Greatmats Glossary Guide to Specialty Flooring Terminology

By Greatmats Staff Created: September, 2017 - Modified: July, 2021

Aerobic - form of exercise that improves involves oxygen and improves efficiency of body's cardiovascular system

Aikido - Japanese Martial Art for self defense, redirecting momentum of attack and finishing with a throw or joint lock

ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

Animal floor - flooring designed for use where animals such as dogs are horses will spend long period of time standing, playing or training

Anti-fatigue - prevention of weariness from bodily exertion

Anti-Static - preventing buildup or reducing effects of static electricity

Artificial Grass Turf - synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass

Ballistic - relating to projectiles

BJJ - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art derived from Japanese Judo and Jujutsu that focuses on grappling and ground fighting

Bump Top - surface texture with a pattern of bulges

Carpet tiles - modular or temporary sections of carpet that can be used in conjunction with each other

Cheer mats - mats intended for use in cheerleading training and competition

Closed cell foam - foam with individual pores that do not connect

Color fleck - small pieces of color mixed into an otherwise black material

Commercial flooring - professional grade flooring for areas of heavy use

Conductive (static) - allowing electricity to pass through it

Cork flooring - flooring made from the outer bark of the cork oak tree

Court flooring - flooring intended sports such as basketball, volleyball or tennis

Critical fall height - maximum height from which a fall would not be expected to cause a life threatening head injury

Cross fit/cross fitness - a strength and conditioning exercise program which includes an expansive variety of movements

Cross-linked polyethylene foam (XLPE) - flexible, fine-celled closed cell foam

Dissipative (static) - slows electrical charge flow to ground

Dog agility - sport in which dogs run through obstacle courses under direction of a handler

Dojang - training hall for Korean Martial Arts

Dojo - training hall for Japanese Martial Arts

Entrance Mat - Mats usually placed by a doorway or entry intended for people to wipe their shoes on

EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Ergonomic - providing comfort while limiting stress or injuries

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) - sudden flow of electricity between two charged objects

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) - type of durable synthetic rubber

Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) - closed-cell soft and flexible foam

Event flooring - aesthetic temporary flooring

Fall-height rating - maximum height for which the product passed testing for critical fall height, and life threatening head injury would not be expected

Fatigue mat - floor mats designed to encourage subtle movements and reduce weariness due to standing for long periods of time

Floor covers - material designed to cover and protect existing floors

Floor mats - a piece of fabric, rubber, foam or plastic placed on the floor and designed for foot traffic

Foam - material containing small bubbles or pores which provides cushion

Foam rubber - an air-filled spongy material made of polyurethane or latex used for cushioning

Gaga Pit - octagon shaped arena for dodgeball type game called Ga-Ga or GaGa Ball

Garage flooring - flooring designed to resist heavy weight, moisture and/or chemicals associated with automobiles

Green flooring - environmentally friendly flooring, typically made of recycled or renewable resources

Ground protection mats - a mat designed to prevent damage to turf, generally used as temporary road or walk ways

Gym mat - padding used on the floor for athletic training and competition

Gym flooring - Flooring used in areas where sports or athletic activities will take place

Home flooring - Flooring intended for use in residential areas, typically smaller areas than commercial settings

Horse stall mats - mats intended for horse barns to ease fatigue on horses

Incline wedge mat - triangular shaped cushion for gymnastics training, also known as wedge mat, cheese mat or wedge cheese mat

Industrial flooring - Flooring in areas of manufacturing, storage, workshops and similar spaces

Interlocking - connecting together by overlapping or fitting together of projections and recesses

Judo - Japanese unarmed martial art using holds and leverage to unbalance an opponent

Jiu Jitsu (Jujutsu) - Japanese martial art for close-range combat

Karate - Japanese striking martial art using punches, kicks and blocks to pressure sensitive points on the body of opponents

Kids flooring - Flooring designed to stimulate the mind and/or protect the body of developing children

Kyuki-Do - A blended martial art, combining primarily Taekwondo, Judo and Hapkido

Laminate - multi-layer synthetic flooring fused together through a lamination process

Landing Mat or Landing Pad - Cushion used in gymnastics or martial arts for training and safety from falls and throws

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) - a worldwide green building certification program

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) - vinyl-based flooring the mimics the look of natural material through realistic images and textures

Marley - sheet vinyl dance floor

Martial Arts - combat and self defense sports

Mat - piece of protective material placed on a floor that can be used independently

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) - extreme combat sport using multiple fighting techniques

Modular - standardized units of flooring that fit together for easy construction and flexible arrangement to form a larger floor


Octagon mats - Octagon-shaped pads used for gymnastics and cheerleading training

Orange peel - surface texture representing that of the skin of an orange

Outdoor flooring - Flooring designed to withstand the damaging effects of water, sun and temperature fluctuations

Patio - paved outdoor area adjoining a house, business or other building

Paver - brick-like or stone-like tile used for exterior flooring

Perforated - pierced with holes

Plastic - synthetic material made of organic polymers that can be molded into shape while soft then set into rigid or elastic form

Playground - area designed specifically for children to play

Polyethylene (PE) - common thermoplastic polymer consisting of long hydrocarbon chains

Polyolefin - polymer produced from a simple olefin as a monomer

Polypropylene (PP) - thermoplastic polymer with intermediate level of crystallinity

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) - synthetic plastic polymer

Pool deck - area immediately surrounding a pool

Portable flooring - flooring that can be installed, taken up, transported and re-installed easily

Protective floor coverings - temporary flooring materials designed to reduce wear and tear on existing finished floors or turf

PET - Polyethylene terephthalate (recycled plastic bottles)


Raised flooring - flooring that leaves an open space between the building's original concrete slab and the finished surface

Retail flooring - flooring designed for use in commercial and office areas

Roof tiles - outdoor modular flooring intended for use on flat roofs used as patios or other forms of outdoor living spaces

Rosco - an entertainment product manufacturer since 1910 which also offers high quality dance floors

Rubber - tough elastic polymeric substance made from latex or synthetic materials

Rubber roll - large sheets of rubber rubber flooring that can comes in the form of a roll prior to installation

Rug - floor covering made of woven material, typically covering small areas

sound floor - noise reducing flooring system

Sprung floor - floor that absorbs shock, giving a soft feel

Stage floor - flooring on a raised platform intended for performances

Static conductive - allowing electricity to pass through it

Static dissipative - slows electrical charge flow to ground

Subfloor - foundation for a floor or bottom layer of flooring

Tatami - martial arts flooring texture designed to represent traditional rush-covered straw Japanese floor coverings

Tent Flooring - also known as event flooring, aesthetic temporary flooring

Tile - a single element of modular flooring in which multiple flooring pieces are used in conjunction with each other to create a larger flooring surface

Tumbling - the art of performing acrobatic falls or rolls

Underlayment - layer between a subfloor and finished floor, for leveling, adhesion or insulative purposes

Universal interlock - tile connection mechanism that does not require all tiles to be laid in a certain direction

Vinyl - synthetic resin or plastic made of PVC or a related polymer

Wet Area - an area where moisture is commonly present
Workout mats - a mat used for fitness related activities
Wrestling - grappling sport involving throws and holds


Yoga - Hindu spiritual discipline involving breath control, meditation and bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation

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