Axminster Carpet

A machine-woven carpet where a wide  variety of colors is used to produce colorful patterns.

Berber Carpet

Berber carpet has an off-white, heathered look of cloaks used by the Berber tribes of North Africa. Berber carpets use flecked yarns most often in loop styles. The size of the loops varies from large nubby ones to smaller styles. Patterned Berbers are multi-level-loop as well as cut-and-loop styles. Berber styles are also available in pastels and dark tones as well as naturals.

Broadloom Weave

A term originally used to denote carpet produced in widths wider than six feet. Today carpet comes in 6-foot, 12-foot, and 15-foot widths.


A carpet or rug in which a raised pattern or engraved effect is formed using heavy twisted yarn tufts on a ground of straight fibers.

Carpet Backing

Yarns or fabrics forming the back of the carpet as opposed to the carpet pile or face. In tufted carpets, there are two backings: a primary backing into which the pile yarn is inserted and a secondary fabric backing laminated to the back of the carpet for reinforcement and dimensional stability.

Carpet Binding

A strip sewn over a carpet edge for protection against unraveling. Carpet is bound to form rugs.

Carpet Padding or Cushion

A variety of materials placed under carpet to provide softness and longer wear when it is walked on. In some cases, the carpet cushion is attached to the carpet when it is manufactured. Terms also used: lining, padding, or underlay.

Carpet Pile

Yarns or fibers that form the upper surface of carpet.

Carpet Squares or Tiles

Loose laid or self-adhesive backed “tiles” of carpet.

Ceramic Tile

Made from clay or a mixture of organic materials, ceramic tile is finished by kiln firing. Made in many shapes and sizes, it is glazed or unglazed. For floors, tiles are set in a cement or mortar type mixture.

Cork Flooring

One of the earliest of modern resilient floor coverings, the flooring is made from the bark of cork oak trees, a replenishable material. Cork flooring is available in tiles and sheets. Varieties of natural unfinished cork, waxed cork, resin-reinforced waxed and vinyl impregnated cork come in many colors including natural shades.

Cut-and-Loop Carpet

A multi-level loop carpet, where the taller loops are sheared. The resulting uncut loops and sheared top loops create a sculptured pattern. The texture and often subtle, variegated colorings help hide soil and traffic wear.

Cut Pile

The face of a carpet where the surface is composed of cut ends of yarn.

Face Weight

Carpet face weight the weight of the carpet pile per square yard of carpet, measured in ounces. This should not be confused with the carpet’s total weight, which is the combined weight of the pile plus the carpet backing.

Flat Weave

Flat Weave rugs and carpets are flat woven items traditional to India, made of cotton or silk. They are noted for soft colorations and varied patterns.


(Pronounced “free-zay”) A tightly twisted yarn is used to give a rough, nubby appearance to carpet pile. Frieze carpets may be loop or cut styles.

Glazed Tile

Clay shaped into tiles, fire-hardened, and then covered with a matte or glossy glaze to make the tiles more resistant to moisture.

Hooked Rug

Rugs made by pulling yarns or fabric strips through a mesh backing. Many are designed in various colors to create a scene or design.

Indoor-Outdoor Carpet

Carpet designed to be used outdoors. Indoor-outdoor carpet is much more breathable than standard carpet, which allows for moister evaporation.

Kilim or Kelim

A flat, woven rug, usually reversible.

Laminate Flooring

Laminates have a dense fiberboard core with a paper pattern layer sealed both top and bottom under high pressure with a plastic-like substance. Sold as planks and panels in wood, stone, tile, and other looks.

Level Loop Carpet

A carpet style – woven or tufted – with a same-height loop surface.


One of the first resilient floors, it was introduced in the 1800s. Made of linseed oil, gums, cork, or wood dust and pigments. Often the term is used incorrectly to describe resilient floors made of vinyl. Often known as sheet vinyl.

Loop Carpet

Carpet style having a surface made up of uncut loops.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile is exceptionally enduring and is available in a limitless selection of artistic designs and designs inspired by nature, such as stone, marble and wood. The durable construction of luxury vinyl tile includes a protective wear layer which resists scuffs, tears, gouges, rips and scratches. Additionally, luxury vinyl tile is affordable, durable, resilient, resistant to water, and can be installed virtually anywhere in your home. Suitable for both residential and commercial applications.
back to top


Limestone flooring known for its elegant appearance created by polishing its very hard surface. Now available in tiles.

Mosaic Tile

Small ceramic tile, hard porcelain or glass, glazed or unglazed mounted on a backing for ease of installation. Often mosaic tiles are used to create designs for walls and floors.
back to top

Oriental Rug

Hand-woven or hand-knotted rugs native to the Middle or Far East, available in many patterns and known for their colorations. Many machine-made rugs, made using Oriental rug designs, are also referred to as Oriental rugs.

Outdoor Carpet

Carpet designed to be used outdoors on patios, walks and decks. Usually made of polypropylene to withstand the weather and ultra-violet rays of the sun, most outdoor carpet is designed for glue-down installation.

Patterned or Printed Carpet

Carpet having patterns applied by methods similar to printing paper. These include flatbed screen printing, rotary screen printing, Stalwart printing and modern computer programmed jet printing.


The upright ends of yarn, whether cut or looped, that form the wearing surface of carpets or rugs. Sometimes called the face or nap of the carpet.

Plank Flooring

Wood, laminate, tile or vinyl flooring made of long boards more than 3 inches wide.

Plush Carpet

A smooth, dense, cut pile carpet in which individual tufts are only minimally visible, and the overall visual effect is a single level of fiber ends.

Quarry Tile

Glazed or unglazed ceramic tile made using an extrusion process. An example is the Terra-cotta squares used in the Southwest.

Rag Rug

A sturdy, colorful rug hand-woven from cotton scraps.

Random-sheared Carpet

A textured pattern created by shearing some yarn of the top or higher loops and leaving others yarns looped.


A short piece of carpet from a roll of carpet that usually measures less than nine feet long.

Resilient Floor

Smooth surfaced flooring (tiles, strips, or sheet goods) manufactured by first combining a plastic material with filler and pigments, and then processing them into sheets of different thickness. If a backing material is used, the plastic sheet is joined to the backing. Types include solid vinyl, backed or cushioned vinyl, rubber, cork, and linoleum.

Rubber Flooring

Today rubber flooring tiles and sheet goods are made from synthetic rubber. It comes in ribbed, studded, or other raised patterns.


Carpet made or cut and bound into room dimensions and loose laid.

Saxony Carpet

Cut-pile carpet in a relatively dense construction, with well-defined individual tuft tips. Smoother finished saxonies are called “plushes”.

Sculptured Carpet

Any carpet pattern formed from high and low pile areas, such as high-low loop or cut-and-loop.

Shag Carpet

A deep-pile texture with long-cut surface yarns. Shag carpet was popular in the 1970s, and a new type of contemporary shag in more up-to-date colors is gaining in popularity today.

Sisal Flooring

Rugs, mats, and matting made from sisal, a natural plant material. Available woven and dyed in various colors, as well as machine- and hand-painted. Similar flooring is made of jute, coconut, and sea grass.


A naturally laminated rock that is often used in regular and irregular shapes, and is embedded in cement or mortar to create a hard-surface, patterned floor.

Soil Shield or Retardant

A chemical finish (often wax based) applied to carpet and fabric surfaces which inhibits attachment of soil to fiber. It’s usually a topical treatment but may also be inherent in the fiber.

Stain Resistant

A chemical finish (often wax based) applied to or inherent in carpet fibers which inhibits specific stains from adhering to or dyeing (staining) carpet fibers.


A carpet installation term for the give in carpet when it is pulled over the pad onto tackless strips or “tack strip”.

Strip Flooring

Strip flooring is made of narrow (typically2 1/4. 3-inches wide) tongue-and-groove boards that are end-matched. Strip flooring wider than 2 1/4 inches is called plank flooring. These products can be either wood, engineered wood, laminate or vinyl products.

Tack Strips

Wooden strips with tacks that are nailed to the subfloor and used in “tackless” carpet installation

Tackless Installation

Where carpet is laid over pad and stretched to fit over tack strips of wood with implanted tacks to hold the carpet snugly to the wall. Also called wall-to-wall installation.


A smooth, multicolored floor made of marble or stone chips embedded in a cement binder, and then highly polished. Traditionally terrazzo floors are poured and set on site, but manufactured terrazzo tiles are also available.


Strips that are used for transitioning from one flooring surface to another.Can be made of metal, wood, laminate or vinyl materials.

Tufted Carpet

Carpet manufactured by tufting machines, which insert pile tufts with needles that penetrate a primary backing fabric, thus forming tufts. A majority of carpet in North America, about 90%, is tufted.

Vinyl Composition Tile

These floor tiles are made from vinyl resins and filler materials to create resilient flooring in assorted colors and patterns. Also known as VCT, the product is often used in commercial applications.

Vinyl Flooring

This smooth-surfaced plastic floor is a mixture of vinyl resins, plasticizer, stabilizers and fillers with color added throughout the product. Produced in either square tiles or sheet goods. For years, sheet tile was used as an inexpensive option in “wet areas”. Over the last decade, vinyl manufactures have created much higher quality products than used in the past. “Flex Vinyl” is a great new option of sheet vinyl that is a much thicker product and offers numerous patterns including a “wood-look” and “tile-look”.

Luxury Vinyl  Products have become extremely popular of the last decade, also. Luxury Vinyl Tiles and Planks offer “click-together” and glue-down options that install similar to wood or laminate. The great part about these products is that they are often times water proof and resist scratching when compared to wood or laminate, yet offer brilliant patterns of wood and even stone.

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, hickory, birch, pecan, maple and beech as well as beautiful exotic species such as bamboo. There is solid wood flooring and laminated flooring, which combines wood layered in different directions for strength and to inhibit shrinkage or expansion. Today, most wood flooring is prefinished at the factory for ease of installation and uniformity of finish.

Woven Carpet

Looms interlace warp (lengthwise) and filling (width-wise) yarns to create a sturdy flooring textile. Many woven carpets are produced in intricate and colorful patterns. Types of woven carpet include Wilton and Axminster.