Flooring Terminology


Flooring words you should know

There are hundreds of different products to choose from which can make picking a new floor a daunting task. You want to make sure you are getting the best quality product for your budget. We wanted to help by providing a glossary of fairly common flooring terms so you can understand better as you shop. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The more you know, the easier it will be to make the choice that’s best for your home.

Above Grade: Any surface that is above the level of the surrounding ground.

Acrylic Impregnated: Acrylic monomers are injected into the cell structure of the wood to increase hardness, then finished with a wear layer over the wood.

Acrylic Urethane: Slightly different chemical composition than Polyurethane, with similar benefits.

Aluminum Oxide: Added to the wear layer of a urethane finish for increased abrasion resistance. Popular on better grade wood floors.

Below Grade: Any surface that is below the level of the surrounding ground.

Better: A quality of oak that has small knots and light dark graining.

Beveled Edge: Hardwood boards with a distinctive groove in them, as seen in informal and country decor. With today’s urethane finishes, these edges can be completely sealed, making these floors easy to clean.

Buckle: When humidity is high, wood expands and gaps disappear. In situations of too much moisture, wood may cup, or “buckle.”

Clear: A quality of oak that has no visual blemishes or knots. Expensive.

Cross-ply Construction: A technique where wood plies are stacked on top of each other in opposing directions. The result is a wood floor that is dimensionally stable and less affected by moisture. Allows the plies to counteract each other, thus prohibiting the plank from shrinking or expanding under humid conditions. These floors can be installed over concrete and/or below grade.

Cupping: Warping with a concave condition; the center is lower than the sides.

Eased Edge: Some manufacturers add this slightly beveled edge to both the length and end joints of their hardwood planks. This helps hide minor irregularities, including uneven plank heights. Also called “micro-beveled edge.”

Engineered: One of the three common types of hardwood floor (the others are Solid and Longstrip Plank). Generally made with 2,3, or 5 thin sheets or plies of wood, laminated together to form a single plank. Most can be nailed, stapled or glued down, or floated over a variety of subfloors, including some existing flooring.

Finish in Place: The term given to unfinished hardwood floors that are installed onsite, sanded and finished with an application of 2 to 3 coats of urethane that is brushed or mopped on. May be screened and recoated to rejuvenate the finish and revitalize the floor’s natural beauty.

Floating Floor Installation: With this method of installation, hardwood floors are not mechanically fastened to any part of the subfloor. Instead, a thin pad is placed between the wood and the subfloor and wood glue is applied in the tongue and groove of each plank. This technique protects against moisture, reduces noise, feels softer and provides for some additional “R” value. Some Engineered floors and all Longstrip floors can be floated.

Glue Down: The process in which hardwood floor is adhered to a subfloor using a recommended mastic or adhesive, spread on with the proper sized trowel. Engineered wood floors and parquets are typically glued down, while solid strip and plank floors are nailed or stapled.

Graining: Each species of wood has its own unique texture, color and graining, determined by the way it was cut.

Janka Hardness Test: The standard test for determining a wood’s hardness rating in which the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in a piece of wood is measured. The higher the number, the harder the wood. Only used as a general guideline.

Knot: The round, harder, typically darker cross-section of a piece of wood where a branch once joined the tree trunk

Laminate: A manufactured product sandwiching a backing material, visual element and a wear layer that simulates the look of hardwood, stone, or other natural or unnatural surfaces.

Longstrip Plank: One of the three common types of hardwood floor (the others are Solid and Engineered). Similar to Engineered floors in that multiple layers or plies are glued together on top of a center core that is typically a softer wood material that is also used to make the tongue and groove. The result is a board that appears to be 3 rows wide and several planks long. Comes in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species. Easy to replace if damaged.

Moisture Cured Urethane: A chemical similar to solvent-based urethanes, but requires humidity (moisture) to cure.  Extremely difficult to apply, has a strong odor and is best left to the professional.

Moldings: Used to cover expansion joints and to enhance the performance and appearance of a hardwood floor. Typically need to be removed for installation.

Nail Down: Nailing cleats are used with a wood flooring nailer and a mallet to attach hardwood flooring to a subfloor. This method of installation is typically used with the 3/4″ solid products, though adapters exist for thinner floors.

Number 1 Common: A quality of oak that has some knots and some dark graining.

Number 2 Common: A quality of oak that has even more knots and dark graining.

On-Grade: At ground level

Polyurethane: A clear, durable finish applied as a wear layer over hardwood floor.

Pre-Finished Wood: Hardwood flooring that comes sanded, stained and finished at the manufacturing plant, ready for installation in your home. These products typically provide a harder, better-protected surface because several coats of urethane are applied and UV dried. Offers a wider variety of wood species and saves hours of labor and cleanup. May be screened and recoated to rejuvenate the finish and revitalize the floor’s natural beauty.

Rotary Cut: A hardwood cutting process that displays a larger and bolder graining pattern.

Select: A quality of oak that has some small knots but very little dark graining.

Sliced Cut: A hardwood cutting process that shows a more uniform pattern.

Solid: One of the three common types of hardwood floor (the others are Engineered and Longstrip Plank). One solid piece of wood that has tongue and groove sides. Comes unfinished or pre-finished. Sensitive to moisture.

Solvent-Based Urethane Oil: Used as part of the chemical composition of a polyurethane finish

Square Edge: When the edges of all hardwood boards meet squarely to create a uniform, smooth surface that blends the floor together from strip to strip or plank to plank.

Stapled Down: A method of hardwood installation in which staples are used to attach the wood to the subfloor. A pneumatic gun is often used.

Strip: The “classic” hardwood floor with narrower board widths. Most common species are red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory and pecan.

Tongue and Groove: The joining of two hardwood boards, one having a tongue on its edge that fits into the groove in the edge of the other.

Trim: See “Moldings”

Un-Finished Wood Floor: Not pre-finished in a factory. Allows you to customize your floor by sanding, staining/finishing it on site. Also see  “Finish in Place.”

UV Cured: Hardwood finishes cured in a factory with Ultra Violet lights versus heat.

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

Water-Based Urethane: A polyurethane finish that includes water in its chemical composition, dries clear and is non-yellowing.

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. 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 to 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.

For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by the showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit www.daltoncarpetone.com.

Ten Flooring Mistakes to Avoid


Avoid these 10 mistakes when shopping for your new floors

Shopping for new floors can be filled with worries that you will make an expensive mistake. Don’t feel alone- this is common! We understand that this is something you have probably never done before, that there are so many choices, and there is so much information to absorb. Here’s a list of our top 10 flooring mistakes to avoid:

1. Choosing floors that don’t fit your lifestyle
There is no universal best type of flooring for everybody, so try not to choose a floor simply because it looks good. Your flooring should fit your lifestyle. Think about whether the room has high amount of traffic, if there are or will be kids or pets in the home, or if you like to host parties frequently. How often you plan to replace your floors or redecorate should also be considered. Be open to products you have not thought of or did not know existed!

2. Hiring a general contractor or handyman rather than a flooring specialist
The argument for the handyman or general contractor is that he can be cheaper.  That should be red flag right there! Generally, someone who is cheaper is cheaper because his or her skill level is lower. Flooring is a very specialized trade and it is very easy for a non-specialist to make a mistake. These mistakes are often costly, like the flooring needs to be completely ripped up and replaced.

Some customers are completely remodeling their kitchen, and they are already working with a general contractor, so hiring more people may seem like more work. These non-specialists can make amateur mistakes, such as gluing when they are supposed to nail, not allowing enough time for wood to acclimate, and taking short cuts.

So, yes, it may be simpler to use a general contractor, but often the results are inferior. You may not even realize it until six months to a year later.

3. Going too trendy
Being current and up to date is good thing, but some trends change- quickly. Make sure you plan for the future. How long will you be in the house? When do you plan to sell, if at all? Make sure you don’t lock yourself into dating your floor (or the entire space). This happens most often with tile. Tile trends and materials come and go and ripping up tile can be very costly.

4. Falling for advertising gimmicks
There are lots of claims that big box stores will make to get customers in the door, like “buy one room, get two free” or “free installation” as examples. These places are set up to attract the price shoppers. Companies that advertise these things are not giving you anything for free. The cost to cover the “two free rooms” is hidden somewhere else in the price of the one room you are paying for, or in the labor charges. This is why it’s important to look at the total cost of the project and not just the cost of a particular line item. It is also good to get more than one estimate and make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

5. Not understanding what you are buying
There are hundreds of different products to choose from which can make picking a new floor a daunting task. You want to make sure you are getting the best quality product for your budget. Learn all you can about different types of flooring- what is the difference between 30 ounce polyester carpet and a 50 ounce nylon carpet? Ask questions! The more you know, the easier it will be to make the choice that’s best for your home.

6. Using the wrong cleaning products
Back in the day, floors used to be waxed. That was before polyurethane was invented and used to protect the floors. There is no need to wax floor anymore, as waxing actually degrades the poly and causes you to refinish the floors sooner. Using a steam mop on your hardwood is also never a good idea, as the moisture and heat can cause the planks to buckle. Use the cleaner that the manufacturer recommends.

7.Choosing based off a small sample
Deciding on the right color and shade of your new floor is very important. You want it to complement your home and create a visually pleasing setting. It is very difficult to get an accurate idea of what a color will look like based on a two-inch sample. Whenever possible, you want to see a larger piece of your carpet, wood, tile, etc. to really see how the color will work with the house.

8. Not accounting for carpet seams
A seam in a carpet is needed when two pieces of carpet have to be laid together. The type of carpet plays a large role in how difficult it is to hide the seams. For example, a berber style is the hardest to hide and a shag is the easiest. Patterned carpets should be given a little more thought in regards to seams, because you want the patterns to match up with each other. Some types of carpet (and vinyl) will require more carpet to be purchased in order to provide the most aesthetically pleasing results, which will add to the cost of the project.

9. Not planning ahead/not allowing enough time for hardwood refinishing
Most homeowners do not realize the amount of time that is involved in installing and refinishing hardwood floors. It may take 3-5 days, sometimes longer, to get the work done. It can then take as long as four days before furniture can be moved in or drop cloths used. Some people also don’t realize that you need to be off the floors the entire time, which often means they need to be away and out of the house, especially if the area to be done includes steps or the pathway to get to the bedrooms.

10. Not checking moisture content
The moisture content needs to be checked before installing hardwoods because moisture can cause wood to swell or warp. If moisture is too high and is caught before installation begins, steps can be taken to correct the issue before the wood is put down.

New flooring is a big investment in your home. Be sure to do your research on the right type of flooring and best contractors to use. Ask questions, check references, and choose who you think will do the best job for you.

For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by the showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit www.daltoncarpetone.com.

Carpet vs Hardwood

Which is better for your space?

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New flooring can bring back the life to a space by adding a clean new glow with warm colors, glossy finishes, and a uniform appearance without stains, wear marks, or other ugly spots old floors may have.

When you are recovering the floor in a space of your home, there are many decisions that to be made. Not only do you need to decide where to buy the flooring, but you also have to decide if you will do the work yourself, how high the quality of flooring you should purchase, and the color and style. Hardwood and carpet are the ultimate favorites of homeowners because of their favorable characteristics. Choosing between the two can be tough because they do each have their perks.

In this article, we want to help decide if you want to use carpet or hardwood. This can be a tough decision as each floor covering brings with it different benefits and challenges. We think that depending on your space and what you want to do with it, we will help you make the best decision for your home.



Carpet has been a floor covering option since the late 18th century. If you choose the right colors, carpet can look great and timeless. There have been some great advancements in technology recently that makes modern day carpeting much more attractive than some of its predecessors. Materials such as advanced nylons, special coatings, and even advanced polymers made to resist stains completely make modern day carpeting surprisingly easy to care for.

The biggest benefit of carpeting is going to be the warmth and softness. If you want to walk on soft and padded floor, then carpet is a better choice for you. This is ideal for bedrooms and living room areas where comfort and relaxation are sought. The cold surface of hardwood won’t shock your feet in the winter if you have carpet flooring, which will feel like blanket to your feet. Due to the padding and pile, nothing is going to make you want to snuggle up on the floor like brand new carpet.

Hardwood flooring­


Hardwood has been used in homes ever since houses were built. It is a widely available natural resource and there isn’t much to the process of producing it into flooring.

Hardwood floors are available in different grains, colors, sizes, and finishes. Hardwood is easy to clean, durable, and mostly hypoallergenic. If properly cared for, hardwood can be expected to last 100 years or more, making it a nearly permanent feature for your home. Hardwood can be a little more expensive than carpeting, but it is considered a great investment given how long it may be in your home. The biggest benefit of hardwood flooring is its timeless beauty and elegant feel, helping the space feel more sophisticated.

Weighing the pros and cons

Carpet may seem cheaper than hardwood, but carpet has a shorter life and will need to be replaced every few years. Modern day carpets can be expected to last for 5 to 10 years and some luxury carpets may last up to 20 years- it all depends on traffic and how well it is cared for. If properly maintained, hardwood flooring can be expected to last a lifetime or even more, making it a better investment in the long run. Simply refinishing the hardwood if it’s damaged or stained will make it look good as new.

Hardwood is more sensitive to noise and tends to creak, so people downstairs can hear footsteps from the upper level. Carpet is padded and insulated so sounds don’t travel very far. Because it of the padding, children can enjoy kneeling and getting down on a carpeted floor because of its soft cushions. They also are less likely to hurt themselves if they fall onto carpeted flooring.

Traditionally, carpeting is used in rooms like bedrooms and family rooms while hardwood is used in entryways, kitchens, and dining rooms. If you are looking to make your room feel more refined, easy to clean, and you don’t mind spending a little more now for a greater return in the long run, hardwood flooring is the ideal option. If you are looking for a warm cozy-feeling room with less upfront cost, then carpeting is your best option.

What have you decided?

Hardwood and carpet both have their pros and cons, and it is really a matter of preference when it comes to deciding which one to install. If it’s cushioning you want from carpet but prefer the beauty of hardwood, a quick solution would be placing soft area rugs in high traffic areas on the hardwood floor so you still get the best of both worlds.

Carpet and hardwood can do much more than cover your floors. It can be the foundation of a decorating plan, inspiring other ideas. Or, it can be selected to complement existing walls and furnishings. Above all, the floor covering you choose should reflect your personality and bring comfort to your home.

For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by the showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit www.daltoncarpetone.com.

National Karastan Month

Live Beautifully with luxurious Karastan carpet and rugs, up to 20% off until June 7th
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Karastan is proud of its past—the rugs and carpets they designed and the processes they invented. Karastan has always taken flooring in bold new directions. The superior talents of their forefathers are forever entwined in the brand, as is their innovative spirit, vision, and passion. Still, this is only the beginning of their story. Karastan’s history is in the making. They are always moving ahead with new ideas, new colors, new fibers, and new techniques to make your home a beautiful—and more personal—place in which to live.


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Karastan first started producing broadloom carpets in the 1930’s. Not only did they play a big part in introducing American households to the very concept of walking in comfort, they provided the impetus for mass appeal by introducing yet another innovation in 1948: the Kara-Loc® method of weaving.


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They have been rug innovators since 1928, the year American retailer and textile manufacturer Marshall Field built a loom capable of recreating the detailed craftsmanship of a hand-woven rug. From the moment the first Karastan came off the loom (2:02 p.m., April 8, 1928), their name became synonymous with elegant machine-made rugs that rivaled their handmade counterparts.

Fill your home with the quality, craftsmanship, and design of Karastan carpets and rugs. You can save up to 20% on Karastan carpet and 10% on Karastan rugs right now until June 7 at Dalton Carpet One.

For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by the showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit www.daltoncarpetone.com.

Tips for a Pet Proof Home with Relax, it’s…Lees Carpet

Will a pet be joining your home? These tips should help you prepare your home

Relax, It's Lees

Much like preparing for a baby, preparing your home for a pet can be a difficult and long process. Since animals walk and chew long before a newborn baby can even turn over, it’s important to make sure to “pet-proof” a home well before welcoming a four-legged friend into the family.

The first thing to “pet-proof” is the flooring. From muddy paws to “accidents,” your flooring will be the first thing affected by your new furry family member.

For pet owners, the flooring experts at Dalton Carpet One Floor & Home stores recommend their exclusive Relax, it’s…Lees collection, which is specially designed to protect against inevitable pet-related stains.

Lees is different from many other carpet brands in the market today. As an exclusive brand of Carpet One Floor & Home, Lees offers a variety of unique features such as:

  • Ultra25® 4X protection that repels most liquids including juice, coffee and other spills, four times longer than other carpet with traditional stain protection.
  • An exclusive 25 year “NO EXCLUSIONS” ULTRA 25 Stain Warranty®, which covers stains other carpet warranties don’t, including pet stains, grease, mustard , mustard, coffee, cola, and even bleach.
  • A Patented ExtraLoc® backing which has double the density of standard carpet construction, offering unheard-of stability and dimensional strength when you need it most.

Hard surface flooring can also be a good choice for a pet-friendly home. Most types of laminate and vinyl are scratch-resistant and easy to clean.  Plus, vinyl and laminate brands offer hardwood or ceramic tile looks, making it possible to maintain style and functionality simultaneously. Hard surfaces such as vinyl and laminate are easier to maintain and clean especially when dealing with liquid stains.

Stop by any of Dalton Carpet One’s three showrooms to talk to our design experts about pet-proofing the floors in your home. You’ll find us in Athens, GA on the Atlanta Highway next to Honey Baked Ham, in Eatonton, GA at Harmony Crossing next to Mellow Mushroom, and in Gainesville, GA on Browns Bridge Road.