One of the most common questions we are asked is “what does that mean?”. Usually, in response to some sort of flooring terminology we have spouted. So to avoid that happening with you, here are a few of those terms explained.
Tongue and Groove
It really is as simple as it sounds. Tongue and Groove flooring have a little tongue on one edge, a little groove on the other and they all ‘blep’ together horizontally. Unlike a click system, tongue and grove boards lack the engineering to actively hold the boards together so in most cases they require a glue to be inserted into the grove before fitting. This joinery method is most commonly found in Oak and Parquetry Flooring.
The click system is to flooring as Tesla is to electric cars. Only click systems actually deliver. And although they are both known for their tight joints we don’t have to put up with Elon’s narcissistic musk in the air. Click systems are made up of interlocking joints that require no gluing, screwing or nailing. They can be laid floating over any reasonably level subfloor and, in the case of Hybrid Click systems, may come with the underlay pre-installed. Commonly found on Hybrid, Laminate and Engineered Hardwood Flooring.
Loose Lay Flooring is, quite simply, laid loosely. The have no joints and are laid on a subfloor with contact adhesive. While they about as durable as flooring can get they are, like the princess and the pea, particularly fussy about their bedding. Loose lay demands it be installed over subfloors with a near mirror finish. Mostly suited for large commercial applications.
All timber floors need an expansion gap, a small 4-10mm gap left around the perimeter of the room to allow for the wood to move comfortably as weather conditions change. Much like that little extra room you leave around your pant waistline to allow for the occasional food baby, it is there to ensure that the timber can fit comfortably in the room even after a few beers, a bag of crisps, and 8 sangas. Scotia, or beading as it is sometimes called, is a decorative wooden perimeter in a matching or complimentary colour that hides this gap without the need to remove skirting boards (which for some old houses is a lifesaver)
It’s not just another celebrity endorsed, kidney-crushing, meal replacement protein shake. We have seen more than enough of those, right? No, thankfully, it’s just a flooring accessory. In much the same way as Scotia, Flat Trim allows timber flooring to expand and move underneath it while holding it down and concealing the expansion gap. Though in the case of Flat Trim, it is clicked into a baseplate stuck directly to the subfloor with adhesive and also acts as a transition between different flooring surfaces of the same or similar height, most commonly, where timber meets tile.
It may sound like the final blow of a poorly conceived comic book character (a swift ‘kashiiing’, a head rolls down the alleyway and from the shadows sounds a gravelly “you just got The Reducer Trim”), and you might think it can’t get any lower than that, but that is precisely it’s purpose. To get lower. Reducer Trim is installed to transition between flooring surfaces of greatly differing heights such as timber to laminate, carpet or concrete. Much the same as Universal Trim, it is clicked into a baseplate that is stuck directly to the subfloor with adhesive, allowing the timber to move freely while also concealing the expansion gap.
When you drop your last life on that 16-bit-flappy-bird-crossy-road ripoff and this appears on the screen next to an angry heart, you know the developers used a free online translation service. It’s usually a sign you should probably put down the phone and go outside, and when you do, you’ll probably pass over one of these. U-End is often used as a transition at doorways, surfaces of equal height that do not require bridging, or at vertical surfaces such as walls. It is stuck directly to the subfloor with adhesive and the timber moves freely within while concealing the expansion gap.
Whether you call it aitch-trim or haitch-trim is between you and your Medieval French Literature Professor. Personally, we think it’s never been a good idea to drop the aitch-bomb. But in the case of flooring, dropping an H-Trim is done when timber floors are laid, unbroken, over a large area where an expansion gap is required mid-floor or as a transition within open doorways. It is stuck directly to the subfloor with adhesive and the timber moves freely within while concealing the expansion gap.
Most timber look board also come with matching Stair Nosing, a piece of trim or specially made board that is applied to your stairs to create clean lines and a finished look. Noses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the flat ‘trim-who-must-not-be-named’ to the prominent ‘Barbara Stairsand’ (not their real names but who told you you’re allowed to rain on our parade?)