A beginner’s guide to wood flooring jargon

Your floor is an important part of your home. Whether keeping it clean, getting it fixed or replacing it entirely, you need to know the right jargon to make sure you get what you want.

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Used to level an uneven floor, this concrete or latex fluid is poured out to create a flat layer.

Tongue and groove

You are likely to find a lot of tongue and groove in a country kitchen, as this refers to the way wooden boards fit together. The tongue protrudes from the board and fits into the groove of another.

Expansion gap

Wood expands when damp, so a gap of a few millimetres is left between boards to allow for movement in summer and winter.


Used to glue the boards together or to secure them in place, adhesive comes in many forms and is usually used to fix skirting boards in place or seal gaps.

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Damp proof membrane

The DPM is the plastic sheeting that is laid out under traditional wooden floors or laminate flooring, which is available from stockists such as https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.ie/laminate-flooring.html, to stop moisture getting through.

Spacers and wedges

These are used to create a gap and keep it open while the floor is being laid. They ensure the floor has some movement and that it won’t warp or rise if it expands a little.

Pull block

A plastic block is used to protect the boards when hammering. The block is hit rather than the board, reducing any damage.

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