Wood Glossary

Every branch has its own vocabulary.

Our aim here is to explain a few of the specific terms relating to decorative wood, panelling, parquet flooring, cladding and decking.

Wood Finishes

Butt joint: End to end gluing of two or more strips of solid wood. All structural defects are removed, and it offers great mechanical resistance. This enables large wood lengths to be created thanks to a manufacturing process which glues short pieces connected by joints.

Rough-sawn finish: Soft yet grainy to the touch.

Brushed finish: Enhances and brings out the veins in the wood.

Smooth-planed finish: Silky-smooth appearance and feel, revealing or suggesting the veins of the wood.

Decommissioned: Major material defects.

Finish defect: Minor material defects (knots skipped, cracks etc.) and major varnishing process defects (zoning, lack of stain, brush strokes accentuated after line stop etc.).

Knot: Part of a branch incorporated into the wood.

Panelling: Visible external or internal wall surface. This is also the most attractive side of an item being finished, or the reference side for machining.


D.T.U (CL1) : DTUs, or “Documents Techiques Unifiés” (“unified technical documents”), are documents containing the technical regulations for performing building works. They are recognised and approved by construction professionals and serve as a reference for insurance experts and courts. Failure to comply with these can mean suspension of the guarantees offered by the individual base policies.


Cladding: External panelling using wood and other materials, often in the form of strips measuring an average of two to four metres.

Lattice facing: Horizontal or vertical wood strips separated by a space to promote air flow.

Battens: Long cladding element installed assembled or overlapping.

Joint mouldings: A joint moulding is a single-section rough wood strip, often less than 20 mm thick and never more than 50 mm wide.

Wood cleaners: A product returning wood to a colour similar to its original colour following several years of exposure to the sun.

Anti-rodent grating: Cladding accessory to prevent rodents from sneaking in or birds from nesting behind wood cladding.

Wood panelling: Cover for carpentry or wooden decor, consisting of elements generally made of juxtaposed and assembled strops.

Decking strips: As the name indicates, these are strips of wood (often long) used to cover outside ground or create an additional area to expand the exterior surfaces of houses and homes.

MDF/HDF: To make MDF (medium density fibreboard), the fibres within the fixed structure of wood chips are removed by baking and grinding and are then compressed under heat and pressure with the addition of a binding agent to form thick wooden panels with a homogenous cross-section. This compact, uniform structure also enables these panels to be deeply machined into three-dimensional shapes.

HDF (high density fibreboard) is compressed under even greater pressure. This leaves the fibres closer together, creating a panel with even more wood within the same cross-section. This makes the panels heavier and very solid.

Glazing stop: Wooden stick which keeps a pane of glass or a panel within the rabbets of a frame.

Rain barrier: Placed between the insulation and the cladding, it protects the insulated structure.

Joists: Framework element which supports other wooden construction or decoration elements.


Risk class 1 (CL1): Situation where the wood or wood-based product is always dry. Biological hazards are insects and termites.

Risk class 2 (CL2): Situation where the wood or wood-based product is dry but may occasionally be exposed to humidity. Biological hazards are surface fungi, insects and termites.

Risk class 3 (CL3): Situation where the wood or wood-based product is not shielded or in contact with the ground. It is continuously exposed to the weather, or despite being protected from the weather is exposed to frequent humidity. Biological hazards are rot, insects and termites.

Risk class 4 (CL4): Situation where the wood or wood-based product is in contact with the ground or fresh water, and is therefore permanently exposed to humidity (consistently above 20%). Biological hazards are rot, insects and termites.

Risk class 5 (CL5): Situation where the wood or wood-based product is not shielded or in contact with the ground. Biological hazards are rot, insects and burrowing marine species.