When your floorboards have an indentation. It could be from moving furniture. The remedy for a dent is contingent on its size and depth. Please read our how to repair article to learn how to fix dents.


An acronym for "do it yourself". It refers to projects that you can do by yourself without hiring a professional. Typically, the level of difficulty varies and is described in detail. The person who does it yourself is known as a DIYer or a do-it-yourselfer.

Domestic Wood Species

Species of trees that are local or native to your region. For example, if you live in North America, some domestic species include pecan, ash and oak. See (The Doc's Total Wood Species Guide) for more information on wood species.

Drum Sander

A large sander used to sand down hardwood floors. This is a machine that does the main area of the floor and not the edges. (An edger does the edges.) These machines can be as heavy as 250 pounds and requires 110 volts. These machines cost upwards of $10,000. If you have a well-tuned drum sander, it should not leave roller marks on your hardwood floors. For more information, read (Should I Sand the Wood Floors Myself or Hire a Pro?) and (How to sand wood floors without leaving machine marks). Both of these articles can be found in the How To's section of my web site.

Drywall Trowel

A tool used usually to apply plaster. In the wood flooring business, a 12 inch drywall trowel is used to apply your first coat of oil-modified polyurethane. In order to prevent trowel marks, use 3 to 5% of odorless mineral spirits to thin out your finish.

Dye Stain

Dye stains are used to change the color of your floor. Dye stains are very similar to fabric dyes (and yes you can use Rit Dye stains to dye wood). They both contain particles that are so small that they enter the wood surface itself. But this doesn’t make them easy to use on floors. It is much too easy to create overlap marks with a dye stain. Dye stains come in water-soluble powders (which make for a very grain risen floor) and NGR (non-grain rising) type stains already mixed.


Eased Edge Flooring

An older style of prefinished flooring with very deep V grooves at the edges of plank floorboards.


A sanding tool that is designed for hard-to-reach places. It works quickly. The downside is that it spews out a lot of very fine sawdust. If you can attach your vacuum to the edger, you are in luck.

Electronic Moisture Meter

A device used to detect and measure moisture. In wood flooring, it is used on the floor, the subfloor and in the atmosphere of the room. The goal is to create an equilibrium where the moisture should range from 25% to 30%. They are available from $20 to $100 for this purpose.

Epoxy Filler

A type of glue. It is not meant to fill holes like wood putty. Epoxy filler can be used to saturate rotten wood so that it hardens. When you use the epoxy putty though you will have to stain and "grain" the putty after to get it to look more like real wood. It is fairly expensive but will repair rotten areas of your hardwood floors. For more information, read (How to repair a hardwood floor for D.I.Y's and contractors) in the How To's section of the web site.

Equilibrium Moisture Content

(EMC) - When your floor has the same moisture reading as your subfloor as well as the surrounding atmosphere in the room. The normal range you want to look for is between 25% and 30%. Anything below this will start to shrink the wood and it will shrink all the way to 0% - an oven-dried state. The moisture content is measured with an electronic moisture meter.

Exotic Wood Species

These are different than domestic wood species. They are typically expensive and difficult to obtain. They are not local to your region. For example, if you live in North America, much of the exotic wood flooring you can get comes from Australia, Brazil and Southeast Asia. It is important to make sure that if you are considering an exotic hardwood floor, it should come from a reputable source. Some exotic woods are illegally harvested. To learn more, read (The Doc's Total Wood Species Guide) in the Product Reviews section of the web site.


Floor Wax

Most commonly, it is made up of beeswax or paraffin wax. This type of floor is difficult to maintain. A waxed floor will show water marks very easily. The majority of waxes scuff a bit over time. If you have a waxed floor, you can never touch up the finish. Only the wax can be touched up. Waxed floors are more difficult to clean. For more information, read (How To Clean And Maintain Wood Floors) in the How To's section of the web site.

Factory Applied Conversion Finish

A finish that the manufacturer applies to the floorboards in the factory. This is also known as a factory conversion finish.

Flooring Nailers

This specialty nailer is designed particularly for flooring applications. A wood floor should not be stapled. If it is stapled, the floorboards will crack.

Floor Refresher Products

These products are designed for prefinished floors. These floor refresher products typically come in a kit with cleaning supplies and a low solids acrylic finish. The first step is a thorough cleaning. Then you apply this finish and allow a couple of hours for it to dry. You needn't do this more than two or three times a year in heavily used areas. The main advantage is that it has such a low build up that when it comes time to screen and recoat your floors with a new coating of a water based finish, this refresher shouldn't interfere with its adhesion. Bona Kemi and Basic Coatings sell floor refresher products.


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