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Streamline Floor Covering, Marshfield MA, quality carpeting & hardwood, vinyl, laminate, ceramic tile flooring; serving South Shore MA, Boston, Metro West MA, South Coast MA

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Frequently Used Flooring Terms



Letting flooring adjust to the environment in which it will be installed. This is crucial to prevent excessive expansion or contraction due to humidity in the air or other job conditions.


Backing/Primary Backing
The primary backing material of carpeting is usually made of woven polypropylene and its main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn in place while the tufting happens.

Beck Dyeing
A second dyeing method used in the manufacturing of carpet involves applying color to the yarn after the carpet has been tufted.

A loop style carpet is often referred to as a berber and can be either produced in a level loop or multi-level loop construction. Often times loop carpets are accented with color fleck to provide a contrast from the primary carpet color.

Bulked Continuous Filament
Continuous long strands of synthetic fiber that have been formed into bundles of yarn. Products made from a continuous filament yarn rarely display any shedding or pilling.

Bull Nosing
A plank of wood with a curved edge. Normally used at the tops of stairs or edges of an upstairs catwalk. Makes a nice finished edge for flooring.

Top C

A style of carpet constructed of thicker (sometimes a combination of thicker and thinner), yarn characterized by a longer pile height.

Carpet Cushion
Commonly called padding, this is the layer of material that lies between the carpet and floor. Carpet cushion helps provide comfort and support along with excellent noise reduction. Quality cushion is critical to the performance of carpet and is required by manufacturers warranties.

Carpet Dyeing (Continuous Dyeing)
Also called Continuous Dyeing, color is applied directly to the carpet face by spraying or printing. This process is also used to create multi-color or patterned effects in the carpet.

Ceramic Tile
Made of a mixture of clay and other organic material and fired in a kiln. Comes in many shapes and sizes, glazed or unglazed.

Cork Flooring
An early resilient floor covering made from cork oak trees. Available in tiles and sheets.

The uplifting of the edges of flooring due to excessive moisture.

The end result of what happens to flooring when it was sanded when the moisture was still too high in the wood. When the flooring dries out, the edges curl downward, causing crowning in the center of the boards.

Cut Pile
The loops of yarn are cut, creating a more level finish on the face of the carpet. Textures, saxonies and friezes are all considered cut pile carpets.

Top D

Closeness of pile; amount of pile packed into a given area of carpet, usually measured in ounces per square yard.

Top E

Engineered Flooring
Layered flooring designed for stability with a thin hardwood layer on the surface.

Wood floors expand and contract with different humidity levels, so it is paramount that at least 3/4 inch be left by the edges of walls to allow for this movement.

Top F

Face Weight
Is determined by the actual amount of fiber per square yard, and is measured in ounces.

Fiber is the basic material that a carpet is made of. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet made today is made up of synthetic fiber. The rest is natural fiber, most commonly wool.

Frieze/Hard Twist
Also called hard twist, this carpet pile uses highly twisted yarn for a more textured cut pile effect.

Full Roll/ Shipping Roll
A length of carpet; roll goods usually approximately 100 feet long. Shipping roll standards vary and may be as short as 30 feet, depending upon carpet thickness and manufacturers.

Top L

Laminate Flooring
Dense fiberboard with a paper pattern layer sealed under high pressure with a plastic-like substance.

Level Loop
Carpet construction with face yarns tufted or woven into loops of same pile height.

An early resilient flooring made of oil, gum, cork, or MDF.

Loop Pile
Carpet style having a pile surface consisting of uncut loops. May be woven or tufted. Also called "round wire" in woven carpet terminology.

Brightness or sheen of fibers, yarns, carpet or fabrics.

Top M

Matting/Pile Crush
Severe pile crush combined with entanglement of fibers and tufts.

Moisture Content
How much water or humidity is absorbed into the flooring.

Multi-Level Loop Pile
Carpets with loops of yarn at different heights creating a sculptured effect.

Top N

A synthetic fiber. Most quality residential carpets today are made of nylon. Nylon is the leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, and color and styling.

Top P

The upright ends of yarn, whether cut or looped, that form the wearing surface of carpets or rugs.

Pile Density
Number of tufts both across (needles per inch or gauge for tufted carpet) and lengthwise (stitches per inch) of the carpet.

Pile Height
The height of pile measured from the surface of the back to the top of the pile, not including the thickness of the back.

Pile Reversal/ Pooling An irreversible, localized change in the orientation of the pile of a carpet.

Pile Weight
The weight of pile yarn per square yard of carpet.

A condition in certain fibers in which strands of the fiber separate and become knotted with other strands, causing a rough, spotty appearance. Pilled tufts should never be pulled from carpet, but may be cut off with sharp scissors at the pile surface.

Plank Flooring
Wood flooring made of long boards generally wider than three inches.

A common synthetic material well accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance. While not as resilient as nylon, Polyester fiber carpet constructed with today's new technologies can be a good performer.

Another common synthetic material used in carpet manufacturing, sometimes referred to as olefin. Most commonly used in commercial carpeting polypropylene is not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon, it is naturally stain and fade resistant.

A cut pile carpet in which the tuft ends all blend together.

Flooring that is factory-finished. No sanding or finishing is necessary after installation.

Top R

The ability of a carpet fabric or padding to spring back to its original shape of thickness after being crushed or walked upon.

Resilient Flooring
Smooth surfaced flooring manufactured by combining plastic with filler and pigments, then processed into sheets.

Top S

Man-made, using chemical compounds versus natural materials. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet is made up of synthetic fiber – usually one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are created by similar chemical processes using oil and natural gas.

A cut-pile carpet texture consisting of heat-set plied yarns in a relatively dense, erect configuration, with well defined individual tuft tips. Tip definition is more pronounced than in singles plush.

A deep-pile texture with long, cut surface yarns. Currently defined as having a pile height greater than 3/4" with density not exceeding 1800.

A change in carpet appearance caused by a combination of wear and carpet tuft distortion. Shading is not an actual change in color, but is a difference in the way the light source refracts off the face of the carpet.

One of the last stages in the manufacturing of carpet, shearing is the process of removing all of the little loose ends and projecting fibers that might have been created during the tufting process. It also helps achieve the yarn’s tip definition of the finished carpet.

Shedding is a natural part of a new carpet. Frequent vacuuming for the first few days should remove any loose fibers from the carpet’s surface.

Refers to small tufts or loops of carpet that become visible after the installation. Use a small pair of scissors to carefully trim the loose fibers flush with the surface of the carpet.

Staple Fiber
Staple fiber is made up of short strands of fiber (approximately 7 inches long) that are spun together to create strands of yarn. Staple fiber has more of a tendency to “shed” than continuous filament fiber.

Stitch Rate
The measure of how close the yarns are together. Stitch rate is measured in penetrations, or tufts, in a given length of carpet, usually an inch. The stitch rate is controlled by how fast the carpet is moved through the tufting machine.

Refers to the type of tree from which wood flooring is made.

To apply a wood stain to alter a wood floor's appearance and color.

Strip Flooring
Wood flooring made from narrow boards that are laid end to end.

Underneath floor upon which finished flooring is laid. We recommend 3/4-inch CDX plywood for nail-down applications.

Top T

A very popular cut pile carpet that has alternating twists of yarn creating a tonal appearance. This carpet creates a more casual atmosphere in the room and is available in a broad range of colors and densities.

When two different flooring products meet – say, carpeting and a hardwood floor – it’s called a transition. Professional installers try to match the surface heights of various flooring products to minimize transitions.

The first step in the manufacturing of carpet. Tufting begins with the process of weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material.

Carpet yarns are twisted around each other to produce both textural and performance characteristics. Typically the higher the twist the better the performance.

Top U

Flooring that must be sanded and finished after installation.

Top W

Woven Carpet
Carpet produced on a loom through a weaving process by which the lengthwise (warp) yarns and widthwise (weft or filling) yarns are interlaced to form the fabric.

Top Y

Yarn Dyeing
Yarn dyeing, also called pre-dyeing, is where the color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting. The advantages of all yarn dyeing methods include good side-by-side color consistency, large lot sizes, and uniformity.


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Streamline Floor Covering
155 Enterprise Drive
Marshfield, Massachusetts 02050