GLOSSARY

Abrasive Wear
Wear or texture change to an area of carpet that has been damaged by friction caused by rubbing or foot traffic.

 Acid Dyeable Nylon
Nylon polymer that has been modified chemically to make the fiber receive acid dyes. Acid dyeable yarns are available in different dye levels (light, medium and deep).

Adhesive, Ceramic
Used for bonding tile to a surface. Rubber solvents, and rubber and resin-based emulsions can be used as adhesives.

Adipic Acid
A base ingredient in the production of Type 6,6 nylon. Adipic acid has a chain of six carbon atoms. It is reacted with hexamethylene diamine (also having six carbon atoms) to polymerize Type 6,6 nylon.

Aesthetics
Properties perceived by touch and sight, such as the hand, color, luster and texture of carpet.

Affinity
The tendency for two elements or substances to combine chemically. An example is the affinity of acid dyes for nylon fiber.

Air-entangled
Also known as air-interlaced, commingled, or heathered. A method of producing yarn in which BCF yarns are “locked” together by air jets at regular intervals. The resulting yarn is characterized by a heather appearance. Air-entangling is used with solution dyed yarns and yarns with different dye affinities (for use in piece dyeing or yarn dyeing).

Antimicrobial
A chemical treatment added to carpet to reduce the growth of common bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and mildew.

Antistatic
The ability of a carpet system to dissipate an electrostatic charge before it reaches the threshold of human sensitivity.

Antron Lumena®
The best-performing solution dyed fiber for many demanding commercial applications with all the qualities of DuPont Antron® Type 6,6 nylon fiber. Antron Lumena® gives carpets unsurpassed stain cleanability. Most stains can be removed without the use of harsh cleaning agents. (See “Antron® nylon.”)

Antron® Legacy Nylon
The best-performing white dyeable fiber for most commercial applications with all the qualities of DuPont Antron® Type 6,6 nylon fiber. Brings superior soil resistance to the largest and most specified range of commercial carpets. (See “Antron® nylon.”)

Antron® Nylon
The best-known, most-purchased brand of commercial carpet fiber. Antron® nylon combines a superior Type 6,6 polymer substrate, exclusive DuPont fiber engineering, DuraTech® advanced soil resistance technology, and DuPont performance testing and construction standards, resulting in carpet fibers that perform well in the most demanding commercial environments.

Atmospheric Fading Test
A test that indicates a change of shade or hue of dyed fabric caused by a chemical reaction between certain dyes and acid gases. Recommended test methods for carpets (AATCC 129 – Ozone and AATCC 164 – Oxides of Nitrogen) would specify a minimum rating, after two cycles, of no less than International Gray Scale for Color Change rating of 3.

Attached Cushion
A cushioning material, such as foam, rubber, urethane, PVC, etc. adhered to the back side of a carpet to provide additional dimensional stability, thickness and padding.

Autoclave
An oven-like apparatus for use in yarn heatsetting operations. Under pressure in a superheated steam atmosphere, yarn is given a “memory” of its twist. Autoclave heatsetting is a batch, not a continuous, method. An apparatus for making polymer under heat and pressure.

Average Pile Density
The weight of pile yarn in a unit volume of carpet. It is expressed in ounces per cubic yard in the formula: Density = pile yarn Weight (in ounces per square yard) times 36 divided by pile Thickness or pile Height (in inches). Average pile density factors for commercial carpets range from 4200 to 8000. D = W x 36 / T or H

Average Pile Yarn Weight
Mass per unit area of the pile yarn including buried portions of the pile yarn. In the U.S., it is usually expressed as ounces per square yard.

Axminster
A weaving method originating in the eighteenth century in Axminster, England. In this method, individual pile tufts are inserted from spools of colored yarns, making possible an almost endless variety of colors and geometric or floral patterns.

 

 

Backing
Material used as a base over which a finished tile is to be installed. Fabrics and yarns that make up the back of the carpet as opposed to the carpet pile or face. In tufted carpet: Primary backing – A woven or nonwoven fabric in which the yarn is inserted by the tufting needles. Secondary backing – Fabric laminated to the back of the carpet to reinforce and increase dimensional stability. In woven carpet, the backing is the “construction yarns” which are interwoven with the face yarn.

Balanced Cuts
Cuts of tile at the perimeter of an area which will not take full tiles. Also the same sized cuts on each side of a miter.

Base
One or more rows of tile installed above the floor (See Cove)

BCF Yarn
An abbreviation for Bulked Continuous Filament yarn referring to synthetic fibers in a continuous form. BCF yarn can be used in cut or loop pile construction.

Beam
A large cylinder on which carpet yarns, usually pre-dyed, are wound prior to feeding onto tufting, weaving or fusion bonding equipment.

Beating Block
A wooden block used to embed tiles in a flat plane. Method is called “beating in”.

Beck Dye
Dyeing of tufted greige carpet in a large vat of dye liquor. In this process, the carpet roll is sewn into a loop and then is continuously rotated and immersed in the heated vat for several hours. Most commonly used for cut pile carpet, it offers good custom color flexibility. (See “Dye methods.”)

Berber
Loop-pile carpet tufted with thick yarn, such as wool, nylon or olefin. Often having random specks of color in contrast to a base hue, this floor covering has a full, comfortable feel, while maintaining an informal, casual look. Currently, this term has expanded to describe many level or multi-level loop carpet styles.

Bicottura
Method for producing tile by firing twice (first fire for body, second fire to fuse glazes onto body). Can be produced using three different clays – red or cottoforte, yellow or majolica and white clay. Usually have two glazes on the tile, the first a non-transparent on the body and a transparent glaze on the surface.

Binding
A band or strip sewn over a carpet edge to protect, strengthen or decorate the edge.

Bleeding
Loss of color by a fabric or yarn when immersed in water or a solvent, as a result of improper dyeing or the use of dyes of poor quality. Fabrics that bleed will stain white or lightly shaded fabrics that come in contact with them when wet.

Blend
A mixture of two or more fibers or yarns.Blending

Body
Term refers to structural portion of a ceramic product and to the material or mixture from which it is made.

Bonded Polyurethane
Cushion produced by grinding flexible polyurethane foam into small particles and binding them together with a chemical adhesive.

Branded Fibers And Yarns
First-quality fiber and yarn backed by the manufacturer to have special attributes and value.

Bright
The opposite of dull or matte when describing luster.

 

Broadloom
A term used to denote carpet produced in widths wider than 6 feet. Broadloom is usually 12 feet wide, but may also be 13’6″ and 15 feet wide.

 

Bulked Continuous Filament (BCF)
Continuous strands of synthetic fiber formed into yarn bundles of a given number of filaments and texturized to increase bulk and cover. Texturizing changes the straight filaments into kinked or curled configurations.

Bulking
Also known as crimping or texturizing. Bulking imparts texture/fullness to the fiber or yarn during production. Bulking is done to increase the coverage and bloom the yarn will have in the carpet face. Bulking also adds to fiber resiliency (“spring back”). (See “Texturizing.”)

Bullnose
A trim tile with a convex radius on one side. Used for finishing top of wainscoat or turning of an outside corner.

Buttering
The spreading of a bond coat to the back of the ceramic tile immediately before tile is placed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabled Yarn
A yarn formed by twisting together two or more plied yarns.

Carding 
The step after blending in the staple spinning process which combs out the loose fibers and arranges them in orderly strands called sliver. Sliver is drawn and blended, then twisted and further drawn into yarns.

Cationic Dyeable Nylon 
Nylon polymer that has been modified chemically to make the fiber receptive to cationic (basic) dyes. Cationic dyeable yarns are used in conjunction with acid dyeable yarns to produce multicolors in piece dye methods.

Cement Body Tile
Tiles with a structure made from a mixture of sand and Portland cement. The surface can be finished with Portland cement, spheroids, marble or other materials.

Ceramic Tile
A ceramic surfacing unit, usually relatively thin in relation to facial area, made from clay or a mixture of clay and other ceramic material. Has glazed or unglazed face and is fired above red heat in the course of manufacture to a temperature sufficiently high to produce specific physical properties and characteristics.

Colorfastness
The ability of a carpet or fiber to retain color when exposed to (1) ultraviolet light, (2) crocking (wet or dry), or (3) atmospheric conditions (according to manufacturers’ and government test standards).

Compression Force Deflection 
Measurement of polyurethane cushions load-bearing characteristics. The result shows the reaction to loading applied over time such as when a person stands on it.

Compression Resistance
Measurement of rubber cushion’s load-bearing characteristics. This indicates the product’s response to immediate loading such as that experienced when it is stepped upon.

Conductive Tile 
Made from a special body composition or by methods resulting in specific properties of electrical conductivity while retaining other normal physical properties of tile.

Construction
The manufacturing method (i.e. tufted, woven) and the final arrangement of fiber and backing materials as stated in its specification.

Continuous Dyeing
Dyeing of carpet (greige) while it travels continuously through a dye range. The process is frequently referred to by the name of one of the prime machinery manufacturers, Eduard Kuster (pronounced “Kooster”). Continuous dyeing can produce multicolored or solid-colored carpet. Multicolored carpet is achieved by using cross-dyeable yarns or with various accessories that can give a pattern or overprint. Advantages include large dye lots, relatively low cost and color flexibility. However, this method is more critical than beck dyeing or yarn dyeing for side-to-side matching consistency (the carpet must be installed in roll sequence). (See “Dye methods.”)

Continuous Filament
Unbroken strand of synthetic fiber, such as filament nylon or olefin. Nylon and olefin are made by extruding molten polymer through a spinnerette (similar to a showerhead). The fibers are cooled, then stretched and textured into bundles referred to as yarn. This yarn can be plied or commingled with other yarn and then tufted.

Continuous Heatsetting
The process of applying heat to yarns to “set” or retain bulk, twist and spring introduced by spinning and/or twisting. Continuous heatsetting can be applied to staple or continuous filament yarns. The two primary types of continuous heatsetting equipment are the Superba, which uses steam and pressure, and the Suessen, which uses dry heat. (See “Heatsetting.”)

Conventional Installation
Method of installing ceramic tile with Portland cement mortar.

Converter 
An intermediate that usually buys raw fiber, processes it to a carpet manufacturer’s specification, then sells the finished product to the carpet manufacturer.

Cork Flooring 
One of the earliest of modern resilient floor coverings, the flooring is made from the bark of cork oak trees, a replenishable material. Cork flooring is available in tiles and sheet goods in natural unfinished cork, waxed cork, resin-reinforced waxed and vinyl impregnated cork in many colors including natural shades.

Cotton Count
The yarn numbering system based on length and weight originally used for cotton yarns and now employed for most staple yarns. It is based on a unit length of 840 yards, and the count of the yarn is equal to the number of 840-yard skeins required to weigh one pound. Under this system, the higher the number, the finer the yarn. A typical carpet yarn might be a three cotton count two plied, written as 3.0/2c.c.

Cove
A trim tile with one edge a concave radius. Used to form a junction between the bottom wall course and the floor or to form an inside corner.

Crazing
The cracking which occurs in fired glazed or other critical tensile stresses.

Creel
The rack or frame located behind a tufting machine which holds the cones of pile yarn that feed into the needles of a tufting machine.

Crimp
In fiber, a nonlinear configuration, such as a sawtooth, zigzag or random curl relative to the fiber axis. Most synthetic fibers, both staple and filament, used in carpets are crimped. Fiber crimp increases bulk and cover and facilitates interlocking of staple fibers in spun yarns. (See “Texturizing.”)

Crockfastness
The resistance of transfer of colorant from the surface of a colored yarn or fabric to another surface, or to an adjacent area of the same fabric, principally by rubbing.

Crocking
The removal of dye from a fabric by rubbing. Crocking can be caused by insufficient dye penetration or fixation, the use of improper dyes or dyeing methods, or insufficient washing and treatment after the dyeing operation. Crocking can occur under dry or wet conditions.

Cross Section
The shape of a fiber when cut perpendicular to its axis. Man-made fiber cross sections vary to produce a wide variety of physical effects such as soil-hiding characteristics, soil releasing, luster, and fineness or coarseness. The most advanced carpet filament cross section is the four-hole hollow filament. The most advanced carpet staple cross section is the modified delta.

Crushing
The collapsing of pile yarns, resulting in carpet matting and loss of resilience. This form of carpet failure usually occurs in the areas of heaviest traffic. It is also called “matting” and “walking out.” It can be minimized by the use of more resilient fibers, denser construction, somewhat higher weight and (in cut pile) with higher tuft twist and proper heatsetting.

Cushion
Any kind of material placed under carpet to provide softness and adequate support when it is walked upon. Carpet cushion provides a softer feel underfoot and provides added acoustical and insulation benefits and longer wear life for the carpet. In some cases, the carpet cushion is attached to the carpet when it is manufactured. Also referred to as “padding” or “underlay,” although “cushion” is the preferred term. Cushion under most residential carpet should be a thickness no greater than 7/16″.

Cut and Loop Pile 
A carpet fabric in which the face is composed of a combination of cut ends of pile yarns and loops.

Cut Pile
A carpet fabric in which the face is composed of cut ends of pile yarn.

Decorative Tile
Tile with a ceramic decoration on the surface.

Delamination
Separation of the secondary backing or attached cushion from the primary backing of the carpet.

Delustering
Synthetic fibers with polymer additives and/or cross-section design modification that limit its natural brightness or reflectivity. Delustering improves soil-hiding characteristics, as it limits the soil magnification that would occur with clear or shiny fiber.

Denier
A weight-per-unit-length measure of filament fibers or yarns. Denier is numerically equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of fiber. Denier is a direct numbering system in which the lower numbers represent the finer sizes and the higher numbers the coarser sizes. In the U.S., the denier system is used for numbering filament yarns and man-made fiber staple (but not spun yarns).

Densified Polyurethane
Flexible polyurethane foam cushion having modified, elongated cells.

Density
Refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. In general, the denser the pile, the better the performance.

Dhurrie
Dhurrie rugs and carpets are flat woven items traditional to India, made of cotton or silk. They are noted for soft colorations and varied patterns.

Dimensional Stability
The ability of the carpet to retain its original size and shape, e.g. a secondary backing adds dimensional stability to carpet.

Direct Glue-down
An installation method whereby the carpet is adhered to the floor.

Double Glue-down
An installation method whereby the carpet cushion is first adhered to the floor with an adhesive, and the carpet is then glued to the cushion.

Drop Match
A drop match is a pattern that continues across the carpet diagonally or at a 45-degree angle to the edge of the seam.

Embossed
A decoration in relief or excised on the wear surface.

Epoxy Adhesive
A two-part adhesive system employing epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Used for bonding ceramic tile to back-up material.

Epoxy Grout
A two-part grout system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Formulated to have impervious qualities – stain and chemical resistance. Used to fill joints between tiles.

Extrusion
Second stage of nylon production: The process of forcing molten material through a spinnerette (similar to a showerhead). Once exposed to air cooling, the fiber strands harden. It is at the extrusion stage that many of the fiber engineering improvements take place: cross section design, shape, size and uniformity to give better soil hiding, soil releasing, and strength. All synthetic carpet fibers are extruded.

Gauge
The distance between two needle points expressed in fractions of an inch. Applies to both knitting and tufting.

Gauge/Pitch
The number of ends of surface yarn counting across the width of carpet. In woven carpet, pitch is the number of ends of yarn in 27 inches of width; e.g., 216 pitch divided by 27 = 8 ends per inch. In tufted carpet, gauge also means the number of ends of surface yarn per inch counting across the carpet; e.g., 1/8 = 8 ends per inch. To convert gauge to pitch, multiply ends per inch by 27; e.g., 1/10 gauge is equivalent to 270 pitch, or 10 ends per inch x 27.

Glass Mosaic Tiles
Made of glass usually in sizes not over 2″ square and 1/4″ thick mounted on sheets ot paper. Sheets are usually 12″ x 12″.

Glaze
A coating matured to the glassy state on a formed ceramic product. Also refers to the material or mixture from which the coating is made. Bright Glaze – A high-glass coating with or without color. Clear Glaze Transparent with or without color. Crystalline Glaze – Contains microscopic crystals. Frittat Glaze – Uses all or part of prefused fluxing constituents. Matte Glaze – A low-gloss glaze with or without color. Opaque Glaze – Nontransparent coating with or without color. Raw Glaze – Compounded primarily of raw constituents and contains no prefused materials. Semimatte Glaze – A medium-gloss finish with or without color. Speckled Glaze – Features granules of oxides or ceramic stains of contrasting colors.

Glazed Tile
Clay shaped into tiles, fire-hardened, then covered with a matte or glossy glaze or sealant to make the tiles more resistant to moisture.

Grafted Prime Polyurethane
Flexible polyurethane foam cushion formulated with added reinforcement for increased load-bearing.

Graphics Machine
A form of tufting machine capable of producing patterns, usually by the use of shifting needle bars that may be individually controlled or by individually controlled needles or a combination of the two. Major refinements using computer technology have been engineered into “graphics machines.” Each new machine improvement brings tufting patterns nearer to those of woven capability.

Greige Goods
(Pronounced “gray” goods.) Term designating carpet in an undyed or unfinished state.

Grout
A cement of chemically setting mortar filling tile joints.

Hand
The tactile aesthetic qualities of carpet and textiles, how it feels to the hand.

Heat Setting
The process that sets the twist by heat or steam, enabling yarns to hold their twist over time. Important in cut pile carpet. Most nylon, olefin and polyester cut pile carpets are heat-set.

Heather
A subtle multicolored effect produced by commingling yarns or spinning blended fibers of different colors together.

Heavy Duty Tile
Tile suitable for areas where heavy pedestrian traffic is prevalent. Can be specified to meet higher test values as determined by job requirements.

Heddle
A frame of parallel wires (like needles) through which warp yarns are threaded. The heddle is raised and lowered to interlace face yarns.

High Low
Multilevel carpets with high and low loop pile areas or high cut-pile and low loop areas. The latter is also called a cut and loop carpet.

Hooked Rug
Rugs made by pulling yarns or fabric strips through a mesh backing. Many are designed in various colors to create a scene or design.

Impervious Tile
Has water absorption of 0.5% or less.

Indoor/Outdoor Carpet
A term synonymous with outdoor carpet.

Jute
A fibrous plant, native to India and Asia, which can be shredded and spun into yarn, used for backing in woven carpets, or itself woven into sheets and used as secondary backing on tufted carpet. In many applications, jute is being replaced by fiberglass, polypropylene or other synthetic fibers.

Kilim or Kelim
A flat woven rug– usually reversible.

Knitting
A fabrication process comprised of interlacing yarns in a series of connected loops with needles. Some carpet is produced by knitting, but it is generally categorized as woven carpet. In carpet knitting, as in weaving, pile and backing are produced simultaneously. Multiple sets of needles interlace pile, backing and stitching yarns in one operation.

Kuster
A trade name of a manufacturer of continuous dyeing machines which apply dye to tufted carpet. (See “Continuous dyeing.”)

 

Laminate Flooring
Relatively new to North America, laminates have a dense fiberboard core with a paper pattern layer sealed under high pressure both top and bottom with a plastic-like substance. Sold as planks and panels in wood, stone, tile and other looks.

Latex
A water emulsion of synthetic rubber, natural rubber, or other polymer. In carpet, latex is used for laminating secondary backings to tufted carpet, backcoating carpet and rugs, and for backcoating woven carpets and rugs. Almost all carpet latex consists of styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber (SBR) compounded with large quantities of powdered filler.

Latex-portland Cement Grout
Combines portland cement grout with a special latex additive to make a less rigid, less permeable grout than regular portland cement group.

Latex-portland Cement Mortar
Mixture of portland cement, sand, and special latex additives. Used for bonding tile to back-up material. It is less rigid than portland cement mortar.

Level Loop
A carpet construction in which the yarn on the face of the carpet forms a loop with both ends anchored into the carpet back. The pile loops are of substantially the same height and uncut, making a smooth, level surface.

Linoleum
One of the first resilient floors, it was introduced in the 1800s. Made of linseed oil, gums, cork or wood dust and pigments, linoleum is no longer manufactured in the U.S. Often the term is used incorrectly to describe resilient floors made of vinyl.

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.

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

Marble
Limestone flooring known for its elegant appearance created by polishing its very hard surface. Now available in tiles.

Marble Tile
Marble cut into tiles 12″ x 12″ or less – usually 1/2″ to 1/4″ thick. Available in various finishes, including polished, honed and split faced.

Mechanically Frothed
Cushion of polyurethane chemicals and reinforcing filler frothed with air into the reacting mixture.

Mexican Paver Tile
Used mainly on floors. The hand-made tiles vary in color, texture and appearance. The terracotia-like tile in hexagon, octagon, elongated hexagon, fleur de lis squares up to 12″- and other shapes. Coated with various types of sealers to provide a wearing surface.

Miter Joint
A junction of two pieces of carpet (or other material) at an angle. Most miter joints involve pieces at right angles to one another with their ends cut at 45 degrees to form the joint.

Modular Carpet Or Tile
Also called “carpet tile.” Generally 18″ x 18″ squares cut from 6′-wide or broadloom carpet.

Monocottura
Method of producing tile by a single firing in which body and glazes are fired simultaneously in kilns at temperatures over 2000 degrees.

Monofilament
A single filament of a man-made fiber usually of a denier higher than 14. Monofilaments are usually spun individually instead of through a spinnerette.

Mosaic Tile
Formed by either the dust pressed or plastic method. Usually 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick with a facia area of less than six square inches. Made of porcelain or natural clay composition, with or without an abrasive mixture throughout.

Mounted Tile
Tile assembled into units or sheets, either back mounted or face mounted. and bonded by suitable material to facilitate handling. Back mounted has perforated paper, fiber mesh resin or other suitable material permanently attached to the back and/or edges so that a portion of the back of each tile is exposed to the bond coat. Face mounted has paper applied to the face of the tile, usually by water soluble adhesive so it is easily removed prior to grouting of the joints.

Natural Clay Tile
A ceramic mosaic or paver tile made by dust-pressed or plastic method. Made from clays that produce a dense body with a distinctive, slightly textured appearance.

Nominal Sizes
Approximate facial size or thickness of tile for general reference expressed in inches or fractions of an inch.

Non-slip Tile
Tile with greater non-slip characteristics due to abrasive admixture, abrasive particles, grooves or patterns in the surface or because of natural non-skid surface characteristics.

Nonvitreous Tile
Has water absorption of more than 7%.

Nylon
A petrochemical-based fiber invented in 1938 by DuPont. There are two basic types of nylon: Type 6,6 nylon and Type 6 nylon. Nylon is produced in bulked continuous filament for use in loop carpets and cut pile carpets; and staple nylon which is spun into yarn for use in cut pile carpets. Nylon is the dominant fiber choice for commercial use due to its wear characteristics.

Nylon—type 6
Made from one base ingredient: caprolactam. Compared to Type 6,6 nylon, Type 6 nylon accepts dye at a faster rate. The more open molecular structure of Type 6 nylon allows dye stuffs (and stains) in more readily. Common spills and stains such as coffee, soda, foodstuffs and medicine will stain Type 6 nylon more readily than Type 6,6, whether solution dyed or conventionally dyed.

Nylon—type 6,6
Made with two base chemical ingredients: adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine. Type 6,6 nylon has a tighter molecular structure, making it harder, more resilient and more resistant to stains than Type 6 nylon. In the U.S., where the highest commercial carpet standards are set, over 60% of all nylon carpets installed are Type 6,6 nylon.

Olefin Fiber
Also known as polypropylene. It is used for molded items, sheets, films and fibers. 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, olefin is less expensive than nylon. Olefin does not accept aqueous-based dyes or stains. Color is added in the manufacturing process in the form of pigment. Printable modifications are available but not extensively used. Olefin is a lightweight fiber and can have good bulk and cover. However, the polymer base creates a soft fiber which has poor resiliency, a lower melting point and poor texture retention as compared to nylon. The carpet fiber is available as bulked continuous filament yarn. Only when budget is the main consideration, lower life expectancy is anticipated, and long-term appearance retention is not a priority, olefin can be considered.

Oriental Rug
Handwoven or hand knotted rugs native to the Middle or Far East available in many patterns and known for their colorations. Many machine-made rugs, made using Oriental rug designs, are also referred to as Oriental rugs.

Ozone Fading
The fading of color from a dyed or pigmented fiber caused by atmospheric contaminants of ozone.

Parquet Floors
Flooring made up of wood that is laid or inlaid to create patterns, most often geometric ones.

Pattern Match
Lining up patterned carpet in such a way that the design element is continued across seams, making the finished installation appear cohesive. Patterns must be matched in the same way as they appear on the carpet itself either in a set match or drop match.

Paver Tile
Unglazed porcelain or natural clay tile formed by the dust-pressed method. Similar to ceramic mosaic tile in composition arc physical properties but relatively thicker with six square inches or more of facial area.

Pickled Floors
The result of rubbing white paint into previously stained finished wood flooring for an informal or more casual look.`

Piece Dyed
A method in which tufted carpet is dyed, as opposed to yarn dye methods in which color is added to yarn before tufting.

Pigment
Highly colored, insoluble substance used to impart color to other materials. White pigments, e.g., titanium dioxide, are dispersed in fiber polymers to produce delustered (semi-dull and dull) fibers. Colored pigments are added to polymer to create producer colored or solution dyed yarns.

Pile
The visible surface of carpet consisting of yarn tufts in loop and/or cut configuration. Sometimes called “face” or “nap”.

Pile Crush
Loss of pile thickness by compression and blending of tufts caused by traffic and heavy furniture. The tufts collapse into the air space between them. This may be irreversible if the yarn has inadequate resilience and/or the pile has insufficient density for the traffic load. Frequent vacuuming will lift the pile for longer carpet life.

Pile Height
The length of the tufts measured from the primary backing top surface to their tips. Pile tufts should be gently extended but not stretched during accurate measurement. This specification is expressed in fractions of an inch or decimal fractions of an inch in the U.S.

Pile Reversal
A persistent change in the direction of the pile lay in certain areas resulting in an apparent visual difference of shade. Also known as watermarking, pooling or shading.

Pile Thickness
The resulting thickness when the thickness of the backing is subtracted from the total thickness of the finished carpet.

Pilling
A condition of the carpet face (which may occur from heavy traffic) in which fibers from different tufts become entangled with one another, forming hard masses of fibers and tangled tufts. Pills may be cut off with scissors.

Pinholes
Imperfections in the surface of a ceramic body or glaze.

Plank Flooring
Wood flooring made of long boards more than 3 inches wide.

Plush
Luxuriously smooth-textured carpet surface in which individual tufts are only minimally visible and the overall visual effect is that of a single level of yarn ends. This finish is normally achieved only on cut-pile carpet produced from non-heat-set singles spun yarns by brushing and shearing. Sometimes called “velvet-plush.”

Ply
1. A single-end component in a plied yarn. 2. The number that tells how many single ends have been ply-twisted together to form a plied yarn, e.g. two-ply or three-ply.

Polyester Fiber
A synthetic fiber, usually produced with staple fiber and spun yarns, that is used in some carpet fiber.

Polymer
Polymers are large chemical molecules from which synthetic fibers are made. Polymers are complex, chain-like molecules made by uniting simpler molecules called monomers. Synthetic polymers used for commercial carpet fiber include Type 6,6 nylon and Type 6 nylon (polyamides) and polypropylene.

Porcelain Tile
A ceramic mosaic or paver tile generally made by the dust-pressed method of a composition that produces a dense impervious line gained tile with smooth and sharply formed face.

Power Stretcher
A carpet installation tool used to stretch carpet for installation with a tackless strip. According to industry standards, residential carpet, installed over cushion with a tackless strip, must be power-stretched to prevent wrinkles and ripples.

Pregrouted Tile
A surfacing unit consisting of an assembly of ceramic tile bonded together at the edges by a material (generally elasiomeric) which completely seals the joints. The material (grout) may fill the joint completely or partially and may cover all, part, or none of the back surfaces of the tiles. The perimeter of these factory pregrouted sheets may include all, part or none of the joint between the sheets. The term edgebonded tile is sometimes used to designate a type of pregrouted tile sheet having the front and back sufaces completely exposed.

Printed Carpet
Carpet having printed colored patterns. Printing methods include flatbed screen printing, rotary screen printing, and modern computer-programmed jet injection printing.

Quarry Tile
Glazed or unglazed ceramic tile made using an extrusion process. An example is the terra-cotta squares used in the Southwest.

Quarry Tile
Unglazed tile that is usually six square inches or more in surface area and 1/2 to 3/4″ thick. Made by the extrusion process from natural clay or shale.

Rag Rug
A sturdy, colorful rug handwoven from cotton scraps.

Random Sheared
A carpet texture created by lightly shearing (shaving off) either level loop or high-low loop so only some of the tufts are sheared. The sheared areas are less reflective than the unsheared loop which appear brighter and lighter in color. This gives a cut and loop texture.

Reducer Reinforced Froth
A trim unit used to shorten the radius of a bullnose or a cove to another radius or to a square.

Remnant
A short piece of carpet from a roll of carpet that usually measures less than nine feet long.

Resilience
Ability of carpet pile or cushion to recover original appearance and thickness after being subjected to compressive forces or crushing under traffic.

Resilient Floor
Smooth surfaced flooring (tiles, strips, or sheet goods) manufactured by combining a plastic material with filler and pigments, then processed into sheets of different thicknesses. If a backing material is used, the plastic sheet is joined to the backing. Types include solid vinyl, backed or cushioned vinyl, rubber, cork and linoleum.

Resinated Recycled Textile Fiber
Needle-punched synthetic fibers recycled from textile processes.

Rippled Rubber
Natural or synthetic rubber cushion produced to give the appearance of bubbles on the surface and usually containing non-woven or paper scrim on the top side.

Rows Or Wires
In woven carpet, this is the number of pile yarn tufts per running inch lengthwise. Called rows in Axminster and wires in Wilton and Velvet carpet. Analogous to “stitches per inch” in tufted carpet.

Rubber Flooring
Today rubber flooring-tiles and sheet goods-is made from synthetic rubber. It comes in ribbed, coin or other raised patterns.

Rubberized Hair
Needle-punched felt of clean, sterilized natural fiber coated with skid-proof resin on top and bottom.

Rubberized Jute
Needle-punched felt of just fiber sealed on both sides with filled latex and embossed.

Sampling
Method of obtaining tile for testing from an agreed upon lot.

Saxony
A cut-pile carpet texture with twisted yarns in a relatively dense, erect configuration. The effect is well-defined tuft tips.

Sculptured Tile
Tile with a decorative design of high and low areas molded into the finished face.

Seam Sealing
Procedure of coating the trimmed edges of two carpet breadths to be joined with a continuous bead of adhesive in order to prevent fraying and raveling at the seam.

Seams
In a carpet installation, the line formed by joining the edge of two pieces of carpet by the use of various seaming tapes, hand sewing or other techniques.

Self-spacing Tile
Tile with lugs spacers or protuberances on the sides which automatically space the tile for grout joints.

Selvage
The edge of the carpet. Most commercial carpets are shipped with the selvage on. Residential carpet is usually trimmed to the face yarn. Also known as “selvedge.”

Semivitreous Tile
Has water absorotion of more than 3% but not more than 7%.

Serging
A method of finishing edges of area rugs by use of heavy, colored yarn sewn around the edges in a close, overcast stitch

Shading
A change in the appearance of a carpet due to localized distortions in the orientation of the fibers, tufts or loops. Shading is not a change in color or hue, but a difference in light reflection.

Sisal
Originally made of vegetable fibers, the carpet industry has recently captured the look of natural sisal and jute with the gentler, more comfortable synthetic alternatives. Wool and synthetic alternatives are almost worry-free and offer a variety of interesting textures, patterns and prints.

Sisal Flooring
Rugs, mats and matting made from sisal, a natural plant material. Available woven and dyed in various colors, as well as machine and handpainted. Similar flooring is made of jute, coconut and seagrass.

Skein Dyed Yarn
Singles yarn that has been skein dyed. Yarn is wound in skeins and dyed in dye vats. This method yields small to mid-sized dye lots, but has custom color advantages.

Slate
A naturally laminated rock that is often used in regular and irregular shapes embedded in cement or mortar to create a hard-surface, patterned floor.

Slip-resistant Tile
Tile having greater skid-resistance characteristics due to an abrasive mixture, abrasive particles in the surtace, or grooves or patterns in the surface.

Smoke Chamber Test
Method that assesses smoke generating characteristics of a carpet sample due to pyrolysis and combustion by measuring the attenuation of a light beam by smoke accumulating in a closed chamber under controlled conditions.

Soil Hiding
The ability of a fiber to mask the presence of soil.

Soil Retardant
A chemical finish applied to fibers or carpet surfaces that inhibits attachment of soil.

Solid Vinyl Flooring
This smooth-surfaced plastic floor is a mixture of vinyl resins, plasticizer, fillers and stabilizers with color added throughout the product. Produced in either square tiles or sheet goods.

Spacers
Cross, tee-shaped and y-shaped. They are used in installation to separate tile on walls and floors. Manufactured in various thicknesses trom 1/16 to 1/2″.

Sprouting
Protrusion of individual tuft or yarn ends about the pile surface. May be clipped with scissors.

Spun Yarn
Yarn that is made up of short lengths of fiber, either synthetic staple or natural fiber

Staple
Short lengths of fiber that may be converted into spun yarns by textile yarn spinning processes. These spun yarns are also called “staple” yarns. For carpet yarns spun on the common, modified worsted systems, most staple is six to eight inches long. Staple fiber may also be converted directly into nonwoven fabrics, such as needlepunched carpet.

Staple Fiber
Also called staple. Short lengths of fiber which have been chopped from continuous filament in lengths of 4″ to 7 1/2″. Staple fiber must be further processed (spun) into yarn before it can be tufted/woven into carpet. Nylon and polyester are examples of synthetic fibers available in staple form.

Stitches
Stitches per inch. Number of yarn tufts per running inch of a single tuft row in tufted carpet.

Stitches Per Inch (Spi)
Number of yarn tufts per running inch along the length of the carpet (as opposed to the gauge which is the number of stitches across the width of the carpet).

Stretch
A carpet installation term for the give in carpet when it is pulled over pad onto tackless strips.

Stretch-in
Installation procedure for installing carpet over separate cushion using a tackless strip; properly performed with a power-stretcher.

Strip Flooring
The most popular wood flooring, it is made of long, narrow-about 3-inches wide-tongue-and-groove boards that are end-matched. Strip flooring wider than inches is called plank flooring.

Substrate
The underlayment for the ceramic tile installation.

Suessen
A trade name of a German manufacturing company and its continuous heatsetting process. In Suessen setting, dry heat is applied to twisted yarn. The heat builds bulk and locks twist into the thermoplastic fiber’s “memory.”

Superba
A trade name of a French manufacturing company and its continuous heatsetting process. In Superba setting, steam and pressure are applied to twisted yarn. Heat and pressure are applied to build the bulk and lock twist into the thermoplastic fiber’s “memory.”

Synthetic Fiber
Produced by man-made means, not available in nature in the same form.

Synthetic Fibers
Non-woven needle-punched felt made principally of post industrial scrap synthetic carpet material with no outside additives.

 

Tackless Strip
Wood or metal strips fastened to the floor near the walls of a room containing either two or three rows of pins angled toward the walls on which the carpet backing is stretched and secured in a stretch-in installation.

Textured Loop
A woven or tufted carpet style having all tufts in a loop form with varying degrees of height.

Textured Rubber
Natural or synthetic rubber cushion produced with a fine textured appearance on the bottom and non-woven or paper backing on the top.

Thin-set
The bonding of tile with suitable materials applied approximately 1/8″ thick.

Tip Definition
Visible individual twisted cut yarn ends in a carpet surface. If, under heavy wear and pivoting, the tufts have been splayed open, the carpet is said to have lost its tip definition.

Tip Shearing
Shaving off tufted high loops in the finishing process to create a cut and uncut texture or pattern

Total Weight
Weight (ounces) per square yard of the total carpet pile yarn, primary and secondary backings and coatings.

Tuft Bind
Force required to pull a tuft from the carpet.

Tufted
Carpet manufactured by the insertion of tufts of yarn through a carpet-backing fabric, creating a pile surface of cut and/or loop ends.

Twist
The winding of the yarn around itself. Should be neat and well-defined. A tighter twist provides enhanced durability.

Underlay
Carpet cushion under rugs.

Unglazed Tile
A hard, dense tile of uniform composition throughout, deriving color and texture from the materials from which the body is made

Velvets
The ultimate in elegance, all the pile fibers blend together in these extra-dense, cut pile carpets to give you an ultra-smooth sweep of rich, luxurious color.

Vertical Broken Joint
Ceramic tile installaton featuring each vertical row offset for half its length.

Vinyl Composition Tile (Vct)
These floor tiles are made from vinyl resins and filler materials to create resilient flooring in assorted colors and patterns.

Vitreous Tile
Has water absorption of more than 0.5%. but not more than 3%.

Wall Tile
Glazed tile with a body suitable for interior use. Usually nonvitreous, it is neither required nor expected to withstand excessive impact or be subject to freezing or thawing conditions.

Wilton
A type of woven carpet and the loom used to manufacture it. Wilton looms have jacquard pattern mechanisms which use punched cards/computer programs to select yarn color. The carpets are often patterned or have multilevel surfaces.

Wood Flooring
Most wood flooring is made of hardwoods, such as oak, maple, pecan, beech and birch. There is solid wood flooring and laminated, which combines wood layered in different directions for strength and to inhibit warping. Most wood flooring today is prefinished at the factory for ease of installation and uniformity of finish.

Woven
Carpet produced on a weaving loom in which the lengthwise yarns and widthwise yarns are interlaced to form the fabric, including the face and the backing.

Yarn
A continuous strand of fibers used in tufting, weaving and bonding to form carpet and other fabrics. Carpet yarn is often plied and may be either spun staple or continuous filament.

Yarn Count
A number used to describe the size of the yarn. Denier is used for BCF yarns, and cotton count for spun yarns.

Yarn Dyeing
Applying color to yarns which are later used in making carpet. It can be in continuous yarn dyeing methods such as space dyeing or can be in batch methods such as skein dyeing.

Yarn Ply
The number of single yarns twisted together to form a plied yarn.

Yarn Size
The weight measure of the total bundle of filaments making up a yarn which indicate if the yarn is fine or coarse. Continuous filament yarns are sized by the denier or decitex system. Spun yarns are sized by the cotton count system.

Yarn Weight
Total amount of yarn used in the manufacturing of carpet. It is measured in ounces per square yard.

Zippering
A loop pile carpet in which tufts are pulled from the backing resulting in long, lengthwise pulls out of the carpet. Zippering occurs when the tuft base is not securely encapsulated by the backing compound.