Jargon Buster


  • Anti-slip- Profiling of a floor, or road by mechanical preparation to texture providing anti-slip properties.
  • Non-slip / Slip Resistance – Abrading a problematic surface to create purchase or grip. (Making the surface rougher).
  • Abrasives- Silica Carbide, Carborundum or Diamond segments bonded onto metal, card or infused into cleaning pads to sand, key and clean surfaces.
  • Diamonds / Polishing Pads – The media used between machine and surface to carry out the processing/polishing.
  • Atex Vacuum – Vacuum or Filtration units that are fully earth bonded and designed to prevent sparks or shocks for use in hazardous areas where there maybe a risk of explosion.
  • Asphalt / Tarmac – Also known as Bitumen is a sticky black viscous liquid or semi solid form of petroleum used primarily for road construction.
  • ACM – Asbestos containing material containing more than 1% asbestos present in old adhesives and floor tiles.
  • Adhesive – A sticky flexible material that glues / bonds two surfaces together.


  • Background Surface – The substrate or definition of the surface to be prepared or treated
  • Burnishing- To polish a surface using specialist cleaning pads on a high-speed burnishing machine.
  • Buffing / Glazing – Usually a high speed very fine abrasive used to give a final crisp up of the polished finished.
  • Brush Finish- Where a concrete surface is finished using a brush which often creates a high level of laitance.
  • Beam Flail – Heat treated hardened steel cutters positioned on a planer drum for light abrasion of asphalt and concrete, also removal of grease, dirt, ice deposits.
  • Bitumen- Also known as asphalt a sticky petroleum-based material used for road construction.
  • Biscuit Screed / Friable / Soft – A substandard, failing screed that has no compressive strength and is disintegrating.
  • Black Jack- A term for black sticky adhesives, some containing ACM’s.


  • Cutting Blade – A diamond bonded, or sintered blade used for cutting and chasing.
  • Chasing / Saw Cutting / Expansion Joint / Movement Joint – The term used for cleaning or creating joints on a horizontal or vertical surface.
  • Coating – A layer of paint, epoxy or polyurethane applied to the floor surface.
  • Cementitious Screed / Polymer Modified Cementitious Screed / Decorative Cementitious Screed – A screed traditionally made from cement sand and water (more recently with polymers).
  • Cleaning – To remove surface contaminants, dirt and restore the finish to its original condition.
  • Ceramic Tiles / Porcelain Tiles- Floor tiles made from clay, sand and water kiln dried to form square and rectangular tiles.
  • Car Park Decking – Flexible and waterproof materials to protect and enhance car park structures.
  • Contaminants – A build-up of materials from working and environmental situations to be removed to restore original surface.
  • Crud – A build-up of a substance considered unpleasant because of its dirtiness.
  • Ceramic Diamond / Transitional Diamond – Diamond particles bonded in ceramic materials used to grind and polish maintaining low operational temperatures.
  • Carpet – A soft woven material floor covering usually over a soft cushioned underlay.


  • Dust Cowl / Dust Shroud / Hood – A cover or attachment on hand tools with a dust extraction port to connect to a vacuum to ensure containment of dust during grinding and cutting operation.
  • De-scaling- Removal of rust and millscale from steel and metal surfaces by mechanical equipment and tools.
  • Drier – A surface drier using a combination of air and gas ignited to dry wet areas.
  • Densifier / Hardener – Chemicals used to aid in the integrity of concrete. Helps to control porosity, adds stain resistance & helps with attritional strengths.  
  • Diamond Infused Pads / Diamond Impregnated Pads – A natural or synthetic pad with diamond particles infused or sprayed onto the pad to clean, maintain and polish surfaces when attached to grinders or rotary cleaning machines.
  • DPM / Damp Proof Membrane / Moisture Suppressant / Waterproof Membrane – Usually a polythene sheet material or an epoxy, placed on a sub-floor to protect from moisture and damp.
  • Diamond Grade / Diamond Grit – Identifies the level of diamond contained in the disc/segment that is suitable for the grinding or polishing process and is a universal guide to what diamond grade is suitable for the specified application. A term used to refer to the level of finish achievable with any given abrasive. Originated from the number of “Abrasive particles in 1 sq inch”.
  • Diamond Polishing Pads – Synthetic and natural pads infused with diamond particles to clean, maintain and polish surfaces.
  • Dust Skirt – An attachment for a machine that contains dust from the process by attaching to a vacuum.
  • Ducting – A term used for the plastic reinforced hose connecting machines/tools to dust extraction/vacuum.
  • Dustop – A method to clean vacuum filters by airflow.


  • Edge Preparation / Edging- Where Handtools or smaller equipment is needed to prepare up to vertical surfaces where larger equipment cannot access.
  • Electric Cable – Cable from machines to attach to power supply.
  • Epoxy / Resin – Coatings and decorative finishes.



  • Filtration Unit – A large vacuum with unprecedented performance to contain dust from operations that produce high volumes of debris.
  • Filters – Bags or Cylinders fitted to Filtration Units and vacuums to capture microscopic particles and to protect motors
  • Fat / Laitance / Latency / Cream / Power Float / Skin – A slang term for laitance, the weak friable top surface created when finishing concrete screeds after curing.
  • Floating Floor – Where a floor sits on an underlay and is not bonded to the background surface/ subfloor.
  • Floating Screed – Where the screed is installed on a slip sheet to avoid bonding to the subfloor, allowing movement.
  • Fibres – Plastic or mild steel slithers added to concrete and screeds to add strength.


  • Grinding – The process where diamond accessories are attached to grinding machines, which rotate to smooth, clean and polish surfaces.
  • Grooving – Where mechanical preparation such as planing produces a profile which is “Grooved”.
  • Grit – The terminology to identify the level of abrasive and performance of diamond and carborundum accessories.
  • Gloss / High Sheen / Polished – Referring to how reflective a surface may be. Gloss being highly reflective, a high sheen would have less clarity of reflectivity.


  • Handtools – Hand held tools, usually grinders with attachments and dust extraction fitted to prepare small areas or up to edges.
  • “H” Filter- High grade or “Hepa” filter required for vacuums and dust extraction for filtering dangerous and contaminated materials such as asbestos.
  • Hose – Used to connect machines and tools to dust extraction to ensure clean safe operation.



  • Laitance – The weak friable top layer of concrete or screed which is a common cause of floor failure if it is not removed.
  • Levelling compound / Latex – A liquid material used to level uneven surfaces. It is poured out and finds its own level before hardening giving a smooth flat surface to lay finished flooring over.
  • Latex- A generic name for a levelling compound.
  • LVT / Vinyl Tiles- “Luxury Vinyl Tile” a product that looks like real wood or stone but is manmade.
  • Longopac- A safe bagging system fitted to vacuums and filtration units to ensure safe containment of dust / contaminants.
  • Liners – Manganese protection for the outer body of a Shotblaster to prevent wear of the machine.
  • Laminate – A veneer or cover for a floor, e.g. laminate wood floor which covers a sub-floor.


  • Millscale – Is the flaky surface of steel which needs to be removed by Shotblasters before applying coatings or surface protection
  • Multi-stripper – Machines to remove vinyl, carpets, screeds, adhesives, thermoplastics, resins and screeds.
  • Metal bonded diamond – where metal compositions are used to bond diamond segments or particles to discs or blades. A diamond abrasive suspended in a varying mixture of metals determining soft or hard bonded grinding tooling.
  • Milling Flail – A cutting flail on a planing drum to cut into and remove thermoplastic and flexible materials. A tungsten tipped accessory within the body of a planer/ scarifying machine which rotates with the flail cutting into the material to be removed with minimal damage to the background surface / substrate. Ideal for removal of thermoplastic lines.
  • Mixers – A machine or Handtool used to mix flooring materials, screeds and concrete.
  • Mechanical Breaker / Kango – A hand held or trolley mounted tool which with the correct attachments removes tiles vinyl, carpet and screeds.
  • “M” Filter- The standard filter fitted to European vacuums to ensure adequate suction and containment of dust and contaminants
  • Magnet- An item to remove metal particles from any surface
  • Magnetic plate- A plate fitted to a grinder which requires no tooling and relies upon a magnetic attachment of the diamond or PCD accessory
  • Mesh discs / Mesh Sanding Disc- A cleaning and texturing product ideally specified for anhydrite screeds and removal of surface laitance
  • Moh’s Hardness Pick Set- A test kit to allow for measuring the hardness of a concrete floor, in turn allowing for an educated choice of tooling to start grinding with.
  • Matt- Non reflective.
  • Multi-Head grinder- Rotary heads within the body of the grinder which rotate in an interchange pattern to provide a uniform consistent coverage. Diamond discs are attached to rotating arms to produce grinding and polishing results. (See Terrco).


  • Nozzle / Floor Tool- Also known as the cleaner head attached to a wand or hose on a vacuum.


  • Osmosis- A process where by moisture passes through a potential permeable membrane.


  • Polished concrete- A process whereby stages of grinding with different grades of diamonds produce the desired effect.
  • Planing / Scabbling / Scarifying- A process whereby flails attached to the drum within the machine produce a profile or “corduroy effect”.
  • Polishing – Grinding using over a series of stages using different grades of metal and resin bonded diamond discs or shoes to produce a high gloss finish on Terrazzo resin, cementitious screeds, marble, granite and concrete.
  • PCD’s – Poly Crystalline Diamonds produce a cutting and cleaning effect on adhesives sticky compositions and other flexible compounds.
  • Picks – Attachments to a road planer drum which produce groves and remove materials in excess of 5mm in thickness
  • Planetary Grinder- Rotary heads with diamond attachments- A grinder with counter rotating satellite heads on which diamond plates, discs or segments are attached and rotate to produce the grinding and polishing properties.
  • Power supply- What is available, and do you understand – The recommended level of electric power required to use a machine or equipment, 3phase, single phase 415volt, 110volt, 240volt, 63amp, 32amp, 16amp.  
  • Polymer Screed- A self-bonding product which provides high performance at reduced thickness, strong and hard wearing with quicker curing times than traditional screeds.
  • Polymer Resin – Resin flooring made up of more than one type of polymer to create a strong durable floor.
  • Pinholes / Pits – Tiny holes on the surface of ground concrete that are air bubbles which have been exposed during the grinding process.


  • Quick change diamond / Easy Change- No tools required, magnetically held in place.


  • Resin Floor- A hard wearing synthetic decorative finish created by mixing resin and separate hardener.
  • Recycling – Industry initiative to reduce waste and responsible dispose of old worn out items to be re-cycled.
  • Rust / Oxidisation – When oxygen reacts with steel rust is formed also referred to as corrosion.
  • Resin bonded diamonds – Diamond particles bonded in different resins determining soft or hard bonded grinding tooling to form discs used for polishing surfaces.
  • Reverse air pulsation – A filter cleaning system used in large filtration units air and debris are sucked into the filter and an electronic pulse (compressed air shot) is directed at the filter releasing the dust which is deposited in the collection bin or longopac bagging system.
  • Rotation- To ensure that when you start up your 3phase machine you check! Checking that the motors on your relevant equipment are running clockwise, (if running anti-clockwise the motor can be damaged and the equipment will not work).
  • Raised access Floor- An elevated flooring system often on legs leaving a void between the background surface / substrate to install hidden cables or piping below.
  • Reducing Levels – To reduce and level uneven surfaces by mechanical preparation.
  • Rubber floor – Tactile comfort flooring, usually tiles but can also be rubber crumb for play areas.


  • Shotblasting – A process where steel abrasive / shot is propelled at high velocity on to the surface to remove coatings contaminants and clean/ texture the surface to produce the desired results. Small steel balls (shot) are propelled at high velocity within the body of a shotblasting machine onto the background surface / substrate profiling and cleaning. Used to remove laitance, coatings and surface contaminants, must be used with dust extraction.
  • Shot/steel Abrasive – Different grades and sizes of steel ball bearings used in shotblasting equipment to clean and profile surfaces, include steel preparation to SA2 ½ standard
  • STG / STR / Nilfisc / Swing Machine / Buffer- A heavy duty rotary machine with an infinite range of attachments to prepare, clean and polish surfaces designed to be used with dust extraction.
  • Sanding- Removal of seals and contaminants using abrasive discs attached to a rotary cleaning machine- STG 450/400
  • Media – The material that is used, within a carrier, to process/polish/grind the surface in question. E.g. Diamond or Silica Carbide.
  • Sub-floor- The background surface to be prepared treated and cleaned before applying floor finishes.
  • Slip Sheet – Two layers of Polythene sheeting laid on top of each other to form a type of de-coupling sheet for a screed to be laid on allowing for any movement.
  • Self leveller / Latex- A cementitious or polymer, flowing/liquid mix which can be applied by hand or pumped to provide a level surface on which to apply flooring systems.
  • Sand/ Cement Screed- A traditional mix of sand and cement usually mixed at ratio of one part cement to 3-5 parts sand and the addition of water.
  • Scraper – Also known as a “Multi Stripper” where a blade or pick is attached to the front of a walk behind or ride on machine to cut under and lift materials such as floor coverings, screeds, adhesives, asphalt and thermoplastic. Further mechanical preparation is often required after removal.
  • Scarifying – Also referred to as planing where a rotating drum fitted with flails within the body of a planer / scarifier machine rotates to remove contaminants and profile the background surface / substrate.
  • Star flail- A star shaped mild steel accessory that fits onto a drum contained in the body of a planer/ scarifier used to remove ice, light surface contaminants and crud.
  • Single head Grinder- A grinding machine which has a single plate / disc where diamonds are bonded directly onto the plate / disc or segments can be interchanged. Magnetic plates allow for easy change of different diamonds with no tools needed.
  • Seals – The reference to brush or rubber seals around the perimeter of a machine that contain dust created by the operation and allow for dust extraction and dust containment when attached to a filtration unit or vacuum.
  • Shot grades- The size of the steel ball bearings used in shotblasting machines. These can be mixed and matched for surface profile and cleaning properties of the process (see shot reference guide).
  • SFD’S / Button Discs- Means “Surface Finishing Diamonds”, diamonds bonded in resin on pads available for the STG Machine in different grades to clean, prepare and polish surfaces.
  • Spacers – Steel washers inserted between flails on a drum to ensure even distribution of flails to create the desired surface profile.
  • Snots – usually plaster which has dried in a blob on the floor.
  • Sealer / Impregnating Seal / Semi-Topical Seal / Topical Seal – A chemical applied to a finished floor to protect against traffic, wear, staining, degradation.
  • Screed / Slab- The background surface or substrate to be prepared, treated or polished.
  • Shaver- A planing machine fitted with a drum consisting of diamond cutting discs (which can be set out to different widths) to cut and reduce levels. Ideal for creating line markings cutting into the background surface / substrate where resin can be poured and lines created to be finished flush with the original surface.
  • Salt and pepper – A term used to describe a particular finish of polished concrete that resembles salt and pepper being scattered on the surface. (Speckled).
  • Surface Dryer- A machine that combines air and gas, producing a flame which is directed through a wand at the front of the machine, on to the wet surface to dry and extract moisture.


  • TCT Flail – A tungsten carbide tipped accessories on a drum fitted to a planer / scraifier used to remove coatings and contaminants and profile and groove surfaces to provide an anti-slip profile.
  • Tile stripper blades- Steel blades fitted to the front of ride on or walk behind multi-strippers / scrapers to cut under and remove flooring systems, lines and screeds.
  • Terrco – A highly effective heavy-duty machine range capable of heavy-duty removal and reducing of problematic products but also equally effective at producing high gloss polished finishes. Proven to be low maintenance and very versatile.
  • Tuning kit- The wheel / blade configuration positioned within a shotblasting machine which propels the shot onto the background surface/ substrate to create the cleaning and texturing properties of the process.
  • Transformer – (Not a robot in disguise). An electrical device that converts electric standard UK 240 Volt power to 110 Volt power to provide electrical supply to machinery and tools operated on UK construction sites.
  • Tool plate- A term used to identify an accessory fitted to a grinder, STG or other rotary machine where a plate is fitted with different accessories which rotate on the specified machine to clean profile and polish.
  • Tackifier – An adhesive to increase the “tack & stickiness of the surface of the adhesive. Often difficult to remove.
  • Terrazzo – A composite material either poured or pre-cast that requires polishing to realise its aesthetic properties. Consisting of cementitious or resin binding of aggregates glass, stone or just about anything to produce a high lustre gloss finish (see polishing).
  • Thermoplastic Lines – Applied on roads and in warehouses also referred to as “hot melt marking paint a thick wear resistant material used for Health and Safety applications for a wide range of industries.


  • Vacuum – Dust Extraction to be used with all equipment and tools for safe working clean operation of all construction processes.
  • Velcro backing pad – A pad which attaches to a grinder on which a resin bonded diamond is secured to affect the polishing process.
  • Vinyl – A durable flooring system laid in sheets or tiles requiring adhesive to bond to the background surface / substrate.



  • Wet polishing – A method of polishing utilising water for both lubrication and dust control. Wet can also give better diamond tooling life.
  • Water tank- A vessel attached to a grinding machine which provides the option to “wet grind and polish” to elongate the diamond life and improve performance of the process.
  • Wand / Boom – The attachment which the operator would hold, connecting the vacuum to the floor tool to suck surface contaminants from the surface into the vacuum.
  • Water based seal / coating- Polymer particles are dispersed in water to produce a durable protective cover which is impervious to water and provides a protective layer to the background surface / substrate with decorative properties for aesthetic effect and also to protect against traffic, wear, staining, degradation.
  • Waterproof membrane – A thin layer of water tight material which is laid over a surface which can be made from a range of materials including polythene and epoxy resins.
  • Woodblock Flooring- Also referred to as parquet, wooden blocks configured and laid on bitumen to create a decorative flooring.

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