Axminster Carpet: Machine-woven carpet with colorful patterns produced by an enormous variety of colors.
Berber Carpet: Got its name from the off-white, heathered look of cloaks used by Berber tribes of North Africa. Berber carpets use flecked yarns most often in loop styles. The size of the loops varies from large and nubby to smaller styles. Patterned Berbers come in multi-level-loop and cut-and-loop styles. Berber styles are available in pastels, dark tones and naturals.
Binding: A strip sewn over a carpet edge for protection against unraveling. Carpet is bound to form rugs.
Broadloom: A term originally used to denote carpet produced in widths wider than six feet. Today carpet comes in 6-foot, 12-foot, and 15-foot widths.
Brocade: A carpet or rug with a raised pattern or engraved effect formed using heavy twisted yarn tufts on a ground of straight fibers.
Carpet Backing: Fabrics or yarns forming the back of the carpet as opposed to the carpet pile or face. Tufted carpets have two backings: a primary backing into which the pile yarn is inserted, and a secondary fabric backing laminated to the back of the carpet for reinforcement and dimensional stability.
Carpet Cushion: A variety of materials placed under carpet to provide softness and longer wear when walked on. In some cases, the carpet cushion is attached to the carpet during manufacturing. Also called lining, padding, or underlay.
Carpet Pile: Fibers that form the upper surface of carpet.
Carpet Squares: Loose laid or self-adhesive backed "tiles" of carpet.
Ceramic Tile: Made from clay or a mixture of organic materials, and finished by kiln firing. Two most common types are mosaic and quarry. Made in many shapes and sizes, Ceramic Tile comes glazed or unglazed. Ceramic floor tiles are set in a cement or mortar type mixture.
Cork Flooring: One of the earliest of modern resilient floor coverings, Cork 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.
Cut-and-Loop Carpet: A multilevel loop carpet, with sheared taller loops. The resulting uncut loops and sheared top loops create a sculptured pattern. The texture and subtle, variegated colorings help hide soil and traffic wear.
Cut Pile: The face of a carpet where the surface is composed of cut ends of yarn.
Dhurrie: Flat woven carpets and rugs traditional to India. They are made from cotton or silk and noted for soft colorations and varied patterns.
Frieze: (Pronounced "free-zay") Tightly twisted yarn is used to give this carpet pile a rough, nubby appearance. Frieze carpets come in loop or cut styles.
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.
Hooked Rug: Rugs made by pulling yarns or fabric strips through a mesh backing. Hooked rugs are commonly designed in various colors to create a scene or design.
Indoor/Outdoor Carpet: Carpet designed for outdoor use.
Kilim or Kelim: A flat, woven, typically reversible rug.
Laminate Flooring: Dense fiberboard core with a paper pattern layer sealed to both top and bottom under high pressure with a plastic-like substance. Laminate is sold as planks and panels in wood, stone, tile, and other looks.
Level Loop Carpet: A carpet style - woven or tufted - with a same-height loop surface.
Linoleum: One of the first resilient floors, introduced in the 1800s and no longer manufactured in the U.S. Linoleum is made from linseed oil, gums, cork, or wood dust and pigments. The term is often used incorrectly to describe resilient vinyl floors.
Loop Pile Carpet: Carpet style having a surface made up of uncut loops.
Marble: Limestone flooring known for its elegant appearance crated by polishing its very hard surface. Available in tiles.
Mosaic Tile: Small ceramic tile, hard porcelain or glass, glazed or unglazed mounted on a backing for ease of installation. Mosaic tiles are frequently used to create designs for walls and floors.
Nylon: The generic name of a fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain synthetic polyamide having recurring amide groups as an integral part of the polymer chain. The two types of nylon used to produce carpet fibers are nylon-6 and nylon-6.6. Fourth generation nylon has built-in soil and stain resistance achieved by the addition of certain flurochemicals during fiber formation.
Olefins: Any long chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethylene, propylene or other olefin units. Polypropylene yarns are used in carpets.
Oriental Rug: Hand-woven 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.
Outdoor Carpet: Carpet designated for outdoor use on patios, walks and decks. Usually made of polypropylene to withstand the weather and ultra-violet rays of the sun, most outdoor carpet is designed for glue-down installation.
Parquet Floors: Flooring made from wood that is laid or inlaid to create (geometric) patterns.
Pickled Floors: The result of rubbing white paint into previously stained and finished wood flooring for an informal or casual look.
Pile: The upright ends of yarn, whether cut or looped, that form the wearing surface of carpets or rugs. Sometimes called the face or nap of the carpet.
Plank Flooring: Wood flooring made up of long, boards more than 3 inches wide.
Plush Carpet: A smooth, dense, cut pile carpet in which individual tufts are only minimally visible, and the overall visual effect is a single level of fiber ends.
Polypropylene: Synthetic thermoplastic polymer used for molded items, sheets, films, and fibers. FTC (U.S. Government) classification is Olefin. The polymer is made by stereospecific polymerization of propylene. Most Polypropylene carpet fiber is solution dyed and sometimes contains ultraviolet stabilizers for outdoor use. Printable modifications are available but not extensively used. The carpet fiber is available as both bulked continuous filament yarns and staple for spun yarn production.
Printed Carpet: Carpet with pattern applied by methods similar to printing flat textiles and paper.
Quarry Tile: Glazed or unglazed ceramic tile made using an extrusion process. Terra-cotta squares used in the Southwest are a good example of Quarry Tile.
Rag Rug: A sturdy, colorful rug hand-woven from cotton scraps.
Random-sheared Carpet: Textured pattern created by shearing some of the top or higher loops and leaving other looped.
Remnant: A short piece of carpet from a roll that usually measures less than nine feet long.
Resilient Floor: Smooth surfaced flooring (tiles, strips, or sheet goods) manufactured by first combining a plastic materials with filler and pigments, and then processing them into sheets of different thickness. If a backing materials is used, the plastic sheet is joined to the backing. Types include solid vinyl, backed or cushioned vinyl, rubber, cork, and linoleum.
Rubber Flooring: Today rubber flooring tiles and sheet goods are made from synthetic rubber. It comes in ribbed, coin, or other raised patterns.
Rug: Carpet made or cut and bound into room dimensions and loose laid.
Saxony Carpet: Cut-pile carpet in a relatively dense construction, with well-defined individual tuft tips. Smoother finished saxonies are called "plushes."
Sculptured Carpet: Any carpet pattern formed from high and low pile areas, such as high-low loop or cut-and-loop.
Shag Carpet: A deep-pile texture with long-cut surface yarns. Shag carpet was made popular in the 1970s, and is enjoying a resurgence in a new style with up-to-date colors.
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 hand-painted. Similar flooring is made of jute, coconut, and sea grass.
Slate: A naturally laminated rock that is often used in regular and irregular shapes, and is embedded in cement or mortar to create a hard-surface, patterned floor.
Soil Retardant: A chemical finish applied to carpet and fabric surfaces which inhibits attachment of soil to fiber. It is usually a topical treatment but may also be inherent in the fiber.
Solid Vinyl Flooring: Smooth-surfaced plastic floor made from a mixture of vinyl resins, plasticizer, fillers, and stabilizers with color added throughout the product. Produced in either square tiles or sheet goods.
Stain Resistant: A chemical finish applied to or inherent in carpet fibers which inhibits specific stains from adhering to or dyeing (staining) carpet and fabrics.
Stretch: A carpet installation term for the give in carpet when it is pulled over the pad onto tackless strips.
Strip Flooring: The most popular wood flooring, strip flooring is made of narrow (approx. 3-inches wide) tongue-and-groove boards that are end-matched. Strip flooring wider than 3 inches is called plank flooring.
Tackless Installation: Where carpet is laid over pad and stretched to fit over tack strips of wood with implanted tacks to hold the carpet snugly to the wall. Also called wall-to-wall insulation.
Terrazzo: A smooth, multicolored floor made of marble or stone chips embedded in a cement binder, then highly polished. Traditionally, terrazzo floors are poured and set on site, but manufactured terrazzo tiles are also available.
Tufted Carpet: Carpet manufactured by tufting machines, which insert pile tufts with needles that penetrate a primary backing fabric, thus forming tufts. About 90% of all North American carpet is tufted.
Vinyl Composition Tile: These floor tiles are made from vinyl resins and filler materials to create resilient flooring in assorted colors and patterns.
Wilton Carpet: Woven carpet made in a variety of patterns and textures but with a limited number of colors per pattern.
Wood Flooring: Most wood flooring is made of hardwoods such as oak, maple, pecan, beech, and birch. Available in solid wood and laminated flooring 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: Looms interlace warp (lengthwise) and filling (widthwise) yarns to create a sturdy textile for the floor. Much woven carpet is produced in intricate, colorful patterns. Types of woven carpet include Axminster and Wilton.