The following definitions explain some of the terms we use when describing our products. If you're looking for more information on any of these, please email

Alchemic Stain
Alchemic stain

A proprietary staining process that engages naturally occurring agents in the wood to create unique polychromatic effects.  The image shows an example of wood before and after an alchemic staining process.  Note: Alchemic stained floors may exhibit a high degree of color change after installation. See Color Change for more information.


The wood surface is lightly sculpted to create a softly furrowed surface.  The effect is subtle and understated but lends a lightly distressed character to the floor and creates additional surface interest. 


The hardwood surface of the boards is given a wire brushing treatment prior to staining and finishing.  This removes some of the soft fibers and ‘opens’ the grain of the wood, which adds texture and interest to the surface.  Brushed floors are also more forgiving of minor wear and tear.

CA Section 01350 Compliant
CA Section 01350 compliant

This product complies with the CA Section 01350 standard for VOC emissions, one of the most stringent air quality standards in the world. For more information, visit the FAQ page.

color change
Color change

Many hardwood floors exhibit a pronounced color change after installation, a process called oxidation which occurs when the wood is exposed to air, and which is accelerated by exposure to sunlight.  The change varies by species but is most noticeable in exotic woods like acacia, and in unstained (natural)  floors.  Floors that have undergone a Smoking or Alchemic Stain process may also exhibit significant color change after installation.

color variation
Color Variation

Different wood species exhibit varying degrees of color variation, ranging from evenly colored with very little variation in tone to wildly contrasting with extreme variations visible.  Color variation may be evident between the boards or within individual boards themselves.  In terms of color variation, Kentwood floors are classified as low, medium or high.


Distressing is a general term applied to a variety of artificial ‘aging’ and ‘weathering’ effects applied to the wood surface including scuffs, scrapes, pinholes, and sawmarks.

GREENGUARD Gold label on Kentwood sample
GREENGUARD Gold certified

GREENGUARD is a low emissions certification program owned and managed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). GREENGUARD Gold certification complies with CA 01350 and is also recognized by LEED as a qualifying attribute for low emitting materials credits. For more information visit


A classic hardwood style that is coming back into fashion, herringbone flooring consists of short, uniform-length boards that can be installed in a variety of patterns.  

long boards
Long boards

The boards of this product style will all be 5’ (1500mm) or longer. Some product styles may include some half length or shorter boards to facilitate installation.

natural characteristics
Natural Characteristics

As a natural material, every piece of wood has a unique appearance.  Some pieces may be very ‘clean’ and free of imperfections, while others exhibit natural characteristics including exaggerated grain patterns, knots of varying sizes, mineral streaks and other naturally-occuring effects.  In terms of natural characteristics, Kentwood floors are classified as low, medium or high. 


In older sawmilling operations it was common for the sawblades to leave a variety of scars and marks on the wood.  This feature is now included on some styles of flooring to add a rustic character.


Sculpting is designed to create a naturally aged and weathered surface in the wood.  Sculpted effects may include random chisel marks, scrapes and scuffs, small pinholes, cross-hatched distressing, brushing and other ‘antique’ treatments.


A process which draws the tannins in the wood to the surface, darkening the wood without the use of coloring agents.  Unlike a surface stain, the smoked effect penetrates deep into the wood. Also called fuming. The image shows an example of wood before and after a smoking process.  Note: Smoked floors may exhibit a high degree of color change after installation. See Color Change for more information.

wide plank
Wide plank

The boards of this product measure 5” (125mm) or wider. Check the product specifications for actual measurement as this varies widely; some products have planks over 7” (190mm) wide.

Hardwood Floor Finishes

How to assess the quality of a floor's finish.