragile. For instance there is at present no hardwood floor over which we would recommend walking in high heels, while almost all laminates can handle that.

Quarter RoundQuarter Round

Quarter Round - It's a pretty common trim piece, and we explain it in detail, with some passable illustrations, in our Quarter Rounds piece in the Learning Center.

Reducer Strip - Another trim or transition, this one used where two floors meet at different heights. See illustrations and explanations on the Reducer page in our Learning Center.


Relative Humidity - This is how much water vapor the air is holding compared with the amount it could hold. Some densities and temperatures of air can hold more water and some less, but all have a limit. This is a percentage based not on some stable number, but on the particular limit of the particular bit of air. When relative humidity reaches 100% we can get rain and moisture stops evaporating. The air there can't hold it.

Residential Warranty - For flooring, designations are made on where they can be used, in a residential situation or a commercial one. This affects things like ratings and warranties. A floor may have this listed, "25 year Residential/5 Year Commercial Warranty". If that flooring is installed in a commercial location, where traffic and wear are expected to be high, it has a 5 year warranty. If it is installed in a home the warranty lasts 25 years. For more on warranties in general, we have some articles that start here, What is a Warranty?, with specific ones linked at the bottom.

Residual Indentation - One of the tests performed in getting the AC Rating (see above) is called the Static Load Test, which basically means that something heavy is left in place just as your furniture leg might be on your floor at home. Residual indentation is what is, or is not, left behind after the heavy thing is moved. Most laminates don't indent at all. Their surfaces are usually rigid, not pliable.

Resins - The word is often used to broadly describe any liquid that sets into a hard, transparent surface or finish. This can include synthetic substances that do this, but more technically refers to naturally produced chemicals with these properties. In flooring it is most often found in adhesives, usually not used with laminate floors, and with laminates it used to be used in their production, but it not as much, with pressure and heat taking their place in bonding the materials resins used to keep together.

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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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