Glossary of Terms
4-inch Center: From the centerline/center of the hot handle to the centerline/center of the cold handle is four inches, with the spout between them often referred to as 4" spread.
Acrylic: A sturdy and easily molded synthetic material. Acrylic has a warm to the touch feel and maintains a glossy shine.
Apron Sink: An exposed front to the sink as opposed to sitting inside the cabinet.
Backsplash: A protective panel made of ceramic tiles, stone, or other materials. A backsplash is installed on a wall perpendicular to a sink, stove or counter. It not only protects the wall from water and stains but also can be a key decorative element. Usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Basin: Is a bowl or sink.
Basin Cock: Is a separate faucet. A single hot, a single cold.
Bidet: A bathroom fixture that uses water to aid with personal hygiene
Body-Jets: Wall-mounted shower sprays usually installed in multiples at various heights.
Bridge Faucet: A faucet where the hot and cold handles are connected to the spout by an exposed pipe that spans above the sink. Some of these faucets are designed to be wall-mounted, and some are designed to be countertop- or sink-mounted.
Cast Brass Construction: Cast brass construction consistently produces sturdy, seamless one-piece faucet bodies. Faucets made with this method are very durable and easy to clean.
Cast-iron: Iron poured (or cast) to a mould to form the shape of a bath or sink. Very strong, rigid and heavy. Surface is coated with porcelain-enamel to provide an attractive, easy to clean finish.
Ceramic Disc Valve: Part of a faucets valving system; a ceramic disc valve creates a water-tight seal that prevents dripping when the faucet is shut off. Unlike old rubber washers, ceramic disc valves are second in hardness only to diamonds. Ceramic discs are low maintenance and provide easy quarter turn operation.
Chair Rail: A decorative molding that runs horizontally along a wall, often about three feet from the floor (that is, chair height, but it could be at a different height). This is often used to cap the top of wainscoting.
Close-coupled Water Closet: A two piece toilet, consisting of one tank and one bowl.
Concealed Trap: Refers to the side of a toilet bowl being smooth or skirted. The trap way does not show.
Diverters: These are used when you have a shower/tub combination, or multiple shower sprays and you need to divert water from one source to another. Diverters are often attached to wall tub fillers (a knob on top that you raise or lower), but they can be a handle on the shower wall that you turn to switch the water flow from one devise to another.
Drop-in Sink: A washbasin fitted into a worktop surface from above
Elongated Toilets: These toilets have longer bowls from front to back, measuring 30" instead of 28". Generally, have the appearance of being sleeker than their round front counterparts.
Ergonomic Design: If a product is physically comfortable to use, it has been well-designed ergonomically.
Faucet: The term faucet refers to the entire fixture, which is composed of the spout and the handle(s). A deck plate or escutcheon is an optional cover that can be installed at the base of many faucets.
Finish Plumbing: The installation of the plumbing fixtures, faucets, and other visible parts of the plumbing system.
Fireclay: Predates the widespread use of cast iron. Fireclay has a lustrous, glossy finish. Fireclay is perfect for large sink pieces because it is less susceptible to warping.
Fixture: The visible parts of the plumbing or electrical system attached to the floors, ceilings, or walls of the home, such as toilets, sinks, wall sconces, or ceiling lights.
Floor Plan: An architectural drawing showing the location of rooms and fixtures in the home.
Flow Restrictor: A devise with no moving parts that restricts flow in showerheads. By law all showerheads in the U.S. have flow restrictors that limit water consumption to 2.5 gallons per minute.
Goose Neck Faucet: A faucet that has a high, arched spout. Cooks who must fill large pots with water find goose neck faucets especially handy to use.
Gravity-fed Flush: A popular choice for many homeowners, gravity-fed flush toilets quietly remove waste by dropping the water from the tank to the bowl which creates a siphonic action that pushes waste out of the bowl.
Hand Shower: A shower-head attached to a flexible shower hose, also termed a hand held.
High Efficiency Toilets: High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) use just 1.28 gallons per flush, using 20% less water than a regular toilet while providing the same performance.
Integral Apron: One-piece construction streamlines the look of built-in whirlpools and baths by incorporating the exposed front of the tub into the construction.
Minispread or mini widespread: This faucet looks similar to a 8” spread faucet with the handles separate from the spout, not mounted on an escutcheon and are a 4" spread. The minispread can be an excellent option for clients who prefer the look of a widespread but need to conserve counter space on a small vanity or pedestal sink.
NKBA -- the National Kitchen & Bath Association: A trade association of more than 21,000 professionals in the kitchen and bath industry. An education and information source, the NKBA also offers certifications for experienced designers who pass written exams.
Overflow: In washbasins there is usually a hole near the rim of the bowl, which drains into the waste outlet pipe, by-passing the stopper mechanism in the case of a blocked drain.
Pedestal Sink: Free standing units. A washbasin supported vertically by a column from the floor, designed to partially conceal pipe workings with additional screws to fix it back to the wall. As with wall hung sinks, it is usually a good idea to select more decorative supply lines, angle stops and a p-trap to coordinate with your bathroom design since they will be visible behind the pedestal leg.
Pressure-assist Toilet: These toilets remove waste by using forced air and water, (which produces a brief whooshing sound), and empties the bowl quickly.
Pressure Balance Valve: On shower faucets, the pressure balance valve maintains water temperature by preventing pressure changes that can occur when someone turns on the water somewhere else in the house. Such a temperature change might happen when someone flushes a toilet or starts the dishwasher. This desirable safety feature helps prevent scalding.
PVD Finish, Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD): Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is a process that protects a faucet's finish, making it tarnish-, scratch-, and corrosion-resistant. More than merely coating the faucet, PVD technology actually integrates the faucets finish (such as polished brass or satin) with the cast-brass base, making any PVD finish durable for home use.
Rigid Pipe Construction: In whirlpool construction, pipes that carry water into the whirlpool system may be flexible or rigid. Flexible pipes allow water to puddle, which can result in bacteria build-up; rigid pies allow water to drain, keeping pipes free of standing water.
Roman Tub Filler: Similar to basin mixers/sink faucet, but with a larger valve and higher flow levels, suitable for filling baths and whirlpools more quickly.
Round Front Toilet: Once the standard-size toilet, these fixtures measure approximately 28" from front to back and are a good choice in bathrooms where space is a consideration because they are about 2" shorter than their elongated counterparts.
Rough Plumbing: The plumbing pieces needed at the start of construction before walls are complete. Items are installed behind walls or before the wall board is hung. Examples of rough plumbing are tub and shower valves and tubs and showers.
Single Hole, Single Handle: This is a sink faucet with only one handle. The base of the faucet is small you only need one hole in the counter to install it. Many homeowners like this style for the kitchen and bathroom because it offers easy clean ability as well as ease of use.
Specifications: Shows dimensions and connection locations for a fixture
Solid-surface Material: Nonporous surface resistant to germs and bacteria that is easy to clean. Because the color goes all the way through a solid-surface material, scrapes and cuts can be sanded away easily without harming the look of the surface. Used in countertops and shower walls.
Studs: A series of wood or metal framing beams that run vertically and provide support for walls and partitions.
Trap way: A trap way is the internal pipe at the base of a toilet that drains water and waste. Trap is actually the shape of the drain that prevents sewer gas from creeping up the pipe and into your house. There is one in a toilet, but you also have a trap on every sink and tub drain.
Thermostatic Valves: This valve has a set and forget feature which allows you to dial in your preferred water temperature for your shower or bath. Water temperature will remain constant while showering, even with changes in water pressure or temperature such as when someone flushes the toilet. Thermostatic valves have a higher water flow and are ideal for use in shower systems. In addition to its convenience, the thermostatic valve is a safety feature that prevents scalding.
Undercounter Sink: Also known as an undermount sink, these sinks attach below the counter, creating a rimless, unobstructed juncture between counter and sink for easy cleaning and more counter room.
Universal Design: Universal design accommodates the needs of users of varying ages, sizes and abilities. By taking into account such things as door widths, counter heights, floor surfaces and handle shape, knowledgeable designers create homes and products that are comfortable and useful for a wide variety of users.