Glossary of Vinyl Terms

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Jim McClain, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    This glossary will help the consumer and the professional to understand the terminology used to describe vinyl flooring and related elements in the various areas of the world. Please add the terms you use and their short meanings. I will start with a couple.
    • Subfloor the material used as the base product of the floor construction. This could be concrete slab or a wood panel product nailed to floor joists
    • Substrate the surface you are installing new flooring over
    I will add your terms to this list as it grows. Please don't leave out even the simplest of terms.

    Thank you,

    TFP Admin
  2. Jerry Thomas

    Jerry Thomas Charter Member Senior Member

    Subfloor - Plywood, OSB, AdvanTech, ect. that gets installed on the floor joist or trusses before the walls are set during the construction phase. It can be single layer or a 2 layer which the top layer is an underlayment (yeah, i know it gets to be confusing) that is installed later in the process. Most all subfloors nowadays are of a T&G design

    Underlayment- This is what is installed on top of a subfloor after the walls are up and the house is near completion. Underlayments will run to the walls and not underneath. As a rule they are square edge all 4-sides.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2007
  3. Daniel Wachtel

    Daniel Wachtel Charter Member

    Flash coving = vinyl ran up the wall to an accepted molding in lieu of wooden or rubber baseboard.

    Floor patch = material, either portland or gypsum based, used to fill and smooth rough areas, voids, and joints between underlayment panels.

    Flash time = the time an adhesive should be left uncovered after spreading to let moisture and or gasses to evaporate before covering with vinyl. usually listed on adhesive container.

    glue trowel = a tool used to spread adhesive and to measure the proper amount of glue being spread on the floor.

    seam sealer = a product sold by the flooring manufacturer to, well, seal the seams to prevent dirt collection at the seam area and to prevent curling.

    roller = a device to roll the floor to evacuate any air or gasses that cause bubbles. usually 75# with three "wheels "

    double cut = a common method of cutting a seam by cutting through both field and fill pieces at a pattern line at the same tine. commonly used for inserting patches.

    butt seaming = cutting seam edges separately before assembly and butting them together.

    pattern scribing = making a pattern of the floor with kraft paper or felt paper as a template and then cutting the vinyl to shape in a more convenient area.

    restrictive molding = a molding used to prevent curling of the edges of a vinyl floor.
    1/4 round at walls, undercutting at doorways and tub metal or cove cap at sliding doors and bathtubs.

    under cutting = making a saw cut generally where a molding is unacceptable (like a door casing) under which the vinyl is inserted.

    Full spread = covering the entire floor with adhesive (most vinyl floors require full spread)

    perimeter glue = some styles of vinyl flooring only require a narrow band of adhesive around the edges and seams.
  4. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    under scribing - using the bottom layer of floorcovering as a template to cut the top overlapping material (underscribe tools required)

    full pattern scribing -- using a template material (felt, paper, etc.) to make a pattern (template) of the entire area to be covered by a piece of material (including the coved areas)

    flat pattern scribing -- unsing a template material (felt, paper, etc.) cut only to the walls with voids in areas spanning long walls and large areas (always laying flat on the floor), to make a pattern (template) of the area to be covered by a piece of material

    heat welding -- melting a piece of vinyl rod into a grooved (routed) seam to form a heat bonded (welded) seam. completely impervious to penetration.
    trim plate -- a piece of metal used as a spacer for the first pass of skiving (usually 1/16 inch thick)

    skiving -- trimming of the heat welded seam rod usually done in 2 passes with time allowed for cooling between passes

    grooving -- routing or carving a uniform groove partially though the flooring material (usually 2/3 the thickness of vinyl) in preparation for the welding process

    glazing -- heating (or otherwise sealing) the welding rod after skiving the final pass to close the open pores of the rod

    boot -- outside corner piece needed when coving and installed on one side of the corner

    v-plug -- outside corner piece needed when coving and installed 'wrapped' around the corner with the appearance of a 'v'

    hard cap -- metal cap on the walls covering the edge of a coved installation

    sofe cap -- trim pieces on the walls covering the edge of a coved installation (usually plastic or rubber)

    seam sealing -- using a chemical sealer to bond 2 pieces of vinyl together (must penetrate completely though the depth of the material top to bottom)
  5. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    Armstrong - Congoleum:
    What customers come into the store asking for.
  6. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    back rolling -- rollong the material face in to facilitate pre shrinkage (stabiliztion) of vinyl or linoleum
    tubing -- folding material lengthwise in order to adhere (used to minimize shrinkage)

    PSA -- pressure sensitive adhesive

    inlaid -- usually a through chip inlay meaning that the pattern continues through to the backing material

    roto grovre(spelled wrong) or roto vinyl -- essentially a printed pattern vinyl floor where the pattern is only under the surface of the ware layer

    ware layer -- the 'finish' on the top of a vinyl floor with the durability depending on the composition and mil thickness of the 'finish'

    nose filler -- an epoxy filler disigned to fill the inside corner void of a stair tread to prolong the life of the tread
  7. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    It is rotogravure. Named for a printing process invented in the late 1800s. Also called roto vinyls.

    Not to be too anal, but it is wear layer :eek:
  8. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    Cove Stick: A concave shaped stick made of wood, plastic or wax which is placed at the juncture of the floor and wall to support sheet flooring which is flash coved. If there is no support behind the cove, the flooring can be punctured.
  9. Rob Ahlgrim

    Rob Ahlgrim Pro Member

    Intergral or Integrated base is another term for Flash Coving, usually stated on a print or specs sheet. Usually but not always 4"-6" up the walls.
  10. SteveG

    SteveG Pro Member

    Here's a handy little tip - when you hear people talking about MILs of thickness it's not millimeters, it's a unit of measure all its own. If your vinyl has a 20MIL wear layer you can picture approximately 20 pages out of the phone book for thickness.
  11. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    That's a really good frame of reference for the thickness of a mil (thousandth of an inch). I have commercial specifiers (architects and engineers) who confuse the two all the time and you think they should know the difference.
  12. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    Homogeneous Sheet Vinyl - a product that consists of a single layer of like material such as vinyl chips. Note: Wear layers are not taken into account in this definition or the ASTM standard for homogeneous products.

    Heterogeneous Sheet Vinyl - a product that consists of multiple layers of dissimilar materials. e.g. a product with a vinyl back, a foam inner core, a fiberglass scrim, and a printed pattern layer would be a heterogeneous sheet vinyl.

    PVC - poly vinyl chloride - the main plastic component in vinyl floors.

    Embossing - the texturing of a vinyl product that contributes to the look and feel of a product.

    Embossed-in-register - a product that has the underlying print layer aligned with the embossing to give the product a more realistic visual. e.g. A wood pattern where the embossing is aligned with the underlying wood grain print visual

    Mechanical or repetitive embossing - an embossing process that uses mechanical plates or rollers to emboss a repetitive pattern onto the vinyl, typically not done in register with the print.

    Pattern repeat - the dimensions of the print cylinder (length and width) at which a repeat of the print pattern occurs. Note: Can be and usually is larger than the pattern match.

    Pattern match (monkey match) - the dimension in length and width of a single design element in a rotogravure printed pattern.
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  13. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    Reverse for seaming - means to reverse the product lengthwise when seaming. This is done primarily on inlaid products. This is done to minimize potential shading issues that might appear if unlike factory edges are seamed together.

    Do not reverse for seaming - means to not reverse the product lengthwise when seaming. This is done primarily in rotogravure products.

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