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M
Machine Marks

Marks on hardwood floors that are created by machines. These can range from chatter marks to roller marks. These marks are caused when wood floors are machined improperly. Some of the larger sanding machines leave marks if they are used by an unskilled contractor. Some machines have a slight design flaw and will consistently leave marks.


Mineral Spirits

Also referred to as odorless mineral spirits or light aromatic naptha. Mineral spirits is a cleaning product used on waxed wood floors. It is a mild solvent. Mineral spirits should be used instead of water on waxed floors. To learn more about mineral spirits, read the second part of (How To Clean And Maintain Wood Floors) in the How To's section of my web site.


Moisture Content (MC)

The moisture level of your subfloor and your wood floor. It is important to monitor your moisture content to prevent shrinkage and swelling of your wood floors relative to seasonal changes.


Moisture Cured Urethane

Also known as moisture cured polyurethane. This is extremely toxic stuff. Wear a very good mask if you are going to work with this stuff. It will off gas for 30 days after it has been applied. Oil modified polyurethane is a much better choice compared to moisture cured urethane.



Moisture Migration

When water or moisture seeps into your floor, into your subfloor or below your subfloor. For example, if you have a house that has been flooded, the water will more than likely seep below the floorboards.


Murphy's Oil Soap

A common cleaning product for wood floors. I do not recommend using this product to clean your floors. Please read my cleaning article to learn effective methods to clean your wood floor surfaces. It is available in the How To's section of my web site. Here is the link: http://www.woodfloordoctor.com/_how_tos/articles/cleanpt1.shtml


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Nail Puller

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Nail Spinner

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Nail Down Floor

Any type of floor that requires nails. It could be a prefinished or an unfinished floor. It should never be stapled down. Staples, even if they flooring staples, will squeak and crack the tongues of your floorboards. A nail down floor is always going to be tongue and groove.


Natural Bristle Brush

A brush that is made with bristles from animals like boars. A brush is a great applicator because it does not leave streak marks or lint behind.


NGR (Non-Grain Rising) Dye Stain

NGR stains have either an alcohol or lacquer thinner base. They are quite difficult to use. These stains are also very flammable and poisonous. Because this type of stain is poisonous, you will need to use an activated charcoal mask. You cannot ventilate the area too much or else this stain will go on blotchy.


Number 1 Common

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Number 2 Common

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O

Odorless Mineral Spirits (ODM)

Also referred to as light aromatic naptha. This is a cleaning product used on waxed wood floors. It is a mild solvent. Odorless mineral spirits should be used instead of water on waxed floors. To learn more about odorless mineral spirits, read the second part of (How To Clean And Maintain Wood Floors) in the How To's section of my web site.


Oil-Based Finish

When these finishes age, they turn a yellow to orange color, which looks really noticeable on a white stain. In contrast to an oil-based finish, if you choose the correct water-based finish for clarity and durability you will have very little ambering over the years.


Oil-Modified Polyurethane

Also referred to as OMP or OMU. (The "U" in OMU stands for urethane). It is primarily made up of oils like safflower or soy oil. It consists of some metallic dryers like cobalt and manganese. Lastly, some polyurethane resin is added to give the product hardness once it dries. It’s also referred to as urethane, or even trade names like Varathane. It dries quickly. It is a clear finish for wood floors. If you apply urethane to your floor, you are sealing your floor. Out of all the finishes, OMP achieves the highest gloss. It also comes in satin finish. Oil-modified poly is very durable and resistant to water and various chemicals. The downside is that it requires 3-5 days to apply 3 coats. Scuffing is necessary between coats. Also, any touchups are difficult.


On Grade

On ground level. This house has no basement.


OSB Subfloor (Orient Strand Board)

This type of subfloor can either be made from long, narrow pieces of wood or 1" to 2" wood chips held together with a resin binder. Similar to plywood, the layers in OSB are cross-bonded for strength and durability.


Oxalic Acid

A type of wood bleach, which can either come in liquid or crystal form. Oxalic acid wood bleach removes most iron and rust stains. See (Wood Bleach) in the Glossary to learn more. Read the article on (How To Remove Various Stains And Smells From Wood Floors) in the How To's section.


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Parquet Flooring

Also referred to as parquetry. A parquet floor is a patterned floor. This type of flooring is a mosaic of wood that often uses geometric designs. There are two varieties of parquet floors: there is solid parquet and parquet panels. For more information, please read the article (Why Choose Parquet Flooring And How To Install It) in the Product Reviews section of the web site.


Particle Board

This material can sometimes be a subfloor. Particle board is made from various different wood particles. It can consist of sawmill shavings, saw dust, wood chips, and so forth. These wood particles are bonded together under high pressure. Particle board is higher density and therefore much heavier than chipboard. It is cheap building material. If you can afford it, stay away from particle board and go with a plywood subfloor.


Paste Wax

A solvent-based product. Paste wax gives hardwood floors long-lasting shine and protects against wear. Paste wax can be used for a floor job that is a simple restoration instead of the regular re-sand job. For example, a technique for restoring wood floors is to wash the old finish with odorless mineral spirits. Then wax the floors with a solvent based paste wax. Paste wax should not be used as a floor finish. It is not strong enough and it will never harden up. It should be used only a top dressing for an already film finished floor. Paste wax by itself will not keep the floor from getting water damaged, even from the smallest spill. As you can see, unless the floor is well finished (also called "well sealed"), wax cannot be buffed to the nice satin sheen it is known for. An important tip: you cannot use a solvent-based paste wax with a water-based finish. The solvent in the paste wax will interfere with the finish.


Pergo Flooring

A new style of flooring. The Pergo is made from MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and then a picture of wood is laminated to it. Then, it is encased in vinyl. Pergo flooring has three layers. The face layer is the top layer. The middle layer is the core material. The bottom is the balancing layer.


PH Neutral Cleaner

A cleaning product for sealed or finished floors. With very little water, use a diluted neutral PH cleaner. Sprayed on and buffed off works best. This is the most effective method to clean your hardwood floors. It removes dirt and grease well. In contrast, a more acidic hardwood floor cleaner is vinegar.


Pigmented Wiping Stain

This type of stain is used to change the color of your floor. The pigmented wiping stains are the most common. They contain a small amount of pigment, which is carried along by a large amount of solvent. The particles of pigment are quite large and lodge in the pores of the wood. Oak, ash and hickory are some of the wood species that take this type of stain well. There is a binder in this type of stain that is actually a diluted form of varnish. Once the stain is dry, the binder will keep the pigment particles (being dust-like if they were to dry on their own) from being wiped away from the pores in the wood.


Plank Flooring

A type of flooring made of wide floorboards that are a minimum of 4" or wider. This type of floor comes in unfinished, prefinished, engineered and laminate. Because these floorboards are wide, they will experience more movement naturally. A prefinished plank floor will usually have many problems, especially if it is just nailed. Please read my article on plank flooring, entitled (Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type of Floor Raises) in the Product Reviews section of the web site. Here is the link: http://www.woodfloordoctor.com/_how_tos/particlesshort/specialplankfloor.shtml


Ply (Plies)

Refers to the layers in either the wood floorboards or the subfloor. In an engineered wood floor, the more plies your floor has, the more dent resistant it will be.


Plywood Subfloor

The best type of subfloor. Plywood is composed of three or more thin layers of wood held together with glue. Plywood is very strong because of its design. The layers have alternating grain directions, usually oriented at right angles.


Pneumatic Floor Nailer

An air driven power nailer. This type of nailer uses air pressure to release its nails into wood. It requires special pneumatic nails. A pneumatic floor nailer will get the nailing job done fast. These power tools range from $150 to $600 USD. Sometimes you can get a pneumatic nailer and stapler in one. You don't want to use a stapler on your wood floors because the staples will crack the floorboards overtime.


Pneumatic Floor Stapler

An air driven tool. It is a stapler that uses air pressure to release its nails into wood. It requires special pneumatic staples. Even if a pneumatic floor stapler will get the job done fast, staples will crack the floorboards overtime. These range from $225 to $700 USD. Sometimes you can get a pneumatic stapler and nailer in one. It is much better to nail rather than to staple your wood floor.


Polymerized Oil Finish

An oil/varnish. Most polymerized oil finishes are just weak forms of varnish. By using this type of finish, you will not avoid the toxic fumes and metallic driers.


Polyurethane

Its official name is actually Oil-Modified Polyurethane. It is also called OMP or OMU. (The "U" in OMU stands for urethane). It is primarily made from oil (safflower or soy oil), some metallic dryers (cobalt and manganese) and also some polyurethane resin to give it hardness after it dries. It’s also referred to as urethane, or even trade names like Varathane. It is a quick drying product. It is a clear finish for wood floors. If you apply polyurethane to your floor, you are sealing and coating your floor. Out of all the finishes, OMP achieves the highest level of gloss. It also comes in satin finish. Oil-modified poly is very durable and resistant to water and various chemicals. The downside to using poly is that it requires 3-5 days to apply for 3 coats. Scuffing is necessary between coats. Any touchups are difficult.


Powder Actuated Nails

These are used to join subfloors and floors to hard substrates. For example, powder actuated nails may be used to secure a plywood subfloor to a concrete slab. A powder actuated nailer shoots its nails out via a controlled explosion that is created by a small chemical propellant charge.


Pre-Drill/Pre-Bore

When you drill your holes before you put your nails into the wood. This is done so that you do not crack or split the wood.


Prefinished Flooring

When most people say "prefinished hardwood floor", they mean solid wood strip floor. These are generally in widths of 4" or less. A prefinished plank floor over 4" is a poorly designed product, and every winter I hear about these amazing shrinking floors!


PVA Adhesive (Polyvinyl Acetate)

Similar to white carpenter's glue. It is a flooring adhesive. When it dries, it has a shiny, clear appearance.


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