Laminate Flooring Terms and Definitions

Laminate Flooring Terms

Acclimation The adaptation of laminate flooring to its installation environment.

Backing The bottom layer of laminate flooring is a melamine plastic layer that lends dimensional stability to the planks and helps guard against moisture from below.

Decorative Layer A decorative layer or print film that is adhered to the top of the core board, giving the floor its realistic hardwood or stone appearance. Typically printed from a high-resolution photograph of wood grain, natural stone or laminate tile pattern.

End Molding/Carpet Reducer Used as a transition from a laminate floor to a different flooring surface when a reducer strip doesn’t allow enough height, such as with high-pile carpet or thick laminate tile.

Floating Floor System Laminate floors are installed using this system in which a padded underlayment lies between the subfloor and the laminate planks. The planks “float” directly on the underlayment — anchored to the edges of other planks.

Glued Laminate Flooring Original laminate floors that require a special formulated glue to be applied to the tongue and groove areas of each plank. Once the glue dries, the planks are almost impossible to separate. Sold as both planks and squares.

Glueless Laminate Flooring A no mess installation method where planks or squares easily interlock together.

Laminate A manufactured product that simulates the look of hardwood, tile, natural stone and many other types of flooring through a photographic screening process.

Melamine Resin A compound used to improve the moisture resistance and durability of laminate flooring’s core board.

Moldings Trim pieces that cover the spaces where laminate flooring is permitted to expand and move naturally atop a subfloor. Also assist with the transition to an adjacent floor covering. Often slightly larger than their wood or laminate tile counterparts.

Overlapping Stair Nosing Similar to a flush stair nosing except the nosing overlaps the exposed edge of the floor. Secured to the sub floor — not to the laminate floor, thus enabling the floor to move freely.

Peaking Raised seams where laminate planks or tiles join.

Plank A laminate floor panel; typically 5 or 6 inches longer than wide.

Pre-Glued Laminate Flooring A no mess method of installation because glue is previously applied to the tongue and grooves. A thin, plastic underlayment is required in order to seal out moisture and prevent glue from sticking to the subfloor.

Quarter Round Trim Installed wherever laminate floor meets a baseboard or wall.

Reducer Strip The transitional piece used to connect laminate with another type of flooring, such as vinyl, thin laminate tile or low-pile carpeting.

Screens A laminate’s quality is partially dependent on the photography and number of photos used to achieve a “realistic” appearance. The more screens used, the more variation it can offer and the more “authentic” the laminate appears.

Seams The junction where laminate panels connect.

Square Nosing/Universal Edge Used where laminate flooring butts up to carpeting or vertical surfaces where the edge is exposed, such as along a fireplace.

Step Down Stair Nose A coordinating molding piece that provides the proper transition for steps.

Tile A square laminate panel.

T-Molding Typically used in doorways to join two laminate floors in adjoining rooms. Also recommended when transitioning from a laminate floor to another floor that is about the same height.

Underlayment A material used between laminate flooring and a subfloor that acts as a sound and moisture barrier and also allows the floor to expand and contract with temperature change.

Wear Layer The durable top layer of laminate flooring that provides protection and stain resistance. Many contain aluminum oxide, as well as melamine resin, which results in outstanding durability.

Please Tell Us What You Think Of Our Article
We are sorry we cannot reply to questions here.
Page: Laminate Flooring Terms and Definitions
Page Rating:
(Max. 400 characters)
Please do the addition below. This is used to make sure a real human is filling in the review.
+ =  


Web Page: Laminate Flooring Terms and Definitions
Overall Rating: 4.6 stars - 7 reviews

Date: October 9, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
worked for me I guess.
Date: May 21, 2014
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Could do with a little more information e.g. peaking - is peaking a problem?
Date: February 2, 2014
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Good advisor for consumers
Date: January 19, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
very helpful
Date: August 29, 2013
Page Rating: (3.5/5)
Date: May 2, 2013
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Great definitions but limited explanation of the effects of chemicals used to protect the wear layer
Date: September 18, 2012
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Excellent articles which give clear and concise information to the uninformed such as myself. I would never have known such help was available. Thank You, Barbara Barker.

To Find A Floor Covering Professional

The WFCA is the floor covering industry’s largest advocacy organization representing specialty floor covering retailers, cleaners, installers, manufacturers and distributors around the globe. To find a WFCA member by specialty.

Find a WFCA flooring professional

Flooring & Carpet Stores

WFCA helps train retail store salepeople and their installers through educational programs supported by the flooring industry manufacturers. Click here to find your local carpet & flooring store.