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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.