hardwood Milwaukee


If you have never gone through the process of installing new floors, the experience can feel a little intimidating. It’s no question that the world of flooring has unfamiliar terms that most people don’t hear throughout their day-to-day. That’s why our team at Floor Coverings International® of Waukesha compiled a hardwood glossary to equip you with the knowledge you need to feel confident throughout the flooring process.


Engineered Hardwood

A more affordable hardwood option. Engineered hardwood is a thin layer of solid hardwood laminated to particleboard to form a plank.

Solid Hardwood

A hardwood plank that is entirely from lumber.


The wax-based or urethane coating that protects hardwood flooring.


A hardwood plank that has its finish applied during the manufacturing process.


Hardwood planks that are sanded and finished after installation in your home.

Plank Flooring

Boards that have a width of 3 inches or greater.


A concrete or plywood layer underneath the floor for support.


A layer of material between the main and subfloor. It functions as padding, insulation, and a sound or vapor barrier.

Janka Hardness

A scale that measures the strength of hardwood material. The amount of force it takes to drive a .444 inch steel ball into a plank of wood .222 inches in diameter determines its rating.


The knots and mineral streaks visible in unprocessed lumber intended for flooring.


The way the fibers in the wood align to create the pattern visible on the planks.

Gloss Level

How reflective the hardwood finish is. There are three main levels of gloss: matte (satin), semi-gloss, and high gloss.

Wood Movement

The amount of expansion and contraction that occurs in hardwood due to moisture.


Get Started Today In Milwaukee

At Floor Coverings International® of Waukesha we make flooring as stress-free as possible for our customers. Our design consultants are experts and are ready to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a free in-home design consultation today and our mobile showroom will come to your front door. We are proud to serve Waukesha, Brookfield, Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.


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Photo Credit: ©RomanR