Glossary Terms — Bathroom Countertops
Every industry seems to speak its own language. If you are considering changing your bathroom countertops, you will inevitably hear words and phrases that you may not understand. To help minimize such confusion, we created a glossary of terms.
ABS — (Aristocraft bristone styrine) A rigid black plastic piping used for waste, vent, and drain lines.
A Valve — A manual gas shut-off "A Valve".
Access Panel — An opening in the wall or ceiling near the fixture that allows access for servicing the plumbing/electrical system.
Acclimation — The process of leaving flooring where it will be installed for a length of time before installation, allowing it to adapt to the temperature and humidity of the area.
Acid — A substance that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Most acids dissolve common metals and will react with a base to form a salt.
Acidity — The level of concentration of acid in water. Acid will neutralize an alkali or base. It is usually expressed in terms of its calcium carbonate equivalent.
Acrylic — A thermoplastic (heat activated) used on the surfaces of bathtubs and whirlpools. It usually comes in sheets and is backed by fiberglass to form waterproof shower walls.
Acrylic Impregnated — A term used to describe wood flooring that is impregnated with acrylic monomers and then polymerized.
Acrylic Sealer — A simple polymer coating that is either water-based or solvent- based. Provides good stain protection, but can be scratched.
Active — The surface has lost its ability to resist corrosion (the passive state) under the prevailing conditions.
Adaptor — A fitting that unites different types of pipe together, for example- ABS (Aristocraft bristone styrine) to cast iron pipe.
Aerator — A device screwed into the end of a faucet spout that mixes air into flowing water, and controls flow to reduce splashing. It sometimes contains a baffle to reduce flow to 2.5 gpm.
Airbreak — An airbreak is a physical separation, which may be a low inlet into the indirect waste receptor from the fixture, appliance, or device indirectly connected. Air Lock- Blockage in the flow of liquid, esp. on the suction side of a pump caused by an air bubble in the line.
Air-dried — Dried by air without the use of special equipment.
Alkali — A water-soluble mineral compound, usually a moderate strength base (as opposed to caustic hydroxide), such as a bicarbonate and carbonate compound when it is present in the water. The measurement of constituents in a water supply which determine alkaline conditions. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its capacity to neutralize acids.
Alkalinity — The measurement of constituents in a water supply which determine alkaline conditions. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its capacity to neutralize acids, also referred to as pH.
Aluminum oxide — A type of finish used on hardwood and laminate floors that is considered to be the most durable and scratch resistant
Ambient Temperature — The average temperature of the air surrounding an appliance.
Angular Discharge Tube — A discharge tube that changes the direction of water flow to approximately 90 degrees.
Angle Stop — A shutoff valve between the water pipes and a faucet. Its inlet connects to the water supply pipe in a wall, and its outlet angles up 90 degrees toward the faucet. These are usually used to shut off water to a fixture in case of an emergency repair rather than daily usage.
Angled Corner —- Any cabinet type designed to fit on the end of a cabinet creating a fixed angle.
Annealing — A softening heat treatment done to restore machinability or cold formability, usually following cold working. Solution annealing dissolves precipitated particles (eg carbides, sigma phase) to optimise corrosion resistance.
Alder — This wood is a member of the Birch family, and comes in 30 different varieties. It is a less dense wood and provides a brighter tone than mahogany.
Anode Rod — A sacrificial rod installed in a water heater that protects the tank from corrosion, helping to extend the life of the tank.
Anti-Siphon — Preventive device for the backflow of liquid into a system. Used on sprinkler systems to prevent water from trickling back into the supply that is feeding it.
Appliqué — A carved or etched decorative piece of wood installed on the face of cabinets. Also referred to as an onlay.
Apron Front Sink — (also called farmhouse sink) A sink that has a large apron in front and sits on a short cabinet.
Artisan — Hand-applied technique simulating cracks, worm holes, carved or worn edges, screw marks, chisel marks and dings to create the impression of naturally aged wood.
Ash — This wood is a member of the Olive tree family. It is light in color with darker streaks.
Austenite — A phase in the steel with the smallest building block of atomic structure of 'face centred cubic' (fcc) ie one atom at the eight corners of a cube and one in the centre of each of the six faces. Austenitic stainless steels with this structure include 1.4301 (304) and are characteristically non-magnetic. This structure gives improved weldability, formability and low temperature toughness.
Austenitsing — The first stage during the hardening / strengthening heat treatment of martensitic stainless steels. Normally followed by a tempering treatment after cooling down to ambient temperatures.
Back Flow Preventer — A device to prevent water from traveling from one system back into any part of the main distribution system, usually by siphoning, esp. into a potable water supply. This is generally required for sprinkler systems, handheld showers, pullout faucet spouts, kitchen sprayers, etc.
Back Pressure — Pressure that resists the flow of fluid in a piping system.
Back Siphonage — A negative pressure that causes backflow.
Backflow — Backflow is the flow of water or other liquids, mixtures, or substances into the distributing pipes of a potable supply of water from any sources other than its intended source.
Backing — (Laminate) A backing is the bottom layer of the flooring. It sits on the sub-floor or underlayment.
Backsplash — A vertical covering on a wall rising above a countertop or other work surface to protect the wall from spills and to decorate the wall
Backup — The overflow of a plumbing fixture due to drain stoppage e.g. a clogged toilet or clogged drain.
Backwater Valve — Sewer line valve that prevents sewage from flowing back into the house.
Balanced Construction — A construction that has similar materials bonded to both sides of the panel, plank, or strip.
Ball Check Valve — A valve that uses a ball to seal against a seat to stop flow in one direction.
Ballcock — The fill valve that controls the flow of water from the water supply line into a gravity-operated toilet tank. It is controlled by a float mechanism that floats in the tank water. When the toilet is flushed, the float drops and opens the ballcock, releasing water into the tank and/or bowl. As the water in the tank is restored, the float rises and shuts off the ballcock when the tank is full.
Baltic Birch Plywood — This plywood is produced from void-less birch planks. It grows in and around Russia.
Base Cabinet — Any cabinet type designed to install directly on the floor. It will generally have some kind of countertop such as laminate, wood or granite.
Base Shoe — A Base Shoe, also known as a shoe mold, is a molding that is attached to the base molding to cover the expansion gap.
Basin Wrench — A wrench with a long handle with jaws mounted on a swivel that allows the jaws to reach and handle nuts to fasten faucets to a previously installed sink.
Basket Strainer — A basket-shaped strainer with holes and a slot that fits into a sink or shower drain to allow water to run out but to catch food or other objects before they can enter the sewage system and possibly clog the drain.
Bead Board — Wood paneling that contains parallel grooves (typically vertical) to give the cabinet added style and texture.
Beam — A horizontal structural member often supported near the ends and spans an open space. Concrete countertops are beams, even if there is plywood underneath them, because plywood is too weak and flexible to provide enough structural support to the concrete to prevent cracking.
Bevel — A portion of material removed from the edge of a piece of wood. This technique can be used to create a natural finger-pull such as on a beveled-edge door. It is also used to create a specific angle when two pieces of wood are joined together. For example, when two pieces have a 45° bevel they create a right angle when joined.
Beveled Edge — A Beveled Edge describes the cut of an angle less than 90º on the top edge of the plank or strip, forming a very deep V shaped groove where it meets with another plank or strip on either side.
Beveled Panel — A panel that is shaped at an angle.
Bidet — (pronounced Bid-day-) A personal hygiene plumbing fixture similar in appearance to a toilet bowl used for washing genitals and posterior areas of the body. It is mounted on the floor next to a toilet and consists of a washing basin, a hot and cold faucet, and sprayer.
Birch — A close-grained wood with a satiny texture which is capable of taking a fine polish. Varieties include red, white, black, and yellow.
Bisque — This term refers to the unglazed areas of vitreous china fixtures such as inside the tank of a toilet or the under side of a sink.
Bleed — To drain a pipe, tube, or hose of excess air by opening a valve at the end or systematically removing the air by force or suction.
Blind Corner — Any cabinet type, designed to install into a corner of a room. Another cabinet will install directly adjacent to it hiding the blind portion. This gives access to an otherwise unusable corner, providing more storage.
Blowbag — A drain-cleaning device consisting of a rubber bladder with a hose fitting on one end and a nozzle on the other. The device attaches to a water hose and is inserted into a clogged drainpipe. As water is introduced, it expands to grip the pipe, and releases pulsating bursts of water through the nozzle, forcing water through the pipe to clear the obstruction.
Boiler — A sealed tank where water is heated and turned to steam for power or hot water.
Bow — When a piece of flooring either dips down or up, making it uneven with the rest of the flooring.
Branch — Any part of a drain system other than the main, riser, or stack.
Branch Vent — A vent connecting one or more individual vents with a vent stack.
Bridge Cabinet — This cabinet can be placed in the space above a refrigerator or stove.
Bright Annealing — An annealing process done in a protective atmosphere to prevent surface tarnish or oxidation. A cracked ammonia gas is usually used during bright annealing of strip (coil) at the steel mill. The resulting finish is 2R (BSEN 10088-2), often also known as BA.
BTU — A unit of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.
Bugholes — Small voids in concrete caused by entrapped air bubbles. Generally there should be no bugholes on the top surface of concrete countertops, especially for kitchen counters.
Building — A building is a structure built, erected, or framed of component structural parts designed for housing, shelter, enclosure, or support of persons, animals, or property of any kind.
Bumper Pads — A small spongy material placed on any cabinet door. It is designed to muffle the noise as the door is closed.
Bun Foot — A round decorative furniture grade foot used on the bottom corners of base cabinets.
Burl — A swirl or twist in the wood grain that is caused by any number of natural factors that include- knot location, genetic components or naturally occurring damage to the bark.
Butt Doors — Two cabinet doors covering a single opening, often employed when the opening is too large for just one door. The edges of both doors nearly meet. The opening does not have a center mullion.
Butt Joint — A term used when the edges of two pieces of wood are joined together.
Cam and Bolt — A structure, which is usually used to connect the bottom, sides and top of a cabinet. Bolt and cam construction can be used to create a very strong cabinet.
Cantilever – A beam that projects beyond its supports. An area where a countertop hangs over a cabinet with a few inches.
Catch Basin — Large underground container, with a grate on the top, for collection of storm water run-off. It catches or collects dirt and other debris and prevents them from polluting streams and lakes.
Cathedral Arch — A term used when the top cabinet door has a curved shape in the panel and frame.
Cathodic Protection — Methods of increasing the corrosion resistance of the surface, over a wider range of conditions, for example on 316 types in some seawater applications. Impressed voltage methods are widely used, lowering the electrode potential of the metal surface.
Center Stile — A vertical strip of hardwood that is a component of the face frame. It usually divides a cabinet opening equally. Also referred to as a mullion.
Center set — Style of bathroom faucet having combined spout and handles, with handles 4 inches apart, center-to-center. Also a single-handle faucet installed on 4 inches center-to-center faucet holes.
Check Valve — A type of backflow preventer installed in a pipe run that allows water to flow in only one direction.
Cherry — Cherry is an elegant, multi-colored hardwood, which may contain small knots and pin holes. Natural or light stains accent these color variations making a distinctive statement in a full kitchen. Cherry wood will darken or "mellow" with age. This mellowing is a natural occurrence and the benefit of owning a solid cherry kitchen.
Chipboard — Chipboard is a type of paperboard used for sub-floors. It has a low density and is not usually recommended for glue-down installations.
Chlorides — (halides) Ions formed from chlorine (fluorine, bromine, iodine) atoms. Often corrosive when in solutions. Can be the cause of localised attack mechanisms such as crevice, pitting and stress corrosion cracking.
Circuit Vent — Plumbing drainage system vertical vent which is run from the last two traps on a horizontal drain line to the main vent stack of a building drainage system.
Cistern — Rainwater storage tank, often underground.
Clean-out Plug — A plug in a trap or drain pipe that provides access for the purpose of clearing an obstruction.
Clip-On Hinge Plates — Secures hinge (which allows door to open and close) to inside of cabinet.
Close Grain — Having fine and closely arranged fibers or fine texture. For example, maple is considered to have close grain.
Closed (also Sound) Knot — Has a flat face without an opening in the wood surface.
Closet — A term used for a Toilet.
Closet Auger — A flexible rod with a curved end used to access the toilet\'s built-in trap and remove clogs.
Closet Bend — A curved fitting mounted immediately below the toilet that connects the closet flange to the toilet drain.
Closet Flange — An anchoring ring that attaches to the closet bend and secured to the floor. The heads of closet bolts, used to secure the toilet in place, insert into slots in the closet flange.
Cock — A faucet or valve for regulating the flow of water, sometimes referred to as a ballcock.
Cold Working — Deformation (forming, machining) below the recrystallisation temperature of the steel, resulting in a progressive increase in strength and hardness as more working is done.
Colorfastness — Colorfastness is the ability of a material to resist fading or darkening from exposure to light.
Color Variation — A natural variation of color inherent in any wood species. Soil type, mineral deposits, water levels, temperature and geographical location are all factors in the degree of variation.
Common Vent — Building drain system vertical vent which connects two or more fixture branches on the same level.
Compact Laminate — A type of laminate made under extremely high pressure that has a thickness greater than or equal to 2mm.
Compression Fitting — A kind of tubing or pipe connection where a nut, and then a sleeve or ferrule is placed over a copper or plastic tube and is compressed tightly around the tube as the nut is tightened, forming a positive grip and seal without soldering. Also a flexible connector that has a nut and gasket designed to attach directly to an SAE standard compression thread, without the use of a sleeve or ferrule.
Compression Valve — A type of valve that is often used for water faucets. It is opened or closed by raising or lowering a horizontal disk by a threaded stem. Coupling- Vent pipe hood, which protects it from the elements.
Compressive Strength — The ability of concrete to resist compression forces and is usually shown as pounds per square inch or PSI.
Concave Panel — The surface is curved or rounded inward.
Concealed Hinge — A cabinet hinge that is not visible from the outside. Referred to as a cup hinge.
Concrete Countertops — A handcrafted countertop surface. They can be precast in a craft shop in molds cast at the job site by setting a form on top of the base kitchen cabinets and then filling with concrete. Stains, dyes, pigments, decorative aggregates, and epoxy coatings can give concrete countertops the look, texture, and feel of quarried stone such as marble, granite, and limestone.
Continuous Laminate Flooring — A type of laminate flooring in a continuous sheet that is adhered to a core.
Convex Panel — A panel whose surface is curved or rounded outward.
Cooktop — A self-rimming assembly of stove burners that fits into the countertop.
Core — The center of a panel which often provides its structural durability.
Corbel — A decorative wooden bracket used as a support mechanism for mantels, bar tops, etc.
Corner Blocks — Any type of wooden, plastic or metal component used to strengthen any joint.
Corrosion — An electrochemical process where metal atoms are removed from the surface of the steel. Stainless steels have good general corrosion resistance but can suffer from localised corrosion mechanism such as crevice, pitting and stress corrosion cracking.
CPVC — (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) Rigid plastic pipe used in water supply systems, where code permits.
Creep — Slow, time dependent, deformation normally at temperatures above 600 C. Stress levels that result in creep are significantly below the short term proof strength for a particular temperature.
Crown Molding — A decorative border that can be applied on top of cabinets for a more stylish and finished look.
Crowning — A condition where individual strips or planks of flooring will appear convex where the center is raised higher than the edges.
Culvert — A pipe-like construction of concrete that passes under a road to allow drainage.
Cupping — A condition where individual strips or planks of flooring will appear concave with the edges raised above the center.
Cure — A term that is used when properties of an adhesive are changed by a chemical reaction which allows it to reach its maximum strength. This is generally done by condensation, heat, or another catalyst.
Custom Cabinets — Cabinets designed and built to suit specific needs. They are generally not limited by product lines, dimensions or design. They are typically more expensive but don't necessarily offer the best value available in the marketplace.
Dado — A groove cut into a piece of wood that allows another piece to slide into it for a tighter fit.
Decorative Layer — A term used in floors with printed designs like laminate and vinyl. It refers to the decorative layer or high-resolution image printed on the surface of the floor that gives it its appearance.
Decorative pull/handle — A piece of hardware, usually made of metal or plastic, installed on a drawer front or door, used to open the cabinets and provide a touch of style.
Deep Drawing — A cold forming method where a sheet is drawn into a die by a press tool to make deep cup or bowl shapes. The side wall of the pressing is not deliberately thinned during forming cf stretch forming. Grade 1.4301(304) is used widely for deep drawn saucepans.
Delamination — A term that refers to failure in the adhesive of laminate flooring, causing separation in the layers.
Density — The weight of a piece of flooring measured in lb/ft3 or kg/m3.
Dentil Mould — A decorative tooth-like pattern on any trim moulding.
Desanco Fitting — A type of compression adapter that connects tubular brass fittings to PVC pipe.
Diaphragm — Flexible membrane in a valve that deflects down onto a rigid area of the valve body to regulate water flow from the supply lines. This eliminates the possibility of debris build-up within the valve.
Dimensional Stability — Refers to the structural integrity of flooring and its ability to maintain its original dimensions.
Dip Tube — Tube inside the water heater that sends cold water to the bottom of the tank.
Direct Laminating Flooring — A type of laminate flooring that has resin impregnated into the surface layer.
Direct Tap — Clamping device that allows a branch line to be drilled and tapped off a main line.
Discharge Tube — Outlet tube that connects a disposer or sump pump to the drain line.
Disposal Field — A series of trenches conveying the effluent from the septic tank laid in such a manner that the flow will be distributed with reasonable uniformity into natural soil.
Dishwasher Tailpiece — A flanged adapter connecting a basket strainer to the drainpipe with a dishwasher inlet.
Distressing — A manual process of creating random nicks and cuts in the wood surface to made it appear aged. These random marks are applied to all finished areas except the back of door and drawer fronts and on small mouldings.
Diverter — Valves which direct water to various outlets. They are used in showers, tubs, bidets, and sinks.
Do it Yourself — A term used when someone chooses to self-install.
Door Jam Saw — A tool used to cut a portion of a door casing off, allowing the flooring to fit underneath.
Dovetail Joint — A joining technique in which a fan-shaped tenon fits into a corresponding mortise to form a tight interlocking joint. Known for their strength and durability, dovetail drawers are a mark of high-quality construction.
Drain Board — Grooves or depressions in a countertop next to an undermount sink which allows water to run into the sink.
Drawer Face — The front panel of the drawer box where the handle is attached.
Drip Leg — A stub end pipe placed at a low point in the gas piping to collect condensate and permit its removal.
Drop-in Sink — A sink that has a rim that fits over the countertop, also known as top-mount or self-rimming.
Drum Trap — An obsolete, non-vented drain lead or cast iron canister trap formerly used in sewer lines.
Duo Valve — A twin valve (hot & cold) with a single on/off lever used for washing machine boxes.
Duplex — Steels with a mix of austenite and ferrite phases, intended to produce higher mechanical strength steels with better stress corrosion cracking resistance than the austenitic types.
DWV — Abbreviation for Drain, Waste and Vent.
Earthquake Strap — A metal strap used to secure a water heater to the house frame or foundation.
Eased Edge — An eased edge has a 45º angle cut on the top edge of the plank or strip, forming a V shaped groove when it comes together with another plank or strip on either side. An eased edge has a slightly smaller groove than a beveled edge.
Edge Banding — Any strip of material that is applied to the edge of a panel to seal or finish the edge. Also known as edge tape.
Edge Detail — Describes the profile of the door or drawer front. Edge details include notched, rounded and square profiles.
Edge Return — A countertop edge that is thicker than the rest of the slab, to give the appearance of a thicker slab
Efficiency — A product's ability to utilize input energy, expressed as a percentage.
Effluent — Septic system liquid waste.
Eight Inch Center Faucet —- This term refers to a style of faucets for your bathroom where there are typically 3 holes and the outer two hole drilling's are eight inches apart. This is the most typical hole drilling for bathroom cabinets which are greater than 30 inches in width. This can also be called a wide spread format.
Elbow — A pipe fitting with two openings that changes the direction of the line. "Also called an ell." It comes in a variety of angles, from 22-1/2° to 90°.
Embossing — The process of texturing the surface of a panel, plank, or strip.
End Cap — A transitional trim which may also be called a threshold or baby threshold, used to transition to surfaces such as carpet, fireplaces, sliding doors, and so on.
End Matched — A tongue and groove system used on the ends of strips and planks so that when butted together, the tongue of one piece fits into the groove of the next piece.
End Molding/Carpet Reducer — An accessory used to transition from hard flooring surfaces to other flooring surfaces where a reducer is not high enough.
End-Joint — The end of a plank or strip where it joins together with the end of another plank or strip.
End Panel — The panel forming the cabinet's side.
Engineered — A term used to describe wood floors that are made from multiple layers of wood. These layers are pressed together in a "cross-grain" formation under high pressure, helping each plank resist expansion and contraction due to moisture and temperature change.
Engineered Wood — This is wood that is enhanced for greater strength and stability. It is also environmentally friendly since it is often created from leftover scraps of natural wood. Examples of engineered wood include particle board and fiberboard (MDF and HDF).
Epoxy Sealer — A 2-component system that reacts when mixed to form a hard, durable sealer. Can be UV sensitive and are not heat resistant. Tends to be shiny, thick and look like plastic.
Equilibrium Moisture Content — The ideal moisture content at which wood will not intake or expel moisture.
Escutcheon — An escutcheon is a decorative, threaded flange below or behind a faucet handle. It is also a term use to refer to the ornamental plate at the base of a faucet. Finally, it can be used to refer to the plate that conceals the p-trap going in to the wall.
European Frameless Cabinets — Frameless, or European-style cabinets, have no front frame. The doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets, which are more contemporary in style, offer the advantage of completely unobstructed access to the cabinet interior.
Exotic — A term used to describe woods that are rare, difficult to find, and often imported from around the world. They are often very dense species of wood.
Expansion — The ability of a floor to intake moisture which causes it to expand.
Expansion Gap — A space left around the perimeter of the room and other obtrusions such as pipes and built in cabinets which allows for the movement and expansion of the flooring.
Expansion Tank — A tank designed to absorb excess pressure due to thermal expansion (e.g. closed system).
Exposed Hinge — A term used to describe a cabinet hinge that is visible from the outside. For example, barrel hinges.
Face Frame — The front facing of a cabinet typically constructed of hardwood. The vertical pieces, called "stiles," and the horizontal pieces, called "rails," reinforce the cabinet structure and provide mounting support for doors and drawers.
Fall/Flow — The proper slope or pitch of a pipe for adequate drainage.
Fatigue — (endurance) A progressive mechanical failure mechanism resulting from oscillating (cyclic) stresses (eg vibration) over a large number of stress reversals. Martensitic steels can be susceptible to fatigue, other types are more resistant.
Female Fitting — A fitting that receives a pipe or fitting. A fitting into which another fitting is inserted.
Ferrite — A phase in the steel with the smallest building block of atomic structure of 'body centred cubic' (bcc) ie one atom at the eight corners of a cube and one in the centre of the cube. Ferritic stainless steels with this structure include 1.4016 (430) and are characteristically magnetic.
Fiber Saturation Point — When drying or wetting wood, the stage in which the cell walls are full of water and the cell cavities are free of water.
Fiberboard — A broad term used to describe a material made from wood and other vegetable fibers glued together with heat and pressure. There are different levels of density and strength known as low, medium, or high density.
Fibers — Tiny filaments made of polypropylene, polyolefin, nylon, polyethylene, polyester, or acrylic used to control shrinkage cracking. Fibers do not provide structural reinforcement.
Fillers — Pieces of hardwood matching a chosen cabinet color. Sizes range from 1" to 6" wide and 30" to 96" long. Common use is to fill the space where a modular cabinet does not fill a specific wall dimension.
Film-forming Sealer — A type of sealer that blocks the penetration of water and contaminants by forming a barrier on the concrete surface. May also impart a gloss or sheen, which enhances colored or exposed aggregate concrete.
Finial Hinge — A decorative and semi-concealed hinging option used with Inset Cabinetry.
Finish — A term for the surface treatment of a wood product to enhance the beauty of its natural wood color and grain definition. Usually applied in steps, such as stain, sealer and a clear top coat such as a catalyzed varnish.
Finish Plumbing — Installation of plumbing fixtures to make the system usable.
Fire Resistance — A term used to describe the ability of flooring to withstand fire.
Fire Retardant — A chemical used to make a floor more fire resistant.
Fixed and Adjustable Shelves — Adjustable shelves have some pre-drilled holes made for maximum flexibility. Fixed shelves cannot be moved at all and represent a structural element of the cabinet.
Fixture — In plumbing, the devices that provide a supply of water and/or its disposal, e.g. sinks, tubs, toilets.
Flake Board — Another way to say particle board because of the flaky nature of the wood in particle board.
Flapper Valve — The part on the bottom of the toilet tank that opens to allow water to flow from the tank into the bowl.
Flat Panel — A recessed center panel on a door or drawer.
Float Ball — The floating ball connected to the ballcock inside the tank that rises or falls with changing water levels in the tank, and actuates or shuts off the ballcock as needed.
Floor Flange — A fitting that connects a toilet to a floor drain.
Flushometer — Toilet valve that automatically shuts off after it meters a certain amount of water flow.
Flushometer Tank System — Toilet flushing system that uses supply water pressure to compress water to provide a pressurized flush as opposed to a gravity flush.
Flute — A concave shallow groove that is routed into a wood surface. Fluting is usually applied vertically. A common use is to overlay on a cabinet stile or filler for a decorative effect.
Fluted Rail — This piece of molding is ornamental, decorative and it is usually used to highlight some areas between cabinets.
Flux — Paste applied to copper pipes and fittings before soldering to help the fusion process and prevent oxidation.
Footprint — The area of floor space taken up by a water heater or other appliance.
Four Inch Center Faucet — This term refers to a style of faucets for your bathroom countertops where the distance between the outer holes is four inches. It is a format which is typically found in smaller or lower end, lower priced tops. This can also be called a mini wide spread format.
Framed Cabinets — One of the two standard cabinet design styles. This style incorporates a frame around the front side of the cabinet box. This is the most common design and is also the most sturdy.
Framed Construction — Cabinet construction with face frames to which the cabinet doors are attached. The face frame has horizontal rails and vertical stiles.
Frameless Cabinets — Also referred to as European style cabinets. With Frameless cabinets, there are no obstructions on the front side of the cabinet box allowing for greater room for storage. These usually require full overlay cabinet doors so as to cover the edges of the cabinet box.
French Drain — A covered ditch containing a layer of fitted or loose stone or other material.
French Leg — A furniture-grade decorative leg used on the bottom corners of base cabinets.
Full Inset — Doors and drawers that are designed to fit within the inside edge lines of the faced frame opening. The outer edges of the doors and drawers will be flush with the face frame edges.
Full Overlay — This is a door type that covers the majority of the front of the cabinet box. Most common in frameless cabinets. Furniture Board- Another name for particle board.
Fur-Down — A box-out at the ceiling typically 12" high and 14" deep. Often used for AC duct work. Kitchen cabinets are installed up to it creating a step effect. Also called a soffit or bulkhead.
Galley Rail — Any moulding using tiny spindles to create a front retainer along a plate rail cabinet top. It gets its name because of its likeness to galley rails used on ships.
Gas Cock — Plug valve installed the main gas line and an appliance.
Gas Control — Device used to regulate gas pressure on a water heater.
Gate — A device that controls the flow in a conduit, pipe, or tunnel.
Gate Diverter — The pop-up lever on a tub faucet that activates the diverter valve.
Glaze — A specialty finish in which a material is applied after the stain and seal coat, and then hand wiped to create an aged or antiqued look that is unique to each piece. Glazing is applied to the entire surface, and shows well on surfaces with sharp crevices or edge details, distress marks, and woods with an open grain such as Hickory or Oak.
Glued Laminate — Laminate that requires the use of glue in its installation.
Grain Variation — A term used to describe a species of wood's natural dissimilar grain pattern.
Gravity Operated Toilet — A toilet that relies on the natural downward pressure of water in a toilet tank to flush the toilet effectively.
Gray Water — Waste water from sinks, showers, and bathtubs, but not toilets.
Grid Drain — This term refers to a drain that can only remain in an open position. It can not be closed and will always allow water to flow to the drain.
Grinding — A mechanical surface preparation method using rotating abrasive stones or discs to remove thin coatings and mastic or slight flaws and protrusions.
Grout — (slurry) A cement paste used to fill bugholes in countertops.
Hand-scraped or Hand-carved — Flooring that gets its appearance by hand scraping the surface, giving each plank a naturally time worn appearance.
Hardening — Normally associated with heat treatment processes (austenitising and tempering) but cold work also increases the hardness of austenitic stainless steels. Hardness is the resistance to indentation or scratching, cf strengthening which is an increase in tensile properties.
Hardwood — The term actually does not correlate to the hardness of the wood, though hardwoods do tend to be denser and therefore sturdier than softwoods. The distinction involves how the plant reproduces. Hardwood trees are considered angiosperms, and produce seed.
Heartwood — The central core of wood in a tree that no longer produces sap and tends to be dark in color.
Hickory — A strong, open grained wood that is known for its wide variation in color. It is not uncommon to see doors or parts of doors that range in color from light to deep brown when finished in light or natural stains. Darker stains will mildly tone these color variations. These characteristics are what makes each hickory kitchen unique and the preference of those who love wood.
High Pressure Laminate — Laminate surface that is permanently bonded with high pressure to its core.
High-Density Fiberboard — (HDF) A high-strength material made of very compact wood fibers and resins that is used in the cores of flooring. Its pressure is greater than 50 lbs. per cubic feet.
Highlighting — A finish option in which material is applied to detailed areas of wood-paneled doors, fronts and profiled mouldings. Highlighting is applied to specific areas rather than the entire surface, resulting in a more refined look than Glazing.
Hinge — A mechanical device used to attach a cabinet door to a cabinet box. There are many styles offering different applications, degree of swing and visibility.
Horizontal Branch — Lateral drain pipes that run from plumbing fixtures to the waste stack in a building or in the soil.
Horizontal Run — The horizontal distance between the point where fluid enters a pipe and the point at which it leaves.
Hose Bibb — An outdoor faucet, also used to supply washing machines.
Hot Working — Deformation (forging) above the recrystallisation temperature of the steel. Here the metal continuously anneals itself as the work progresses. There is no increase in strength on cooling to ambient temperature and annealing is not needed after hot working.
House Trap — U-shaped fitting with two adjacent cleanout plugs visible at floor level if main drain runs under floor.
Hubless — (No-Hub) Cast iron drainage pipe with neoprene gaskets and clamps.
Hydronic — System of forced hot water.
I.D. — Abbreviation for inside diameter. All pipes are sized according to their inside diameter.
Impact Resistance — The amount of resistance a floor has against damage from falling objects.
Indirect Wastes — Waste pipe used to convey gray water by discharging it into a plumbing fixture such as a floor drain.
Inlay — A design method that involves inserting flooring with different colors, patterns, grains, or textures to create a border, feature strip, or design.
Inset Construction — Cabinet construction in which the cabinet door and drawer fronts are recessed (inset) and flush with the cabinet face frame.
Installation Methods — Refers to the way in which the flooring is installed in your home. There are various methods such as nail or staple down, glue down and floating installation methods.
Instantaneous Water Heater — A type of water heater that heats water as it flows through a heat exchanger coil.
Integral Sink — A sink made out of the same material as the countertop and forms a continuous surface with the countertop.
Island — An unattached counter in a kitchen that permits access from all sides.
Jet — An orifice or other feature of a toilet that is designed to direct water into the trapway quickly to start the siphon action.
Johnni-bolts — Closet bolts, used to mount toilet bowls to the closet flange.
Joint — A construction term used when two pieces of material are joined or attached together. Common types are Butt, Cope and Stick, Dado, Dovetail, Miter, Mortise and Tenon, Rabbet, Tongue and Groove.
Joist — Parallel beams below the sub-floor used to support floors and ceilings.
Kafer Fitting — Cast iron drainage pipe fitting with threaded-on hub used to attach to existing cast iron lines.
Kerf — A saw cut that is made on the surface to relieve stress. It is used to create a curve, such as with a toe kick around a curved base cabinet.
Kiln — A hollow chamber for drying wood with controlled air flow, temperature, and humidity.
Kiln Dry — A term used to describe the process of oven drying fresh cut lumber. The process removes excess moisture so raw lumber can be fabricated into a finished product.
Knob — A hardware item, typically round in shape, attached to doors and drawers for function and decoration.
Knockout — A rubber or foam shape placed in a form where there will be a hole in the countertop.
Knockout Plug — PVC test plug.
Knot — A hard node in any wood species where a branch once grew.
Knotty woods — Any wood with knots present. The knots provide a rustic effect in appearance.
L Grades — Mostly applied to 304L (1.4307) and 316L (1.4404). Steels with less than 0.030% carbon to prevent sensitisation during thermal cycling, notably welding.
Laminate — Family of products in which a finish material is fused to a substrate. Laminates include LPL (Low-Pressure Laminate) and HPL (High-Pressure Laminate). HPL is thicker, stronger and more durable.
Laminated Wood — A type of high density flooring that gives the appearance of hardwood. It is made similar to regular laminate but uses a thin piece of real wood instead of a high resolution image in its top layer.
Lazy Susan — A corner kitchen base cabinet utilizing kidney shaped shelves rotating on a center poll for easy access.
Leach Field — Porous soil area, through which septic tank leach lines run, emptying the treated waste.
Leader — Pipe carrying rainwater to the ground or sewer.
Light Rail — The bottom of wall cabinets is usually decorated with a piece of molding, to give a finished look or to hide under-cabinet lighting.
Lock Nut — Nut fitted into a piece of pipe and screwed onto another pipe to join the two pieces.
Main — The primary artery of supply of the water supply or drain system in which all the branches connect. In the case of drains, known as the Main Vent.
Main Light Source — Refers to the main source of light in a room, generally a window or a glass door. Flooring should be installed parallel to the source so that the light shines down the length of the boards.
Male Threads — Threads on the outside of pipes and fittings.
Malleable Fittings — Fittings made of metal which is soft and pliable.
Manifold — A fitting that connects a number of branches to the main; serves as a distribution point.
Manufacturing Defects — Defects that occur during production, not natural blemishes. For example, incorrectly sized boards, improperly squared edges, high moisture content upon arrival, chipped grain, machine burn, and so on.
Maple — A strong, close grained wood that is predominantly off-white in color; although it also contains light hues of yellow-brown and pink. Hard maple occasionally contains light tan or small dark mineral streaks.
Martensite — A phase in the steel with a characteristic high hardness, but which can be brittle. Formed when carbon/chromium (martensitic stainless steels) are cooled rapidly from their austenitising temperature during heat treatment. Martensitic stainless steels include grades 1.4021 (420).
Mechanicals — The wiring, plumbing and heating and cooling systems in a building; also the components with moving parts such as furnaces, plumbing fixtures, etc.
Medium Density Fiberboard — (MDF) A manufactured wood product created from tiny wood particles and a bonding agent such as glue or resin. Since it is made with tiny wood particles, it is easier to shape as opposed to particle board which is made of larger wood particles. MDF commonly serves as the core material of the cabinet and is covered with laminate, thermofoil or melamine.
Melamine — Particle board coated with a plastic material. Often used in forming concrete countertops because of its smoothness and easy release.
Melamine Infused — A process where plastic is incorporated into the core board of a piece of flooring, increasing its moisture resistance and durability.
Melamine Resin — A plastic that is infused into the core of some flooring materials to increase its moisture resistance and durability.
Micro-Bevel — A wood flooring term which describes the cut of an angle at approximately 45º on the top edge of a plank or strip which forms a shallow V shaped groove when it comes together with another plank or strip on either side.
Millwork — Any type of machined woodwork.
Mineral Streak — Naturally occurring wood discolorations caused by minerals extracted from the soil. The streaks appear as blackish-blue, well-defined and run parallel with the grain, and are not considered a defect.
Miter Joint — A joint made when two beveled surfaces form a specific angle. For example, two pieces of wood each beveled at 22-1/2° will form a 45° angle when joined together.
Modular — Constructed with standardized units or dimensions allowing flexibility and variety in use.
Mortar Mixer — A mechanical mixer designed for blending cement based mortar. Mortar mixers use rotating paddles attached to a horizontal axle to mix mortar or concrete. Often mortar mixers are used for mixing the small batches of concrete required for concrete countertops.
Mortise and Tenon — A joining technique in which the mortise (groove or slot) is cut into a piece of wood. The joint is made when an opposing piece cut with a tenon (a collared protrusion) is slipped into the mortise.
Moulding (or Molding) — An ornamental strip used as a finishing touch to decorate a surface.
Mounting Ring — When placing a vessel sink on a countertop, a mounting ring is often used to prevent the countertop and sink from rubbing against one another. These are available in multiple finish options.
Mullion Doors — Horizontal and vertical dividing bars similar to those in windowpanes. They are used in cabinet doors that require glass inserts.
Multi-Stage Pump — A pump that has more than one impeller.
Nipple — A short length of pipe installed between couplings or other fittings.
No-Hub Connector — A connector for no-hub iron pipe consisting of a rubber sleeve and a stainless steel band secured by hose clamps. A variation, a neoprene sleeve with two adjustable steel bands, is used for connecting dissimilar materials, as when connecting new plastic pipe to an existing cast-iron drainpipe.
Normalizing — A form of sub-critical temperature annealing process used where some of the structural breakdown during previous cold working is to be retained.
O.D. — Abbreviation for Outside Diameter.
Oak — A strong, open grained wood that has a range in color of white, yellow and pink. Red oak is sometimes streaked with green, yellow and black mineral deposits and may contain some wide grain.
O-Ring — Round rubber washer used to create a watertight seal, chiefly around valve stems.
Oakum — Loosely woven hemp rope that has been treated with oil or other waterproofing agent; it is used to caulk joints in a bell and spigot pipe and fittings.
Onlay — A carved or etched decorative ornament installed on the cabinet face. Also referred to as an appliqué.
Open Grain — Large pores or course texture in grain. Oak is an example of an open-grained wood. Open Knot- Knots with open areas on the surface of the wood.
Overflow Tube — This is an external or integral tube that allows water to flow from the overflow portion of a sink to the drain. On vessel sinks, it is clearly seen. On under mount sinks, it is typically concealed or out of view.
Overlay — The amount of front frame covered by the door and drawer. The exposed front frame is referred to as the "reveal".
P-Trap — This term refers to the shape of the drain leading between the drain and the wall. It is designed to retain a small amount of water after the fixture's use. This water creates a seal that prevents sewage gas from passing and contaminating indoor air quality.
Packing — Fibrous material that is used on faucets to prevent leaks.
Packing Nut — Nut that holds the stem of a faucet in position & holds the packing material.
Panels — Sections of wood.
Particle Board — An engineered material made of particles of wood compressed together in various degrees of density.
Passive — Surface condition making the steel corrosion resistant ie the passive film is stable under the prevailing conditions. Stainless steels are intended to be used under conditions where they maintain their passive condition.
Passivation — Surface oxidising treatments, normally done using nitric acid, to promote the formation of the transparent protective corrosion resisting layer on the surface of the steel. These treatments are only needed for complex machined parts intended for immediate service where the natural passivation process may be hindered.
Pattern End Matched — When the pattern on flooring panels match up with the next panel end to end to create a continuous pattern.
PB — (Polybutylene) Flexible plastic tubing used in water supply systems where allowed by code.
Peaking — When raised seams meet and form a peak.
Peak Hour Demand — Time when the largest demand for hot water is needed.
Penetrating Sealer — A sealer with the ability to penetrate into the concrete surface to repel water and resist stains. Often used on decorative concrete to provide invisible protection without changing the surface appearance.
Peninsula — Similar in design to an island except open on only three sides. Often used in "L" shaped kitchens as serving bars that separate the kitchen from the dining or family room.
Permeability — A magnetic property of materials related to their ability to be attracted by a permanent magnet or influenced by a magnetic field. Austenitic stainless steels eg 1.4301(304) when annealed have relative permeability levels just above 1 and are said to be non-magnetic. The magnetic permeability can be increased by cold work or cooling to sub-zero temperatures due to the formation of the magnetic martensitic phase.
pH — Potential Hydrogen, the hydrogen ion concentration of water to denote acidity or alkalinity, measured on a scale of 0 to 14. Below 7 denotes acidity; above 7 denotes alkalinity.
Pickle — (pickling) Chemical (usually acid) treatments that remove a thin layer of surface metal. Pickling with nitric acid is also used to remove iron contamination from stainless steel surfaces.
Pigment — A finely ground natural or synthetic particle adding color and opacity to a coating or topping.
Pin Knot — Knots that are small and tight on the surface of the wood.
Pinch Pass — Also known as skin pass. A final cold rolling operation in the production of coil (strip) to improve shape and flatness. Resulting finish is 2B
Pipe Dope — Slang for pipe-joint compound. Substance applied to threaded fittings to create a watertight seal.
Pitch — Downward slope of a drain pipe in the direction of the water flow.
Pitting — A form of localised corrosion (attack) often associated with the presence of chlorides in the environment.
Plank — Boards that are usually 3" to 8" wide and are installed in parallel rows.
Plastic Shrinkage Cracks — Irregular cracks that occur in the surface of fresh concrete soon after it is placed and while it is still plastic.
Plies — Layers of wood glued together in a cross-grain pattern, making them more resistant to expansion and contraction.
Plumb — Precisely vertical. Also to test for, or to make vertical. Also to perform plumbing work.
Plumber's Putty — Pliable, popular putty used to seal joints between drain pieces and fixture surfaces.
Plumbing Tree — Prefabricated set of drain waste, vent, and supply lines.
Plunger — An instrument usually with a rubber head, used to create suction in a drain line or a toilet to push a clog through the line.
Plywood — Multiple layers of wood veneer bonded by an adhesive forming panels of varying thickness.
Pop-Up Drain — Type of drain assembly for lavatory and bath. When a lavatory lift rod or bath overflow plate lever is lifted, the pop-up drain closes so the lavatory or tub retains water.
Port — An opening in a burner head through which gas or an air-gas mixture is discharged for ignition.
Positive Displacement Pump — Called a PD pump. Gear, sliding vane, progressive cavity, lobe etc. the capacity determined by the pump speed. The maximum head is determined by the horsepower available and the casing strength.
Pre-Glued Flooring — An easy to install type of flooring that has adhesive pre-applied to the back or to the tongue and groove of each piece of flooring.
Precipitation Hardening — A strengthening mechanism produced by heat treatment. Can only be done on specially formulated steels eg 1.4542 (17/4PH), 1.4594 (FV 520B). High strengths are achieved with better impact toughness than with ordinary martensitic steels eg 1.4021 (420), 1.4057 (431). Corrosion resistance is generally comparable to type 1.4301 (304).
Pressing — The process of combining materials together using pressure.
Pressure Balance Valve — Shower mixing valve that automatically maintains balance between incoming hot and cold water supplies by immediately regulating fluctuations in pressure. As a result, temperature remains constant, though the outlet pressure may drop. Also known as an anti-scald valve.
Pressure Tank — Device used to pump water from a well.
Pressure Tubing — Tubing used to conduct fluids under pressure or at elevated temperatures or both, and produced to stricter tolerances than pipe.
Primary Reinforcement — Structural reinforcement designed to carry tension forces in reinforced concrete. Often steel rebar or carbon fiber is used as primary reinforcement. Choice of material, amount and correct placement are critical to obtaining the desired structural characteristics.
Pull — A hardware item, usually crescent shaped, attached to doors and drawers for function and decoration.
Pull Bar — A device used to tighten tongue and groove joints.
PVC — (Polyvinyl Chloride) A rigid white or cream-colored plastic pipe used in non-pressure systems, such as drainage, waste, and vent systems.
Quarter Round — A trim placed in front of the baseboard to cover the expansion gap between the baseboard and the floor.
Rabbet — A technique for joining two pieces at right angles. A portion of material is removed from the edge of one piece similar to the thickness of the other piece. When the two are attached the joint is strengthened. Also called a half-lap joint.
Racking — Term for a cabinet that is twisted out of square resulting in poor door and drawer alignment and operation. Generally caused by poor installation.
Radiant Heat — Also known as in-floor heating, the term refers to a heating system which uses hot water run through tubes under the sub-floor, giving the floor a warm feel when walked on.
Rail — Horizontal pieces of the face frame.
Random Length Planks — Different lengths of planks found in the same box, allowing the installer to stagger the flooring.
Rated Storage Volume — Quantity of water stored in a tank.
Ray Flecks — Rays, or strips of cells, store food and transport it horizontally throughout the tree. Naturally occurring ray flecks appear as lines across the grain of the wood surface.
Reamer — A grinding tool used to level or remove burrs from valve seats in faucets so that the valve stem will fit properly.
Rebar — (or reinforcing bars) Ribbed steel bars installed in cast-in-place or precast concrete as primary reinforcement to provide flexural strength. Rebar come in various diameters and strength grades.
Recessed Panel — The central panel of a cabinet door that is indented or recessed to offer a unique style and design.
Recovery Capacity — The amount of water in gallons per hour raised 100 degrees F at a given thermal efficiency and BTU per hour input.
Reducer — A fitting that connects pipes of different sizes together.
Reinforced Concrete — A structural composite of concrete with embedded tendons designed to carry tensile loads. In reinforced concrete, the concrete itself carries compressive forces while the primary reinforcing carries tensile forces. The addition of reinforcement transforms a brittle, low tensile strength material into a strong, ductile material.
Relative Humidity — A measuring of the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the amount it would have if it were completely saturated at the same temperature.
Resins — A material used for impregnating and bonding flooring.
Return Circulation System — Tempered water from or near the point of usage which eliminates waste of hot water used for long runs and adds storage to the system.
Reveal — The exposed portion of the cabinet face frame when the cabinet door and drawer are closed.
Revent — Pipe installed specifically to vent a fixture trap. Connects with the vent system above the fixture.
Reverse Trap Water Closet — A water closet having a symphonic trapway at the rear of the bowl, and integral flushing rim and jet.
Rigid Pipe — Pipe designed to transmit the back-fill load to the foundation beneath the pipe. Rigid pipe must be supported on the bottom portion of the pipe.
Rim Holes — A series of small holes in the underside of a toilet rim, around the circumference of the bowl. Incoming water flows down into the bowl through these holes, creating a rinse effect or wash over the entire inner surface of the bowl.
Riser — A vertical metal or plastic tube or assembly that connects a faucet to the water supply stop valve. Usually made of copper. Metal Flex Risers are corrugated to facilitate bending. Also a supply line that rises from one story to the next.
Roof Flashing — Sheet metal installed at any break in a shingled roof line to prevent leaks. Also around sewer vents, flue pipes.
Rope Moulding — A piece of moulding milled to appear twisted like rope.
Rosette — A small, decorative piece of molding usually used to decorate your kitchen.
Rough-In — Installation of the drain, waste, vent, and supply lines in a structure to the proposed location of each fixture.
Rough-In Dimensions — The distance from a finished wall or floor to the center of the waste or supply opening or mounting holes on a plumbing fixture.
Rout — To drill or gouge out an area of wood for decorative or joining purposes.
RTF — (Rigid Thermo Foil) Used as a laminate in the process of fabricating a one-piece door.
Run — A complete or secondary section of pipe that extends from supply to fixture or drain to stack.
Saddle Valve — A valve mounted on a pipe run by a clamping device, or fitting that taps into the side of a pipe, used to make quick connection to an existing line to provide a water supply for a low-demand device.
Sanitary Fitting — Fitting that joins the assorted pipes in a drain, waste and vent system; designed to allow solid material to pass through without clogging.
Sanitary Sewer — House drain that carries waste water away from the house to a sewer system or septic tank.
Sapwood — The younger, softer outer portion of the tree trunk, just under the bark. It appears lighter in color than the heartwood (center of the tree).
Scaling Temperature — Temperature above which an arbitrary rate of surface oxidation in air occurs. Often expressed in a weight gain per unit surface area per specified time unit eg gm/cm2/hour.
Screens — The photographic material in different types of flooring that gives it its appearance. The more screens used, the more authentic the product tends to look.
Scribe Moulding — A generic piece of moulding, usually 1/4" thick and up to 1" wide, for the purpose of trimming and concealing any discrepancy where the cabinet meets a sheetrock wall.
Sealer — Solvent- or liquid-based material used to protect and enhance the appearance of decorative concrete. (Also see film-forming sealer and penetrating sealer.)
Seam — A joint between 2 adjacent slabs of countertop material. Seams function as control joints in brittle materials such as granite or concrete.
Secondary Reinforcement — Non-structural reinforcement designed to control shrinkage cracking. Often welded wire mesh and/or fibers are used as secondary reinforcement in slabs.
Select Grade — Refers to a grade of wood flooring that has a minimum amount of knots and mineral streak.
Self-Rimming Sink — Sink with no metal ring that has a built-in lip of the same material which supports it in the vanity top.
Semi-Concealed Hinge — A cabinet hinge that is barely visible from the outside. Some examples are kerf or knuckle hinges.
Semi-Custom Cabinets — Offer fewer options than custom cabinets but are available in a number of different sizes and shapes for both framed and frameless cabinetry.
Sensitisation — A potential reduction in corrosion resistance (normally associated with inter-crystalline attack) due to holding or passing through particular high temperature ranges. Weld decay is an old term for this. It is the loss of Cr from the steel matrix due to the formation of chromium carbide.
Service Entrance — Pipe connecting the water company piping to the water meter.
Setting — Pumps' vertical distance in feet from the top of the well to the top of the pump.
Shelf Pins — Pieces of hardware that the shelf is placed on, usually plastic or metal.
Shim — Used during installation to insure that adjacent countertop slabs are flush and level.
Shrinkage — The tendency of the cement paste in concrete to shrink as it cures, causing concrete slabs to either curl (due to unrestrained shrinkage) or crack (due to restrained shrinkage)
Shroud — Color-matched component under a wall-mount lavatory that covers the drain outlet for aesthetic purposes.
Side Splash — A separate piece of material used to protect adjoining walls from splashes of water.
Single Hole Faucet — This term is fairly easy to understand as it refers to faucets which only require a single hole drilling in the countertop. This style is common with more contemporary and modern designs.
Siphon-Vortex Water Closet — A toilet having a trapway at the rear of the bowl, integral flushing rim, and a water supply system with or without a jet, which does not feed directly into the trap.
Skin — A 3/16"-thick veneer panel generally used on the ends or backs of upper or base cabinets.
Slab on Grade — A concrete slab that is fully and evenly supported by an substrate such as the ground. Sidewalks are slabs on grade.
Sleeve — Pipe which is passed through a wall for the purpose of inserting another pipe through it.
Slip Joint — A connection made with compression fittings.
Soffit — This is the area between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. It usually protrudes out over the cabinets. Many people like to convert it into a shelf above the cabinets for added storage. Also known as a bulkhead.
Soil Stack — Largest vertical drain line to which all branch waste lines connect. This line carries waste to the sewer line.
Solder — Metal alloy that is melted to create a fused joint between metal pieces. Also the act of melting solder into the joint.
Spattering — Small specks of color are randomly sprayed onto finished areas to create an antiqued look.
Spud — A threaded opening on the water heater tank. Also a tool for digging having characteristics of a shade and chisel.
Stabilisation — Making the steel more resistant to intercrystalline corrosion sensitisation by adding small amounts of either titanium or niobium to the steel. Grades 1.4541 (321), 1.4550 (347) and 1.4571 (316Ti) are examples of stabilised grades.
Stack — The vertical main in the drain, waste, and vent system, extending one or more stories.
Stain — A finish that can be applied to wood doors to add protection and color.
Stand Pipe — Open vertical pipe that receives water from a washing machine. Also the vertical pipe run supplying water to a fire sprinkler system; also large vertical pipe into which water is pumped in order to produce a desired pressure; a high vertical pipe or reservoir that is used to secure a uniform pressure in a water-supply system.
Standard Cabinets — Standard cabinets are manufactured in pre-determined sizes, but never before the customer orders them. Utilizing standard cabinetry sizing helps keep the cost of cabinetry down.
Standard Overlay — A door style designed with a specific hinge type. The cabinet door overlaps the cabinet opening 1/2" on all four sides.
Stile — Vertical pieces of the face frame.
Static Lift — The vertical distance between source and discharge water levels in a pump installation.
Stock Cabinets — Stock cabinets are the most affordable type of cabinets. They are usually found in places like Home Depot and Lowe's and are pre-made so you won't have as many choices in terms of size, design etc. Stock cabinets are usually made of wood veneer or a laminate material that is adhered to MDF or particle board.
Stop Valve — The shutoff valve under sinks and toilets. Allows water supply to be cut off to one fixture without affecting the water supply to other fixtures.
Straight Cross — Fitting that connects four pipes of the same diameter.
Stress Relieving — Heat treatment done to reduce internal (residual) stresses, following cold working. Done to improve resistance to stress corrosion cracking.
Stretch Forming — A cold forming method where a sheet is drawn into a die by a press tool and where the edges of the sheet are restrained to make deep cup or bowl shapes. The side wall of the pressing is thinned during forming but the cold working induced prevents fractures in these areas cf deep drawing. Sinks produced from one sheet of steel are typically stretch formed using a specially formulated 1.4301 (304) type.
Stretcher or Nailer — A structural component of the cabinet box. They are hidden horizontal members connecting the end panels at back of cabinet. During the installation process 2" to 3" screws are used to mount the cabinet to the wall through the stretchers.
Substrate — The original surface or the structural material beneath the layer of veneer or laminate. It is usually made of particle board, plywood or MDF.
Sump — A pit or pool for draining, collecting, or storing water. A chamber which provides water to the pump.
Superplasticizer — High-range water reducer (30% and above water reduction)
Supply Stop Valve — This is the valve at the wall that turns on and off your water. It is attached to your faucet and will typically have one to control hot water and another to control cold water.
Sweating — Slang term for soldering. Also formation of condensation on the outside of pipes or toilet tanks.
T & P Valve — Temperature & pressure relief valve. A safety device used to expel excess pressure or heat from inside a tank.
Tailpiece — Section of pipe that runs between a fixture outlet and the trap.
Tail Pipe — The pipe added below the jet assembly, in a weak well application.
Tank — Fixture reservoir for flush water. On a conventional toilet, the ballcock, flush valve, and trip lever are installed in the tank. A tank lid closes the top tank opening.
Tank Cross — A double-tee-shaped fitting installed between a shallow well pump and the bladder tank with integrated valve and gauge fittings, and an outlet for a pressure-relief valve.
Tap Tee — Cast iron tee with a threaded female side inlet.
Tee — A T-shaped fitting with three openings used to create branch lines.
Tensile Strength — The ability of concrete to resist tension forces, or pulling apart forces, expressed in pounds per square inch (psi).
Tempering — The second stage during the hardening / strengthening heat treatment of martensitic stainless steels. Improves the toughness but with some loss in strength and hardness.
Template — A physical pattern that represents the space into which a countertop will fit. For precast concrete countertops, templates are created on the finished cabinets, then the templates are used to determine the size of the forms.
Thermocouple — Small electric generator. Electron flow between the hot junction of 1200 degrees F and cold junction of 600 degrees F creates milli voltage.
TERP — (Tall End Raised Panel) A decorative panel, usually matching the door style, designed to be applied to the side or back of a cabinet, a pantry or refrigerator end panel.
Thermofoil — (RTF) Flexible, 100 percent solid-colored vinyl. With adhesive on its underside, it is applied to smooth, engineered wood or MDF which has been formed into a door, drawer or molding design. It has solid, opaque coloration and is easier to clean and maintain. Ideal for homes located in coastal areas.
Thermostatic Valve — Pressure-balancing shower mixing valve with automatic temperature control. When temperature or pressure fluctuations occur at the water inlets, a thermal actuator adjusts the hot and cold ratio to maintain the original temperature setting.
Tilt-Out Trays — A popular accessory item ideal for storing sponges and other dishwashing supplies. They are plastic trays attached to the back of false fronts at the sink area.
Toe Kick Area — The recessed area at the bottom of base cabinets usually 4" high and 3" deep.
Toe Kick — Molding that covers the toe kick area to provide a finished look and protect the wood from inadvertent toe kicks.
Tongue and Groove — A specific joining technique. The groove is cut into one piece of wood. The joint is made when an opposing piece cut with a tongue (a collared protrusion) is slipped into the groove.
Toughness — The ability of a material to withstand sudden impacts. Although all stainless steels have an acceptable level of toughness at normal temperatures, most stainless steels, in common with carbon and alloy steels, show a transition to brittle behaviour at low temperature. In contrast, austenitic stainless steels do not show this behaviour and consequently are used for cryogenic applications.
Traditional Framed Cabinets — Has a front frame around the cabinet opening to which the door is attached.
Traditional Overlay — Uses a door with a minimal overlay to allow a larger amount of the face frame to be visible. The door overlays the face frame by 1/2 inch side-to-side and 1/2 inch top-to-bottom.
Trap — Curved section of drain line that prevents sewer odors from escaping into the atmosphere. All fixtures that have drains must have a "P" trap installed. A toilet is the only plumbing fixture with an "S" trap.
Trap Arm — The waste arm portion of a drainage trap.
Trap Dip — The U-bend portion of a drainage trap.
Trap Primer — A small feeder line connecting the cold water line directly to the drainage trap, which releases a small amount of water to the trap should it run dry to maintain the water seal.
Trap Seal — Height of water in a toilet bowl "at rest.". It provides the water seal which prevents sewer gases from entering the home. It is measured from the top of the dam down to the inlet of the trapway. Also referred to as deep seal.
Trapway — Channel in a toilet that connects the bowl to the waste outlet. It is where the siphonic action takes place. The trapway is measured in terms of the largest diameter ball which can pass through it. Also called the passageway.
Trip Lever — Flush handle and actuating arm on a toilet tank. Also the lever that opens and closes the drain on the bathtub waste and overflow.
Undermount Sink — This term refers to a sink where the top of the sink sits below the countertop. It's design allows for easy cleaning of bathroom countertops.
Uni-flex — One piece stop and riser combination. One-piece supply.
Union — Three piece fitting that joins two sections of pipe, but allows them to be disconnected without cutting the pipe. Used primarily with steel pipe; never in a DWV system.
Urethane — A type of sealer that provides good stain, heat and scratch resistance but is difficult to apply properly and can de-bond if the concrete surface is not properly prepared.
Usable Storage — Percentage of hot water that can be drawn from a tank before the temperature drops to a point that it is no longer considered hot.
Vacuum Breaker — An anti-siphon device that prevents the backflow of contaminated water into the water supply system.
Valance — A decorative hardwood panel installed across an open area, generally used above desks or sinks.
Valve Dressing — Resurfacing a worn valve seat with a special tool. Stops leaks by providing a smooth sealing surface. Applies only to older compression style faucets.
Valve Seat — The non-moving part of a valve. Water flow is stopped when the movable portion of the valve comes in contact with the valve seat.
Varnish — A hard, transparent coating used to protect the cabinet surface.
Veneer — A thin layer of solid wood (1/32") that is applied with an adhesive to a substrate.
Vent — A pipe that allows air into a drain system to balance the air pressure, preventing water in the traps from being siphoned off.
Vent Header — A vent pipe into which several vents connect. The vent pipe leads to the vent stack and out of the building.
Vent Stack — Upper portion of the soil stack above the topmost fixture through which gases and odors escape.
Vent System — A vent is a pipe or pipes installed to provide a flow or air to or from a drainage system to provide a circulation of air within such system to protect trap seals from siphonage and back-pressure.
Venturi — A short tube with a tapered constriction in the middle that causes an increase in the velocity of flow of a fluid and a corresponding decrease in fluid pressure and that is used for creating a suction in a vacuum pump.
VERP — (Vanity End Raised Panel) A decorative panel, usually matching the door style, applied to the side or back of a cabinet, a vanity end panel.
Vessel Sink — This term typically refers to a sink that sits directly on top of a countertop. It is elevated above the countertop and typically requires a faucet with a higher spout height.
V-Groove — A type of vertical design in many cabinet doors. It is typically beaded or grooved and popular in bathroom medicine cabinets.
Vinyl Laminate — This material is used on the interior of many cabinets and is designed to be easy to clean and durable. Since it is a thin material it is easily applied to to various cabinet components and surfaces.
Viscosity — The resistance of fluids to flow, due to internal forces and friction between molecules, which increases as its temperature decreases.
Vitreous China — Ceramic materials fired at high temperature to form a non-porous body, having exposed surfaces coated with ceramic glaze fused to the body. This is used to form bathroom fixtures such as toilets, bidets, and lavatories.
Wainscot — A wooden facing or paneling that is generally applied to a wall or large end panel of a cabinet.
Wall Cabinet — Any cabinet type designed to install at or above eye level. Common application is 18" above the kitchen base cabinets. Also referred to as an upper cabinet.
Walnut — A hard, dense wood with tight grain that polishes to a very smooth finish. Its color ranges from creamy white to dark chocolate.
Warp — Any wood product that distorts or twists out of shape. The general cause is excessive heat or moisture.
Washdown Water Closet — Water closet having a siphon trapway at the front of the bowl, and integral flushing rim.
Waste Arm — Drain extension pipe, usually to extend a sink drain into a wall.
Waste & Overflow — Drain assembly for a bathtub. The outlet at the top removes the overflow water during tub filling and the drain at the bottom removes wastewater when the tub is drained.
Water Reducer — An admixture that either increases the slump of freshly mixed concrete without increasing water content or maintains workability with a reduced amount of water without affecting the strength.
Wax — Applied to concrete countertops as a "sacrificial protectant", meaning that it provides a small amount of protection against stains but wears away quickly and must be reapplied often
Welded Wire Mesh — A woven mesh of wire strands, welded at each intersection, commonly used as secondary reinforcement in concrete slabs to control shrinkage cracking. Also called welded wire fabric. Does not provide primary structural reinforcement.
WERP — (Wall End Raised Panel) A decorative panel, usually matching the door style, applied to the side or back of an upper cabinet.
Wet Polishing — A method for polished concrete that uses water to cool the diamond abrasives and eliminate grinding dust. The process creates a tremendous amount of slurry (a soupy mixture of water and cement dust) that must be collected and disposed of.
Wet Vent — A wet vent is a vent that also serves as a drain.
White Cement — A portland cement with a low iron content that hydrates to a white paste. Often used in integrally colored concrete to produce pure, bright color tones, especially pastels.
Widespread — A style of bathroom lavatory faucet having separate spout and handles, usually 8" from center of handle to handle.
Wood Grain — Pattern and texture naturally produced in wood.
WYE — A Y-shaped fitting with three openings used to create branch lines.
Yoke — Usually a brass casting that holds both the hot and cold valves and the mixing chamber for the water. May also refer to an assembly of copper or other metal which serves the same function.
Yoke Vent — A yoke vent is a pipe connecting upward from a soil or waste stack to a vent stack for the purpose of preventing pressure changes in the stacks.