Usually caused by humidity swings. Wood floors seasonally shift and may cause gaps in between floorboards. This usually happens in the winter. Commonly with gapping and separating, you will also experience cracking floorboards.

Gel Stain

Gel stains are a fairly new invention. The majority of gel stains are made with pigment in a varnish binder. This is the best stain to use on softwoods like pine and hardwoods like Brazilian cherry. These woods have such a variable density that they will turn quite muddy and blotchy if you try to use a pigment or dye stain. Gel stains are thick like ketchup, but once you wipe them they flow quite well on the wood surface. They penetrate the wood easily and evenly. They are easily wiped off to even out the color. They generally have long dry times and come in a variety of viscosities. Minwax is the thinnest, Flecto is medium and Wood-Kote and Bartley’s are the thickest. The thicker stains will generally color more intensively. Cherry is good candidate for a gel stain, especially if you have installed a low grade of cherry with all those light colored boards. The gel stain will be the best type to even this out. To learn more, read (Custom Staining Wood Floors Without The Blotchy Effect) in the How To's section of the web site.

Gloss Level

Refers to the level of shine in your floor finish. Your finish could be high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin or matte finish. This is only for aesthetics.

Glue Down Floor

A floor that requires glue rather than nails or staples. This type of floor requires a particular instillation method. Most glue down floors are done on concrete slabs on grade (with no basement). Many people attempt to install glue down floors themselves but encounter serious problems. The most common mistakes are using the incorrect adhesive or using the wrong amount of adhesive. The result is that the floorboards will often separate from the subfloor. Further, it is a very messy installation. An engineered floor is the most suitable style of floor for the glue down method. Some manufacturers of 3/4 inch hardwood floors say that their floors can be glued down. This is not advisable. 3/4 inch hardwood floorboards are rigid in nature. A glue down floor can only work if the floor material is flexible. All glues are naturally pliable and will bend over time. If the floorboards are rigid and the glue is flexible, the glue will obviously not adhere effectively. The floorboards will also have the opportunity to warp because of the movement in the adhesive. Gluing down a hardwood floor is only asking for disaster down the road. No matter what people tell you, nailing your floor is always the most secure way to connect your floor to your subfloor. This is the longest-lasting, most durable and oldest method. The cost of a glue down is obviously cheaper than a nail down. But which one will you have to repair sooner?


A deep scratch in your floor.


Refers to the ground level.


A series of tubes, equivalent to a series of fine straws in the wood. In the tree, the grains suck up moisture from the roots up to the leaves. This is how the tree gets water. On a floorboard, the grain is a cross-section of this series of tubes. The grain pattern will vary from one species of tree to the next. A grain pattern can be wavy, straight or sometimes even curly. The grain can be fine or coarse, open or closed. For example, the grain pattern of teak is straight with the occasional slight waves. The grain is coarse and fairly uneven. In contrast, jatoba (also known as Brazilian cherry) has a very bold grain pattern. Some woods have a very fine grain texture like Brazilian walnut. It is important to consider the grain structure when selecting a species of wood for your floors because not all of them will take stains very well. To learn more, consult (The Doc's Total Wood Species Guide) in the Product Review's section of the web site.

Grain Popping

Coming Soon..

Green Flooring

A fairly new phenomenon. Some people are turning away from hardwood floors to alternatives that they feel are more renewable. Green flooring is more a trend than an understood concept. Much of the popular information available on green flooring is largely inaccurate. For more information, please read my articles (The Truth About Bamboo Floors) and (Cork: The Sustainable Alternative To Hardwood Floors) in my Product Reviews section of the web site.


Hand Scraping

This is a method for removing the top layer. You can either use the normal paint scrapers with the replaceable blades or a cabinet scraper. Paint scrapers are easy to sharpen with a 10" mill bastard file. If you sharpen these with a slight rounding of the corners you can get a very smooth scrape. It will still need a hand sanding, screening or vibrator machine sanding after. In contrast, the advantage of using a cabinet scraper is that you achieve a smooth surface right away. You do not need to sand at all. Hand scraping can be done with any sand-on-site flooring. However, it is typically done with heritage wood or reclaimed wood to give the floor a particular look.


A type of tree distinctly different than a softwood. Hardwood trees have broad, flat leaves. These trees are dense and heavy. They have a complex cellular structure. In contrast, softwoods have needles. Some examples of hardwoods are maple, oak and birch.

Herringbone Floor

A kind of parquet floor. Herringbone is a classic European parquet style that is now considered to be a very contemporary and elegant look. The herringbone pattern is named after the herring fish. This fish is known for being quite densely bony. For more information please read (Why Choose Parquet Flooring And How To Install It) in the Product Reviews section of my web site.

High Density Fiberboard

(HDF) - The stabilizing core of a cork floor. It can also be a medium density fiberboard (MDF). To learn more about cork floors, please read my article (Cork: The Sustainable Alternative To Hardwood Floors) in my Product Reviews section of the web site.

Hydronic-Heating System

Also referred to as radiant heating. This is a heating system that can be installed right inside the concrete slab. This type of heating is usually done in the newer homes. To learn more, read (Installing Hardwood Floors On Concrete Slabs) in the How To's section of my web site.


When a material, in our case wood, will absorb moisture from surrounding objects. Wood will gather moisture from surrounding air and material until it reaches an Equilibrium Moisture Content.


Injection Repair Kit

A professional repair kit for hardwood floors. Dri-Tac sells one of these kits. It comes with a diluted version of their famous glue, drill bits, syringe and dowels. Basically, everything you will require for an injection repair. Injection repairs are only suitable for glued down parquet and laminated wood floors.


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