Home >Vinyl>Guide>Glossary

Get to know these common vinyl and flooring terms. It’ll help make your buying process even easier.



For some vinyl flooring installations, the sticky substance used to glue vinyl tile to the subfloor underneath.


Curing time

The amount of time needed after adhesive installation to allow for proper bonding of flooring and subfloor. It is recommended that the floor not be used during this period.



Raised or relief designs in the surface of vinyl flooring


Floating floor

A floor that does not need to be nailed or glued to the subfloor.



Reference level to the ground, defined further as follows:

above-grade - above the surface of the ground or above a well-ventilated space with at least 18 in. between the bottom of the lowest horizontal strutural member and any point of the ground.

below-ground - below the surface of the ground, part or all f the floor is below the ground.

on-grade - in contact with the ground, in contact with the ground or with less than 18 in. of well-ventilated space between the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member and any point of the ground.


Usually a cement-based material, this is the substance used to fill in the spaces between tiles. It comes in various colors.



Height difference in elevation between edges of adjacent planks or tiles

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

A marketing term that is applied to resilient floor tile and plank


Patching Compound

Compound used to fill or smooth minor depressions or irregularities in a flooring surface or substrate


A tile that is long and rectangular, rather than square, that is typically installed by snapping together with another plank.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content

Material used in the manufacture of new product that has been recovered from existing materials instead of disposing of the material

Pre-Consumer Recycled Content

Material recovered before disposal for use in the manufacture of a new product; excluding materials generated from and reused or reworked within the original manufacturing process.


Recycled Content

The percentage by weight of post-industrial or pre-consumer recycyled material plus post-consumer recycled material

Resilient Vinyl

A type of flooring composed of four layers of materials fused together, known for its comfort, durability and resistance to stains, scratches and scuffs.

Roll vinyl

Same as sheet vinyl; resilient flooring that comes in roll form rather than tile form.



The line that marks where the edges of two tiles meet. A sealer is recommended to fuse the tiles together at the upper layer and to prevent dirt, liquids and other debris from depositing in the seam.

Seam sealer

The substances used to seal tile seams and prevent debris from penetrating to the subfloor.

Sheet vinyl

Resilient vinyl flooring that comes in roll form rather than tile form.

Solid Vinyl Flooring

A resilient tile flooring composed of binder, fillers and pigments compounded with stabilizers and processing aids; with a majority of the binder made of poly vinyl chloride, resins and platicizers


Rough, structural layer of floor beneath a finished floor;  should be covered with underlayment before installing resilient flooring


The lowest level of support in a building or structure; in flooring this is what the subfloor is fastened upon



A material placed under vinyl or other finished flooring to provide a suitable installation surface above the subfloor



The deterioration caused from use over time of a flooring surface which tends to impair a material's serviceability; examples include abrasion, scratching, gouging and scuffing.


Topmost layer of vinyl flooring which protects the pattern and design; this may also have a permanent compatible coating to prolong the life of the flooring material.



Get an idea of how much flooring you'll need.

Get Estimate



Find STAINMASTER® Luxury Vinyl at Lowe’s.

Shop Now

LOWE'S and Gable Mansard Design are registered trademarks of LF, LLC.


This Is Your Favorites Tray

As you view products, you'll find white hearts on or near the product. To save them to your Favorites tray just click the Heart and watch it turn red to let you know it's saved. Saving a product makes it quick and easy to view items you're interested in. Be sure to create an account to save these products for future views.