Carpentry & Joinery trade jargon

Jargon by trade

The ornamental wooden mouldings around a window or door frame, covering the joint between the frame and the plaster.


The vertical posts that support a stair handrail.


Balustrade (also called bannister)

The handrail supported by balusters alongside a staircase or landing.

Belt sander

A power tool that uses a rotating belt of sanding paper to finish wood/metal, or to remove paint.

Beveled edge

Also known as a V-groove. This refers to flooring where each board is indented at the corners, highlighting the gaps between them.

Bifold door

A door system - made up of three or more glass panes - which fold back fully on themselves when opening.

Boxing in

The timber carcass built to conceal gas and central heating pipework and other unsightly internal fittings.


The outer parts of a kitchen unit.


A mechanism inside a cupboard that keeps the door closed.


Board made from small chips of softwood (usually wood from pine, fir, spruce or larch). Comes in various grades of density.



Board made from small chips of softwood (usually wood from pine, fir, spruce or larch). Comes in various grades of density.


Metal tool with a sharp blade, used for cutting and shaping wood, brick or stone.

Corner post

A supporting upright beam at the corner of a set of cabinets.


A shaped decorative moulding, usually made of wood or plaster, made to fit into the space between the top of a wall and a ceiling of a room.


The lower part of an interior wall, usually defined by a Dado rail (a strip of decorative wood) at the top.


A joint, usually between two pieces of wood, in which one piece is splayed (like a dove's tail) and fits into the socket of the other piece.


A small, round peg of wood used to add strength to wooden joints.

Engineered wood

Layers of hardwood pressed together to form sheets or planks, for example for flooring.


Also called hardboard, mediumboard or softboard; A type of wood product made of wood fibres compressed together.


A tool with an abrasive surface used to shape and smooth wood and other materials.


The direction of wood fibres in a piece of timber.


Wood which comes from a broadleaved tree such as oak, ash, or beech.


The base of a fireplace.


The vertical part of a door or window frame.

Jig saw

A tool for making detailed cuts in wood.


The dark spots in wood where a brand would have grown.

Laminated wood

Thin layers of wood glued together with aligned grains to form boards.


A common flooring material made of canvas coated with linseed oil, powered cork and rosin.


A hammer with a wooden or rubber head, used if metal would damage the object being hit.


A form of decoration in which different veneers are inlaid into a surface.


Medium Density Fibreboard. An engineered wood substance, made of wooden fibres combined with resin under high pressure.

Moulded wood

Strips of wood, also known as mouldings or beadings, carved with contours and used for decoration.


Post supporting the handrail of a flight of stairs, usually found at the top and / or bottom of the flight.


The part of a stair tread which overhangs the riser.

Particle board

A wood composite, made of compressing woodchip, sawdust and similar materials.


A type of flooring made up of wooden boards that can either join together or simply sit next to one another.


A type of thin and strong wooden board made up of layers of wood with alternating directions of grain.


A sloping beam that forms the main structure of a roof.


The vertical part of a step.


A liquid contained within wood, made up of water and various nutrients used by the tree.


A type of window made of panels which are slid vertically. Also refers to the moving panel of the window.

Skirting or skirting board

A piece of wood that runs along the bottom of interior walls, where they meet the floor.


An expression for all the small issues left over at the end of a construction project. Typically a homeowner will identify snags which the tradesperson will rectify to complete the job.


A common form of timber used in construction, typically pine, fir, spruce or larch.

Strength grade

The measure of strength a piece of timber has, which depends on the species of tree, knots and grain. The timber will be inspected and marked with its grade and other information.


Stud partition

A non-load bearing dividing wall, made of a timber frame covered in plaster board.


The horizontal part of a step.


A very thin piece of wood laid over another material, to give a wood effect.

Wood block

A type of wooden flooring made up of rectangular blocks arranged in geometric patterns.

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