The Jargon You’ll Hear Most When Looking At New Floors

Choosing the right materials and tools to lay wood flooring can be tricky. Fear not and take a look at our guide to the different jargon you might come across and your task just became much easier.

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This is usually a liquid, like latex, applied to the floor area. As it spreads it creates a level surface, which hardens. The new flooring can then be laid over it.

Damp-proof membrane (DPM)
If laying wooden boards or laminate over a cement, sand or concrete floor, a DPM is required to prevent the flooring from absorbing moisture and warping.

Leveller board
As well as creating a flat surface for the floor to be laid on, leveller board also increases the durability of the floor and insulates sound. Leveller board can be fashioned from recycled board or a multipurpose wood, like plywood or hardboard.

Sound insulation and durability can be increased with an underlay to cushion floor boards. Underlay can be made from relatively cheap closed cell polythene foam to the more expensive felt and silver foil version.

Tongue and groove
Tongue and groove describes how the boards are fixed together. A groove in one plank will accommodate a tongue from the adjacent one.

Bevelled edges
Curved edged laminate flooring, such as that available at, is more realistic in appearance than straight edged varieties.

Click-lock planks
Similar to tongue and groove, these planks fit together in a certain way and sequence. Once in place, they lock and cannot be pulled apart.

Tapping blocks

Used to prevent damage to the floor planks during construction of the floor. Hammering the block, as opposed to the board itself will protect the plank.

Pull bar
When using a tapping block is not possible, this tool can be helpful. It drives glued tongue and groove planks together tightly at the joint.

Spacers and wedges
These are used to ensure expansion gaps are even and maintained. They can also be used to ensure edges are straight when the wall is not.

Glue which can be used to fix skirting or beading in place or to glue boards together.

Radiator pipe roses
Doughnut shaped wooden or plastic pieces, which cover any gaps around pipes.


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