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Glossary

ACCS

ACCS

The Australian Carpet Classifications Scheme, operated by the Carpet Institute of Australia. The ACCS has developed a classification and labelling scheme to provide a guide to consumers so they can better understand the properties of certified carpets.

Acclimatisation

Acclimatisation

The process of allowing flooring to adjust to the environmental conditions within a home prior to being installed to enhance the dimensional stability of the product, avoiding complications such as excessive shrinkage, expansion, and such. Not all floors need acclimatisation and acclimatisation periods can vary depending on product.

Axminster

Axminster

Axminster carpets have a unique weave whereby individual pile tufts are inserted from spools of colored yarns, making possible an almost endless variety of colours, geometric or floral patterns. Axminster carpets are generally more costly and aren’t too common nowadays.

Backing

Backing

The material(s) comprising the back of a carpet. Backings can be made from different types of materials (such as jute or polypropylene) with different constructions and properties and can consist of multiple layers (such as a primary backing, a secondary backing etc).

Basket weave

Basket weave

A style of flooring pattern (typically using timber or timber-look), where the planks (usually smaller than standard size) are arranged in a pattern similar to the style of a surface of a traditionally woven basket. The pattern is made up of small squares that contain planks of wood running in the same direction which are then fitted perpendicular to one another.

Bevelled edge

Bevelled edge

The edge of a plank that has been cut so it is inclined or on an angle, creating the appearance of a groove when two or more planks are placed together.

Broadloom

Broadloom

Carpet is woven on a wide or ‘broad’ loom hence the name - generally in NZ a broadloom metre measure 3.66m wide or 4.0m wide.

Broadloom metre (blm)

Broadloom metre (blm)

Rolls of carpet are typically manufactured to measure 3.66m wide, therefore a broadloom metre refers to an area measuring 1.0m by 3.66m (or a 1m cut of carpet taken from a 3.66m wide roll of carpet), or 3.66sqm. One broadloom metre is generally the smallest amount of carpet that can be purchased. To convert a boardloom price to a square metre price, divide the broadloom price by the width of the role (this is usually 3.66 or 4).

Cushion Back

Cushion Back

Flooring that has cushion, padding on underlay material integrated as part of its backing.

Cut & loop pile

Cut & loop pile

A carpet surface where there is a combination of loop pile tufts and cut pile tufts, creating a high-low effect. Sometimes this shows a pattern, normally geometric.

Cut pile

Cut pile

A carpet surface, where (post-tufting) the yarns have been trimmed or cut down to create a flat surface – the cut ends of the yarns form the carpet surface on which you stand.

Delamination

Delamination

A product fault whereby the primary face of the flooring separates from the backing.

Dimensional Stability

Dimensional Stability

The degree to which a material maintains its original dimensions when subjected to changes in temperature and humidity.

Distressed

Distressed

A heavy artificial texture applied to a hard floor in which the boards have been scraped, scratched or gouged to give it a timeworn antique look.

Dye Batch/Lot

Dye Batch/Lot

A quantity of flooring made at the same time or for carpet, made from yarn dyed at one time which is consistent in colour throughout. Purchasing from the same dye batch will help with achieving colour consistency throughout the project.

Environmental Certification Scheme (ECS)

Environmental Certification Scheme (ECS)

The Environmental Certification Scheme or ECS is administered by the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme and is a labelling scheme that provides a guide to the environmental performance of certified carpet.

End profile

End profile

An end profile runs between (or along) the edge of a piece of flooring to create transition between two different flooring types, such as carpet and wood.

Expansion Gap

Expansion Gap

Expansion gaps are used for floating floors such as laminate and are gaps left around the perimeter of rooms between the flooring and the wall, to allow the flooring space to expand and contract into with changes in temperature and humidity. They can be hidden beneath a scotia or skirting board. Occasionally, depending on the size of the room, an expansion gap may be required mid-room and can be covered with a matching transition bar.

Fading

Fading

Loss of colour caused by sunlight or artificial light, atmospheric gasses and cleaning and bleaching products.

Fibre

Fibre

A unit of matter, either natural or man-made, that forms the basic element of fabrics. The term refers to units that can be spun into a yarn or felting and can be processed by weaving, tufting, knitting or fusion bonding. Important properties include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, soil resistance, luster, and denier. Different fibre types can be blended during the manufacturing process.

Floating Floor

Floating Floor

This is an installation method where individual hard flooring boards lock together but are not nailed or glued down to the subfloor. Floating floors are commonly installed over an underlay.

Gradings

Gradings

Gradings are classifications given to products that meet certain standards set by certified or industry standard bodies (for example the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme or ACCS), these are distinguished according to the products properties and characteristics (such as durability and appearance retention).

Heather

Heather

A subtle multi-coloured effect in carpet, produced by intertwining yarns or spinning blended fibres of different colours together.

Herringbone

Herringbone

A style of flooring pattern (typically using timber or timber-look), where the planks are laid in rows of parallel lines, with any two adjacent rows sloping in opposite directions. A traditional European style of flooring.

Heterogeneous Sheet Vinyl

Heterogeneous Sheet Vinyl

A multi-layer vinyl with a printed top layer. Each layer serves a unique purpose. There's often a back layer, a coated core layer, and a wear layer on top. Residential sheet vinyl is typically heterogenous.

Hexapod Testing

Hexapod Testing

An instrument used to test carpet to measure appearance and colour changes. This accelerated test provides an understanding of how a carpet will wear over time.

Homogeneous Sheet Vinyl

Homogeneous Sheet Vinyl

A vinyl made of a single layer. ‘Chip designs’, often seen in commercial applications (hospitals, dental surgeries) are typically homogenous. as it’s incredibly durable and stain resistant.

Incizo Profile

Incizo Profile

A veneer profile made by Quick-Step, that can be used to finish floors and stairs that have Quick-Step flooring. The profile can be used for all finishing situations: between two floors of the same height or with difference in height, as a transition to a wall, window or carpet, by being cut to the shape required using the supplied slitter.

Join (also known as a seam)

Join (also known as a seam)

When two separate pieces of carpet or sheet vinyl are installed in the same room, a join is created to create the appearance of one continuous piece of material. Carpets are joined using a special heat-bond tape and a seam iron. The thickness of the heat-bond tape can sometimes cause carpet seams to peak by 2-3mm, but this should settle down over time as the seam beds into the underlay below. Sometimes joins can be virtually invisible while other joins may be more noticeable. How the carpet pieces come together, the pile height, the style of carpet, light sources and other factors can all impact the degree to which the join will be visible.

Jute

Jute

Composed primarily of the plant materials, Jute fibres are be spun into coarse, strong threads. The fibres are off-white to brown. Jute fibres are often used for decorative rugs and most commonly, secondary backing on carpet.

Kickboard

Kickboard

A fascia that sits across the recess at the bottom of a floor-mounted kitchen base cabinet, serving to conceal the cabinet’s legs/supports.

Latex

Latex

A water emulsion of synthetic rubber, natural rubber or another polymer. Latex is used for laminating secondary backings to carpet and sometimes rugs.

Lino

Lino

A colloquial term that kiwis use for sheet vinyl. Linoleum flooring is made from all-natural materials, including linseed oil, rosin, broken down wood, and others. Linoleum was popular in the 1950’s (think of the classic black and white checkered kitchen floor) however sheet vinyl (see heterogenous and homogenous vinyl) has now replaced lino but the name lives on.

Loom

Loom

A loom is a piece of machinery on which carpet is woven and made. There are many different types of looms used to manufacture modern-day carpet, most of which use state-of-the-art technology for automated production.

Loop pile

Loop pile

A carpet surface, where (post-tufting and manufacturing) uncut loops of yarns form the surface on which the end user stands.

Lustre

Lustre

The Brightness or reflectivity of fibres. Synthetic fibres are produced to have various levels of lustre. The lustre of finished carpet can be affected by yarn heat setting methods, dyeing, and finishing.

Matting (also known as crushing)

Matting (also known as crushing)

Matted carpet occurs when the tufts and strands fold over each other and create a flat appearance on the surface of the carpet. When carpet fibres undergo a certain amount of pressure and repeated foot traffic, it can mat down and lose all resilience. Shoes tracking in dirt, mud and debris can also accelerate matting. Regular vacuuming and periodic professional carpet cleaning are good preventative measures.

Nosing

Nosing

Nosing is the horizontal, protruding edge of a stair where most foot traffic frequently occurs. Where hard flooring is installed on stairs, often nosings are required to finish the stairs aesthetically. Specialised nosing’s can be used to enhance visibility of steps or increase the stairs durability.

Nylon

Nylon

A petrochemical-based fibre invented in 1938. There are two primary types of nylon used in the production of carpet: Type 6,6 nylon and Type 6 nylon. Nylon is produced in bulked continuous filament for the manufacture of loop carpets and cut pile carpets.

Parquet

Parquet

Flooring composed of wooden blocks, typically smaller than a standard plank, arranged in a decorate geometric pattern.

Pattern match

Pattern match

Lining up patterned carpet in such a way that the design is continued across seams, making the finished installation appear cohesive.

Pile

Pile

The visible surface of the carpet, sometimes referred to as the face or nap. The pile can be made up of upright loops (loop pile), have a cut finish where the yarns have been trimmed down to create a flat surface (cut pile), or a combination of both (textured pile or cut and loop pile). Carpet piles can have different heights, densities, and finishes.

Pile height

Pile height

The length of a pile, measured from its tip to the point where it enters the carpet backing.

Pile weight

Pile weight

Carpet pile or face weight refers to the weight of the carpet pile (backing not included).

Pilling

Pilling

The term denoting the small balls of fluff (or bobbles) that appear on the surface of a fabric, carpet, or rug, generally as the result of abrasion.

Plush carpet (also known as velour)

Plush carpet (also known as velour)

A smooth, cut pile carpet with a low dense pile, prone to shading.

Ply

Ply

A measure of the number of individual yarns twisted together to produce the finished carpet yarn. For example, a two-ply yarn means that each tuft consists of two yarns twisted together. For cut-pile carpets, plied yarns are heatset to prevent untwisting under foot traffic.

Polyester (also known as P.E.T)

Polyester (also known as P.E.T)

A synthetic carpet fibre, known for its luxurious look, soft feel and lower price point than other synthetic fibres. Polyester carpets often contain content made of recycled plastics such as water bottles. It is naturally stain, mould and mildew resistant but this fibre typically shows signs of visible wear faster than other carpet fibres.

Polypropylene (also know as Olefin fibre)

Polypropylene (also know as Olefin fibre)

Made from a by-product of gasoline refining, olefin has one ingredient: propylene. Since propylene is widely available at a comparatively lower cost than nylon base ingredients, polypropene/olefin is less expensive than nylon. This yarn typically shows signs of visible wear faster than other carpet fibres. Backing on carpet is often made from polypropylene.

Resilience

Resilience

The ability of carpet to spring back to its original texture and thickness after being walked on or compressed.

Registered Embossing

Registered Embossing

Some hard flooring types such as laminate, hybrid and luxury vinyl can feature registered embossing. This is a process where the embossing is placed over an image, where it is registered embossed opposed to simply embossed, the two line up perfectly. This creates realistic surface texture where the likes of knots and grains are in the design.

Shading (also known as pooling or pile reversal)

Shading (also known as pooling or pile reversal)

A phenomenon that can occur in cut pile carpets where lighter or darker areas appear. The variation is caused by pile reversal and the reflection of light from pile tufts which come to lay in different directions, creating the appearance of a shaded patch or pool of spilt water on the floor. Pile reversal does not affect the wear or durability of the carpet and is beyond the control of the manufacturer or installer and is therefore not considered a defect or manufacturing fault, but an inherent fibre characteristic. Although this phenomenon is relatively rare, if you wish to reduce your exposure of having this happen in your home, consider loop pile or textured/patterned carpet styles.

Skirting boards

Skirting boards

The boards that run along the base of a home’s interior walls, providing the wall base protection against wear (such as from shoes, pets, children), while adding aesthetic value and hiding untidy joints.

Smoothedge

Smoothedge

Otherwise known as carpet gripper, smoothedge is a carpet edging strip that holds carpet taut around the perimeter of the room, typically using nails or tacks attached to a thin, long strip of wood. The smoothedge itself is attached to the subfloor using nails or adhesive. If the subfloor has underfloor heating, adhesive is typically used to fix the smoothedge.

Solution Dyed

Solution Dyed

A dying process where colour pigments are mixed in with raw or recycled materials (such as nylon or polyester) before being made into filaments. Solution Dyed fibres therefore have colour pigment throughout and not just on the outside of the fibre, as seen with fibre dyed using more traditional processes. To easily understand this, solution dyed fibres are coloured right the way through like a carrot, rather than a radish. This reduces the risk of colour fade.

Square meters (sqm or m2)

Square meters (sqm or m2)

The area equal to a square that is 1m on each side, used for measuring areas of rooms, houses, and blocks of land.

Subfloor

Subfloor

The foundation for a floor in a building.

Tufted carpet (& tufting)

Tufted carpet (& tufting)

Tufted carpet is made from cut or looped yarns that are punched through a backing material. Tufting is the manufacturing process associated with tufted carpet.

Traffic

Traffic

A term used to describe the frequency in usage, or the passing back and forward a person(s) on a floors surface. High traffic areas in the home refer to rooms that are frequently used.

Underlay

Underlay

Underlay helps to reduce the noise in a room by absorbing sound energy, whilst also providing thermal insulation and underfoot cushioning. For carpet underlays, the denser the underlay, the more thermal, sound and comfort benefits you can achieve. Placed under carpet, a quality underlay can prolong the life of your carpet as it helps to withstand the foot traffic moving across the floor. Some hard floors require an underlay to be installed on the subfloor, such as floating laminate or timber floors. Not only does it provide acoustic and thermal properties, it can protect the floor covering from moisture rising through the subfloor.

VOCs (Volatile organic compounds)

VOCs (Volatile organic compounds)

VOCs are a group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. Many common household materials and products, such as paints and cleaning products, give off VOCs. VOCs particularly affect indoor air quality, different VOCs have different health effects and range from those that are highly toxic to those with no known health effect.

Wear layer

Wear layer

The wear layer is generally the top layer of a floor, providing durability and protection to the layers beneath. Wear layers come in different thicknesses and can have different properties.

Wool

Wool

The original carpet fibre. Wool is noted for its excellent performance, insulation, and fire resistance properties as well as creative difference with beautiful textured carpet designs being achieved from wool which are unmatched by synthetic yarns. Sourced from sheep, wool is a renewable and natural resource.

Yarn

Yarn

Yarn is a strand or length of interlocked natural and/or synthetic fibres, or filament. Yarn can be made with fibres derived from natural substances such as wool from sheep or from man-made fibres (these are derived from a variety of substances, including raw materials from the petrochemical industry) such as Nylon and Polyester. Yarn is crafted by spinning the fibres and twisting them together to form a thread (this happens after undergoing initial processing such as blending and carding) generally through an automated, machine process. Yarns can be made from a single strand (singles yarn), or multiple strands of yarn twisted together, such as two-ply yarn or three ply yarn. Yarns are designed to have different properties, styles, and characteristics to suit their applications.

Yarn Twist

Yarn Twist

When yarns are manufactured, a twist is inserted during the spinning process. This adds strength to the yarn and helps the carpet pile stand up. Carpets produced from high twist yarns are often considered hard-wearing, as there can be a correlation between twist and greater yarn stability.