Office Furniture Glossary

  • 3 Way Ladder
    A 3-way ladder can be used in a variety of settings: used as a double sided trestle ('A' Frame) ladder, as a lean to or extension ladder.
  • Acoustic Furniture
    Acoustic Furniture in office interior design options helps to manage acoustics in a large space.
  • Adjacency Requirements
    Adjacency requirements is about designing office spaces to include consideration of the most functional proximity of associated personnel groups and optimum location of equipment areas in their work environment.
  • Adjustable
    Adjustability builds in flexibility of use and ergonomics to office furniture.
  • Adjustable Arms
    Adjustable arms refers to the adjustability of an office chair arm rest to ergonomically suit the user. Desk chair arms can be height adjustable (vertical), angle or may have a sliding arm pad.
  • Anti-Rebound
    Anti-rebound furniture features ensure that in particular a drawer or cabinet door will stay closed and not spontaneously open once more when it is closed with normal force. This is a significant safety feature of furniture.
  • Area Take-Off
    This information is used to quantify in planning interior design for budget management and providing specifications to the office or interior designer.
  • Association for British Manufacturers
    The ABM, as the organisation is known as, is a trade association that represents the interests of the British furniture industry. This organisation is run by members for members and the wider industry.  Apart from retailers, the supply chain is also important to BFM, so associate members include suppliers, retailers and ancillary companies to the trade.
  • Asynchronous Control
    allows for simultaneous but independent movement associated with a chair’s seat and backrest.
  • AutoCAD
    AutoCAD or Computer Aided Design is software for the development of drawings with specifications and other on-screen elements, using specially designed computer custom features and graphics to visually depict items and products under development. This design software is especially useful when creating floor plans, office furniture layouts or in product development as it allows testing of alternative options.
  • Back Pitch
    Back pitch refers to the angle of a chair back in relation to the seat.
  • Baluster
    A baluster is a post supporting a handrail in a stairwell.  These are sometimes referred to as ‘spindles’ when made of wood. They may be especially crafted to suit the interior design of a space and made of wood or metal.
  • Balustrade
    The balustrade is the protective barrier alongside a staircase or landing area.  It is made up of the newels and handrail, together with either the balusters / spindles, glass or steel panels, or wood panelling.  Choice of materials for the balustrade will be made at the area design phase of office design planning.
  • Banqueting / Conference Chairs
    These chairs are used for large venues, where they can be stacked away easily to create space.
  • Base Cap
    A base cap is a solid cap that fits over part of a metal base, upon which e.g. a filing cabinet unit sits.
  • Base Power In-Feed
    The base power in-feed refers to the power source connection from the building’s electrical circuit to the system’s furniture panel.  
  • Batten
    A batten is a narrow strip of wood e.g.  with dimensions of 2″x4″, or other sizes.  Other components will be screwed into this strip to create a robust framework.
  • Beaded Wood
    Also known as Beading or Moulded Wood. This is a simple rounded moulding of a wooden edge to soften or complete furniture design.
  • Bevel
    A bevel is an angle of an edge that is not a right angle, but sloping or ‘canted’.  It may be referred to as bevelled furniture or bevelling.  It generally refers to wood furniture.
  • Bins
    Bins are for either waste management, or vertical storage bins. Waste bins include, pedal bins, separator bins, cigarette bins, wheeled bins, litter bins and sack holders.
  • Bistro Furniture
    Bistro tables and chairs are for use in a small restaurant serving simple meals and beverages.
  • Block Diagram
    A block diagram is created during the office design phase.
  • Blockboard
    Blockboard has square wood strips glued together.
  • Boardroom Table
    A boardroom table is often a long, rectangular or oval table, seating as few as four and up to a dozen meeting participants. Oval or rounded surfaces offer greater visibility of meeting participants. Rectangular is a classic, formal boardroom table shape.
  • Boat Shape Table Top
    This table top design allows for better visibility of all participants sitting around a long conference table, supporting better progress in meetings.
  • Bole
    A tree trunk is sometimes called the bole. After felling, all branches are removed, leaving the trunk. This processed bole may then be called a log, (hence the term 'logging'.)
  • Book Matching
    Book matching creates a mirrored grain pattern when components of a piece of furniture are put together; eg.g veneer or laminate sheets are put together such that the back of one sheet is connected to the face of another.
  • Box Drawer
    A box drawer is a 6” high drawer in a pedestal or cabinet. It is intended to store small items e.g. pens and pencils, calculator, or other smaller stationery items.
  • Bridge
    The bridge is the work surface that connects a desk and credenza to form a U-shaped workspace around the user.
  • Broadleaf
    Broad-leaved trees produce hardwood timber. A broadleaf tree is a deciduous tree that sheds its leaves seasonally i.e they are deciduous in Winter in temperate climates, such as the U.K.
  • Bullet Top
    From above, it has a round circular shape and is typically supported by a single post or leg.
  • C-Leg
    A C-leg is a desk or table support leg that allows the user knee clearance beneath the work surface.
  • CAD Drawing
    Computer Aided Design (CAD) is the development of drawings with specifications and other on-screen elements, using specially designed computer software and custom graphics to visually depict items and products.
  • Case Goods
    Case goods refers to free standing office furniture, such as bookcases, pedestals, or other storage units, but also includes room dividers, display boards and so on.
  • Case Goods & Case Office Furniture
    Case Furniture is a selection of pre-assembled, interlocking units which can be joined together on site...
  • Casing
    The casing is the door frame's outer (often wooden) surface.
  • Casters
    Casters are wheels that are customised for a chair or storage unit base to provide ease of furniture mobility.
  • Cellular Wood Panel
    Cellular wood panel is akin to to particleboard, blockboard and battenboard panels, except the central material of a panel is either in parallel or lattice formation
  • Chamfered
    Chamfering is a carpentry term referring to angles of edges. Chamfered edges have been removed lengthwise at an angle. It is different to bevelled surfaces.
  • Chassis
    This is the body of a computer desk, which may encase the computer hardware.
  • Chesterfield
    Chesterefield chairs and sofas are a classic seating design, generally upholstered with leather. Its design includes deep buttoned, quilted upholstery.
  • Classroom Furniture
    Classroom furniture is designed with use by children in mind. It includes, but is not restricted to chairs, tables and desks, cupboards and other storage items, cloakroom hangers, canteen furniture, display and presentation equipment, partition furniture.
  • Commercial Desk Furniture
    This office furniture spans the full array of desks and workstations, storage solutions, reception furniture and shelving.
  • Composite
    Composite includes laminates or wood and plastic bound into a material that looks like wood
  • Computer Desk
    A computer desk is a work surface for either a computer, or a lap top user.  It may be only big enough for the device, or may be a larger workstation surface.  Computer desks may be stackable, fold away or static combined with storage.
  • Conference / Banqueting Chairs
    Chairs suitable for large venues where they can be easily stacked away to create space.
  • Conference Table
    A conference table may be for small meetings of a few team colleagues, or may double as boardroom tables, seating up to 12 participants.
  • Contract Furniture
    Contract furniture is any furniture obtained by contract through dealers or manufacturers.  Generally speaking this furniture is for commercial use to meet the safety regulations and rigours of a public environment, such as government offices in areas used by the public.
  • Conversion
    In joinery terminology, conversion is the process of cutting wooden logs by sawing them into usable timber, such as planks or beams.
  • Corner Desk
    Corner Desks come in a variety of styles, either purely having a work surface that generally smoothly curves around the user, offering two sides, or the central corner area to work on.
  • Counterbore
    to counterbore is to cut a hole that allows the head of a bolt or screw to sit flush with or lie below the level of a surface.
  • Countersink
    To countersink is to cut a tapered recess into a surface so that the head of a screw can become flush when inserted, for a clean and safe finish.
  • Counterweight
    Counterweights are smalls weights, located in the base of a tall filing cabinet that keep it from toppling over when a loaded drawer is open.
  • Credenza
    A Credenza is a long sided storage cabinet; 90% of the time this works in combination to support a 'hutch', i.e. shelves or cabinets with a counter or desk and either drawers or cabinet combine to form a workstation.
  • Cubicle
    A small self contained working environment with side walls to separate each workstation booth.
  • Cup
    To cup or cupping refers to bending across the width of a piece of wood, as a result of shrinkage, ... as wood dries out...
  • Cycle Racks
    Cycle racks are floor mounted racks on which bicycles can be locked for safe storage. They may be installed with sheltered storage.
  • Dado
    The dado is the lower part of an interior wall, from approximately below waist height, which may be decorated differently from the upper part. The division is usually differentiated by a moulded 'dado rail'...
  • Defeat Mechanism
    The defeat mechanism helps prevent a filing cabinet from accidentally tipping over.
  • Delivered Assembled
    Furniture that has been pre-assembled at the workshop and is delivered ready to install without need for further assemblage.
  • Densification
    Layers are treated beyond what is needed to merely ensure a good bonding process. This final treatment increases hardness and durability.
  • Density
    The greater the density, the more material in the component, which gives the product greater durability.
  • Desk System Furniture
    Desk system furniture includes a combination of workstation surfaces and storage solutions, or cluster desk combos.
  • Display Systems
    Display systems are any office furniture items which allow for display of information. These may be portable for industry exhibition events, presentations to partners, or can be static, wall hung units, or mobile white boards.
  • Distortion
    Distortion describes a change in the shape of a piece of timber or timber-based material.  Distortions can happen as timber dries and shrinks. This can lead to timber bowing, twisting and cupping. Office flooding can lead to wood furniture becoming water-logged, which can create distortions.
  • Double Pedestal Desk
    A double pedestal desk is configured such that left and right pedestal filing cabinets offer a central knee space between them for the user.
  • Dovetail
    An interlocking flaring triangular shape is cut into the two adjoining pieces. Each fits perfectly into a corresponding opposite shape for a robust and lasting fit.
  • Doweling
    ...used for making or strengthening joints by slotting this piece into two corresponding holes in two adjoining pieces of furniture.
  • Draughtsman Chair
    A draughtsman chair is generally high seated, with a lower back support, offering greater manoeuvrability than traditional chair designs e,g, for sitting at an elevated design board.
  • Drawer Configuration
    Draw configuration refers to the layout of drawers within a pedestal.
  • Drip Groove
    A drip groove is either cut or moulded into the underside of a door or window sill to prevent rainwater running back to the wall, thereby rain or waterproofing that area.
  • Drum Base
    A drum base is a large cylindrical support base for a table or work surface.
  • Earlywood
    Earlywood is the less dense wood which is formed during the early growth season. This will be sometimes apparent in the grain of wood furniture.
  • Edge and End Spacing
    This is a carpentry and joinery term to describe the distance of edge or end spacings between fastenings and the edge or end of the component being joined to another
  • End Grain
    The end grain is the exposed face of timber grain that shows when wood is cut through a plane that's perpendicular to the grain in carpentry.
  • End Joint
    An end joint is also known as an finger-joint in carpentry, joinery and furniture manufacture. This process is used to join shorter pieces of wood to create a longer piece of wood.
  • End Trim
    On furniture, this is the finished end of something e.g. of a drawer or door. This is often made from metal.
  • Engineered Wood
    Engineered wood is when layers of hardwood are compressed together
  • Ergonomic
    Ergonomic office furniture offers a lot more support and comfort for the user. It is designed specifically for longer use periods then standard furniture.
  • Executive Chair
    This is a high back, padded desk chair, often with a leather front face, a headrest and may also act as a recliner with tilting mechanism and accompanying matching foot stool.
  • Executive Desk
    An executive desk offers greater style expression than a standard operator’s desk or workstation.  It is often made of more luxury materials, such as solid wood for a classic feel, or glass, steel and aluminium for a contemporary office design style.  Executive desks are often a solid unit, incorporating a work surface and lockable drawer … Read the full post …
  • Extruded Particle Board
    Extruded particle board is made using a process of extrusion. Extrusion is a method of creating objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile or shape.
  • F/F Pedestal
    F/F pedestal stands for file/file pedestal, typically about 15” wide and located under a work surface top at a workstation.
  • Fabric
    Fabric is used in office chairs, often for standard operators. Fabric chairs are designed for functionality, comfort and affordability. This fabric offers a range of colour choices to suit an office's interior design.
  • Face Edge
    In woodworking, carpentry and wood furniture design, the face edge is the most attractive side surface of a piece of wood which is planed square to the face side.
  • Face Side
    ...the face side is the flat, planed surface from which other dimensions and angles are measured. It will tend to be the best side of a piece of wood.
  • Fibre Board
    Fibre board is where wood chips are bonded together by lignin, which is a natural adhesive property of wood. This furniture material is also known as 'particle board', 'hardboard', 'mediumboard' and 'softboard'.
  • Fibreboard
    Fibreboard is also known as MDF, veneer or particle board.
  • Finger Joint
    A finger joint is also known as an end-joint in carpentry, joinery and furniture manufacture. This process is used to join shorter pieces of wood to create a longer piece of wood. The name derives from how this joint looks like fingers being interlaced.
  • Fire Retardant
    Fire retardant furniture is infused with added chemicals to make them resistant to burning...
  • Flipper Door
    A flipper door refers to the door on an overhead storage unit in a workstation. This is typically hinged at the top and lifts up for access to the storage unit.
  • Floor Board
    Floor board is a material for forming the surface of floors
  • Floor Core
    The floor core is where an office floor is drilled through, to bring power and telecom/data storage and transfer capacity to an area.
  • Free Installation
    Free installation means that the delivery team will unpack your items and fully assemble in situ, at no extra charge.
  • Free Standing
    Free standing refers to office furniture not supported by other systems, such as bracketing to walls or floors.
  • Furniture Plan
    The furniture plan identifies locations of the new and existing furniture in an up-dated proposed floor-plan and may form part of an overall office interior design plan.
  • Furring Battens
    Furring battens are parallel strips of wood, fixed to a wall or ceiling to provide a solid framework for attaching panels to.
  • Glass
    Glass office furniture is tempered for strength and durability. It is a highly functional material that offers ease of maintenance, as well as looking clean and contemporary.   Tempered glass material has varying depths from 5mm & 10mm and is often framed with wood or metal.  Glass may be used for desks, cupboard doors, whiteboards, … Read the full post …
  • Glass Desk
    A glass desk creates a chic modern office environment feel, particularly when combined in an ultra modern design with complementary components made of polished aluminium or chrome.
  • Glides
    Small, adjustable feet on a large piece of furniture or systems furniture panel in order to make it level.
  • Glulam
    Glulam is glued laminated composite timber.
  • Going
    The 'going' is the horizontal measurement of the depth of one stair tread i.e. to gauge the available space peoples' feet have when they are on stairs.
  • Grain
    The grain is a natural wood grain pattern either printed onto another surface, such as laminate or is found naturally in the surface of solid wood furniture.
  • Grommet
    A hole in a work surface to allow for wires, finished to avoid wear cables.
  • Groove
    A groove is a long narrow channel which can be cut in different shapes and in carpentry and joinery may be used for interlocking components e.g. tongue and groove.
  • Hardboard
    Wood chips are bonded together by lignin, i.e. their adhesive properties. Known also as 'hardboard','mediumboard' and 'softboard'; each are bonded to different density to be used for a variety of purposes. The more densely compacted the composite, the more durable the item.
  • Head
    The head is the top horizontal crosspiece of a wooden frame
  • Head Plate
    The head plate is the top horizontal element in a stud partition.
  • Heartwood
    The heartwood is the inner area of a tree trunk or log. The heartwood is often more durable than sapwood, so is commonly preferred for wood furniture production.
  • Home Computer Desk
    A home computer desk allows for greater style flexibility than a standard computer desk.
  • Home Office Furniture
    Home office furniture allows for greater personal style expression than standard office furniture. It offers more compact workstation and storage solutions although, can be scaled with modular storage solutions to create space.
  • Hutch
    A hutch is a storage unit that sits on top of a credenza.
  • Impregnation
    The injection and impregnation of wood are treatments to preserve the wood and give it durability, to make it fire resistant and protect against shrinkage. The treatment ensures the long-term preservation of poles of coniferous wood. The treatment involves soaking the timber for a long period in open vats of hot liquid in which the … Read the full post …
  • Impregnation
    The impregnation or injection of wood are treatments to preserve the wood and make it durable.
  • Injection
    See ‘Impregnation’
  • Inside Delivery
    A Request from the customer to have goods delivered inside the customer’s offices, possibly for erection in situ.
  • Interlock lock two or more drawers together e.g in a pedestal / filing cabinet, so that only one drawer can be open at a time to prevent the cabinet tipping forwards...
  • Interlocking Joint
    Interlocking is a way for joiners and carpenters to create a joint in timber or particleboard.
  • Jamb
    The door or window jamb is vertical frame of the opening.
  • Janitorial Equipment
    Janitorial equipment includes specially designed trolleys for transporting containers of cleaning fluid, mops, brushes, signs and other cleaning and maintenance equipment.
  • Kerf
    A kerf is a groove cut into a surface by a saw.
  • Keyboard Tray
    A unit that attaches to the underside of a computer desk or work surface that holds a keyboard. The keyboard tray may be sliding, to tidy away at the end of working.
  • Knee Tilt Control
    This mechanical device controls the vertical movement of an office chair.
  • Kneeler Chairs
    Kneeler chairs offer an alternative way of sitting, for those unable to use traditional chair forms. They may offer ergonomic adjustment
  • Knockouts
    Knockouts are the designated holea provided for electrical or data cable outlets.
  • L Shaped
    L Shaped refers to desks or workstations, which offer variations in where the user can work with two desk surfaces that are perpendicular to each other. These are ideal for corner areas, or offering key operatives sufficient work space.
  • L-Post
    The L-post is a corner connector used when two panels meet at a 90 degree angle.
  • Lacquer
    Lacquer is a type of varnish surface finishing agent. The final finish may be gloss or matte. Lacquer is applied in thin layers, from where the solvent base evaporates quickly. Cumulatively, they form a hard-wearing, durable finish...
  • Laminate
    There are different types of laminate, offering degrees of durability: direct pressure laminate and high-pressure laminate.
  • Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)
    LVL is a layered composite of wood veneers and adhesive, used in veneer furniture. LVL made up of parallel laminations of veneer, glued and processed to form a wood based material that's similar to sawn timber.
  • Laminboard
    Laminboard is a thick compound wood based board wherein the core is usually made up of small wood strips, glued together at right angles and with a surface of other woods.
  • Lateral File
    A lateral file is a filing cabinet that is wider than it is deep to allow for side to side filing
  • Laundry Trolleys
    Trolleys with a large open topped, or coverable bag for easily transporting e.g. bedding, towels, etc.
  • Lead Time
    Lead in time is the time needed for the production and delivery of a furniture order from the point of ordering.
  • Load Bar
    A load bar is mounted either to a wall or to a systems furniture panel upon which accessories are mounted.
  • Lumbar Support
    Lumbar refers to the lower region of your back, particularly your lower spine. Some office chairs come with built in lumbar support,
  • Mats
    Mats have a wide variety of uses and surfaces they cover.
  • Mediumboard
    Mediumboard is a material where wood chips are bonded together by lignin, a naturally occurring adhesive in wood. Depending upon the density, there will be gradation of particle board, which includes hardboard, mediumboard and softboard. Each serve different purposes in office furniture design.
  • Melamine
    Melamine is a plastic resin used to coat direct pressure laminate; it is used between the layers of high density laminate also.
  • Mesh
    Mesh is a more contemporary look and feel of office furniture fabric than traditional fabric, e.g. for office chairs. This material is highly functional and comfortable.
  • Metal
    Metal is a solid, durable material often used in office furniture for its high functionality.
  • Microporous
    Microporous describes a type of process of drying out timber which protects the wood from rain.
  • Millwork
    Millwork refers to custom feature fabricated off-site in workshops...
  • Mitre
    A mitre is a carpentry and joinery tool of two pieces forming an angle, normally at right angles, but can also be curved. It is also a joint formed with two pieces of wood by cutting bevels of equal angles at the ends of each piece.  The tool allows for accuracy of marking of angles to … Read the full post …
  • Mobile Pedestal
    A small storage unit that has casters to allow for mobility. This generally applies to filing or personal storage cabinets, including for a home office.
  • Modesty Panel
    Modesty panels sit perpendicular to the work surface, at the back of the desk, where the operator faces the public.
  • Modular Furniture
    Modular Furniture are matching style units of furniture that can be flexibly combined to scale up or down for varying numbers of users, e.g. tables, cupboards, shelving and chairs.
  • Mortise
    In carpentry and joinery, a ‘mortise’ is a cut recess or hole in a furniture component into which a perfectly fitting projection or tenon is slotted from the end of another piece of the furniture.
  • Moulded Wood or Moulding
    In carpentry and wood work, strips of wood can be shaped with stylised contours as an added decoration or ornamental feature.  Moulded wood is also known as mouldings, beaded wood or beading.
  • Move Co-ordination
    This refers to optional services for scheduling of a customer’s office more e.g.: booking of contractors, moving and delivering crews and furniture installers to support the smooth move to a new business location.
  • Movement
    Movement refers to the swelling and shrinkage of wood as a result of moisture absorpbtion or content.  Movement along the length wood is always negligible.  Movement parallel within the growth rings is significant for the shape of a piece of wood. The degree of movement in wood will vary between tree species.
  • Mullion
    A mullion is the vertical dividing element of a window frame or units of a window.  These may be specified in an office redesign plan and parameters will be needed for CAD.
  • Muntin
    A muntin is the central vertical element of a panel door; it forms the main framework beside which e.g. two vertical panels may sit either side.
  • Newel
    The newel is often a feature post, when made of carved wood, which sits at the top or bottom of a staircase and supports the handrail. It may be made of a variety of materials.
  • Next Day Office Furniture
    Next day office furniture refers to office furniture that is available with next day delivery as standard.
  • Nogging
    A nogging is a short horizontal wooden component between vertical studs in office partitions.  This makes up the wooden framework for partition overlay materials.
  • Nose
    The nose is the front edge of a stair tread i.e. the horizontal edge which sits proud of the stair tread and over the upright face below it.
  • Off Modular
    Off modular refers to the ability for components of systems furniture to be join to a perpendicular panel at any increment, rather than only at the ends of the panel.
  • Office Accessories
    Office accessories are convenient add on features that enable more smooth and efficient running of a business.
  • Office Chairs
    Office chairs refers to chairs specifically designed for the office environment, or suitable for a home office. Office chairs are built from more durable materials for prolonged use and normally have lengthy warranties.
  • Office Cupboard
    An office cupboard is any storage unit that may or may not be lockable, for hiding away contents via a swing, slide or roll door.
  • Office Desks
    An office desk is designed for the office environment and is more durable to withstand wear and tear. They are available in many different shapes, sizes, materials, colours and combinations with other office furniture.
  • Office Furniture
    Office furniture is primarily intended for use in an office environment and requires durability for constant use. It spans a wide range of furniture, including: desks, chairs, partitions, storage, cubicles and more.
  • Office Supplies
    Office supplies refers to any feature of an office or work environment used on a regular basis. This can include furniture, accessories or equipment for a variety of usage.
  • Office Table
    Office tables include conference and meeting tables, or features to an office, such as coffee tables, lamp, console or dining tables.  They come in a variety of materials including veneer, solid or reclaimed wood. Conference or meeting tables can be either for small teams of 3 to sit around, or can include modules which seat … Read the full post …
  • Open Plan
    Open plan offices have partitions put together in an office space in such a way as to create an open-space working environment.   There will be no doors and ceilings for individual workspaces in an open plan office, allowing for ease of movement and communication between colleagues.
  • Operator Chair
    This is an office or desk chair used by general operational staff. It is generally comfortably padded and adjustable; it will be able to swivel 360 degrees and will often be on castors for movement around a workstation area.
  • Oriented Stand Board (OSB)
    Oriented stand board, (OSB), consists of wood flakes, processed to a particular method as an alternative wood composite material. To make OSB, the following process of manufacturing takes place: wood logs are fed into a lathe-like machine where wood bark is removed and the machine chews up the logs completely to produce flakes of wood. … Read the full post …
  • Overhang
    Overhang refers to a a recessed 'modesty panel'...
  • Paddle Arms
    Paddle arms are flattened arm rests on standard office chairs, which offer ergonomic comfort.
  • Panel Creep
    When planning workstation clusters for a space, panel creep is the dimension of a panel's thickness multiplied by how many times it occurs over the length of the multiple user space.
  • Panel End
    A panel end, (or an end panel) runs the entire depth of a free-standing work surface.
  • Panel Mount
    The ability to mount and hang storage units, work surfaces and accessories to a vertical systems furniture panel.  
  • Parallel Strand Lumber
    Parallel strand lumber is a wood product made from softwood veneer which is sized into long and narrow strips that are then glued into parallel laminations. It’s very similar to laminated veneer lumber.  It is a structural material with particular design features.
  • Particleboard
    Particleboard is one of the wood composite materials. It includes a mix of woodchips, sawdust, wood residues or similar.  These are compressed and glued together to form a flat board of varying density and strength.
  • PC Desk
    A PC desk is a work surface for a desk-top computer, or iMac user. It may also be called a computer desk.
  • Pedestal
    A pedestal is the solid, weighted base upon which a unit of furniture rests, for instance filing cabinets. This furniture design feature offers stability to the often taller storage unit to withstand heavy use, without risk of the unit toppling over.
  • Pedestal Table
    A pedestal table is a simple table supported by a single central column.
  • Peninsula Top
    This is also referred to as a 'p-top' table or desk for colleagues to sit around for a meeting.
  • Permeability
    Permeability refers to the ease with which liquids (e.g. preservatives or flame retardants) can be impregnated into timber, or it refers to the degree to which untreated wood soaks up moisture.  Permeability varies between tree species, although the sapwood of all species is more permeable than the heartwood, as this is the trees feeding mechanism for … Read the full post …
  • Plan View
    A plan view is an aerial view of a workspace, room or a piece of furniture.  These are used during an office design and planning phase.
  • Planed
    A planed wood surface will be smoothed by hand or machine tools.
  • Planking
    Planking is available in various widths of wood strips.  It can be easily installed with tongue and groove features along the lengths, or as square edged planks that simply butt up against each other. Planking materials are generally for flooring, but may be used for wall panelling also.
  • Plywood
    Plywood is a wood based material manufactured from thin layers or “plies” of wood veneer, glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain at 90 degrees to the next. It thus forms one of the wood composite materials. Manufacturing plywood is as follows: Tree bark is removed from a log The wood is commonly steamed or soaked in hot … Read the full post …
  • Pneumatic Height Adjustment
    On an operator’s chair, pneumatic height adjustment allows users to adjust the seat height to suit their proportions.  This is an ergonomic design feature.
  • Pointside
    The pointside is the piece of timber in a joint in wood furniture that receives the point of a nail or screw.  The other section is known as the headside.
  • Poseur Table
    These are tall tables, typically found in pubs, bars and hotels....used as a support for users wishing to stand and lean on a surface.
  • Posture Control
    Posture control chairs allow the back rest part of the chair to tilt independently of the seat, for ease of manoeuvre and comfort.
  • Power Pole
    A power pole is a floor to ceiling pole, which brings power to a telephone or data cabling to a workstation, in lieu of a floor feed.
  • Power Whip
    Power whip is industry lingo for a power source that connects the building's electricity to the systems furniture or cubicle, so will be referred to when planning workstation or conference room furnishing.
  • Premises Management Equipment
    Premises management equipment can be for indoors, (such as janitorial equipment, ladders, or trolleys), to outdoor premises management equipment for dealing with snow events, (such as snow clearers, salt spreaders and gritting bins) and shelters for smoking, or other items for keeping business premises clean, tidy and operating smoothly and safely.
  • Presentation Furniture and Equipment
    ...dry wipe boards, chalkboards, white boards, cork pin boards, flip charts, noticeboards, leaflet dispensers, projection screens and furniture, lecterns, display panels and more.
  • Preservative Treatment
    The process whereby timber is treated with chemicals to improve its resistance to attack by biological organisms, (such as fungi, insects and marine borers).  The preservative treatment chemicals can be brushed or sprayed onto the surface of timber or is more effective when timber is impregnated via vacuum and/or pressure treatment vessels.
  • Programming
    This step looks at the numbers and classifications of personnel, size of workspace needed and anticipated future departmental expansions or reductions and required adjacencies of teams and equipment or other resources.
  • Punch List
    This list is generated after an office planning project’s completion; it identifies any items that are missing or damaged, similar to a ‘snagging’ list during office renovations.   It can apply to architecture as well as to furniture.
  • Purlin
    Purlin is a horizontal beam that provides intermediate support for rafters, boards or sheet roofing.  It runs the length of a roof, resting on principals.  This may be referred to in a CAD image.
  • PVC
    Polyvinyl Chloride is a material...
  • Quadraplex Outlet
    'quad'... an electrical outlet with four receptacles.
  • Quick Ship
    Quick ship is a purchasing system which streamlines office furniture procurement for popular items.
  • Raceway
    The raceway is the channel provided within a systems furniture panel to run electrical and data cabling to the nearest office outlets.
  • Radius Styling
    This is a rounded edge style for tops of tables, desks and credenzas.
  • Rafter
    A rafter is one of a set of parallel sloping beams that form the main structural element of a roof, supporting the roof tiles or solar panels.
  • Ray
    A ray is a narrow ribbon of cells that conducts and stores food in a tree. Rays run across the grain of timber and may vary between tree species.
  • Re-manufactured Furniture
    Core components of a workstation can be returned to a new condition by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with warranties and renewed safety assurances.
  • Rebate
    In joinery and carpentry, the edge of a piece of wood may be cut to form to what looks like a step, usually as part of a joint. This may look a little like a zig-zag in profile.
  • Reception Furniture
    Reception furniture will be used by staff receiving business visitors and the public or customers. This wide array of office furniture includes seating, reception desks, coffee tables, coat stands, in-out boards, newspaper racks and more. Reception furniture can be standardised in style or be of a bespoke design.
  • Reclaimed Wood
    Reclaimed wood furniture is skilfully crafted to maximise use of old furniture and wood and may be combined with modern materials, making it built to last. It is an eco-friendly furniture option...
  • Reclining
    Reclining refers to more luxurious manager or executive chairs, which offer the user the chance to recline comfortably raising their legs on a foot rest which matches the office chair.
  • Return
    A side work surface in an L-shape workstation plan, running perpendicular to a user's primary work surface.
  • Reveal
    In joinery, the reveal is the vertical side of an opening in a wall.
  • Riser
    The riser is the vertical part of a step i.e. the face seen on alighting the staircase.
  • Rotary Cut
    A wooden log is mounted in a large lathe and turned against the blade.  This rotary cut, wood processing method peels the veneers in long sheets, similar to peeling an orange in a continuous motion.   Rotary cutting is also called peeling or slicing.
  • Rounded Wood
    See also: Dowelling
  • RTA
    Abbreviation for Ready-To-Assemble, also known as 'Self-Assembly'.
  • Sack Trucks
    These trolleys come in a variety of styles, with single wheels to transport stacked or heavy goods across level surfaces, or six wheeled, for climbing stairs.
  • Sanded
    Sanded surface are exceptionally smooth surfaced and smoother than a simply planed surface. Sanding follows planing in wood processing by carpenters.
  • Sandwich Construction
    Sandwich construction refers to composite panel products (‘sandwich panels’) where panels are built up from layers of different materials. This supports sound-proofing and insulation. In construction it also is a warm roofing process, where insulation is located above the roof deck and below the weatherproof membrane.
  • Sap
    Sap is liquid, mostly water, dissolved nutrients and salts, transported within cells in a tree and remains in sawn timber.  Sap is allowed to dry from timber to give it strength.
  • Sapwood
    The sapwood is the outer area of a tree trunk or sawn log.    Sapwood is generally lighter in colour than the inner heartwood, although not all tree species show clear differences. The sapwood is more vulnerable to attack by biological organisms, which may show as ‘faults’.   Sapwood is also usually more permeable than … Read the full post …
  • Sash
    A sash is a type of window that generally slides up or down to open, as in Georgian or Victorian properties. These may be kept as either a design feature, or as a legal requirement for heritage property conservation purposes.
  • Schematic Plan
    ...a graphic depiction of any architectural elements, office furniture and their inter-relationship within the overall plan.
  • Shake
    Wood that shows a cross-sectional split from wind blow is said to have 'shake'.
  • Sheen Level
    This is associated with furniture design and describes the glossiness of a surface finish.
  • Shingle
    Wood sawn lengthwise which is thicker at the 'butt' end and thinner at the 'tip' end is called shingle.
  • Short Grain
    Short grain applies to when the general direction of wood fibres lies across a narrow section of timber.
  • Sill
    The lowest horizontal member of a stud partition or the lowest horizontal member of a door or window frame.
  • Skins
    These are easily removable elements of a systems furniture panel, allowing for different surface design choices
  • Skirting
    Skirting is a moulded base board or plinth interior design feature to an inside wall. It is also called a skirting board or washboard.
  • Slicing
    The continued circular saw peeling of veneer layering from a wood log
  • Sliding Seat Pan
    A sliding seat pan is an option for some operator chairs which allows the seat to move from front to back to accommodate different user leg lengths.
  • Smoking Shelters
    Wall mounted or free-standing structures, offering staff outside shelter from the rain when smoking.
  • Soffit
    The soffit is the underside of a part of a building such as the eaves or archway. These serve a waterproofing function, protecting the exposed overhang area on a property's eaves. They also help keep pests out of the roof area, prevents infestations in the building interior and damage to the rafters.
  • Softboard
    See: Fibreboard
  • Softwood
    Softwood is usually obtained from conifers (i.e. needle bearing trees, such as: pine, fir, spruce or Japanese, European or hybrid larch).
  • Solid Wood
    Solid wood office furniture uses no veneer, but is constructed solely of hard-woods, such as: beech, ash, oak or walnut.
  • Space Plan
    A space plan is a preliminary office design layout which graphically illustrates the business needs in terms of existing building features, staff and equipment levels, potential future growth and team adjacencies.
  • Spandrel
    ...under the sloping sections of a stair can provide storage space or even spaces under stairs as a showcase area, or a mini workspace.
  • Species
    The species is the botanical classification of trees which impacts the timber derived from them. The Latin species name is more accurate than using a tree's common name, as these are sometimes used for different types of timber ...
  • Spine
    The spine is a horizontal centre panel running down the middle of a workstation pod that all perpendicular partition panels connect into.
  • Spine Lift
    This chair mechanism allows for the office chair to be raised or lowered by simply spinning the chair seat; clockwise turning lowers the seat and vice versa.
  • Stackable
    This is a storage feature of office furniture, such as chairs, partitions, or other items that can be stacked. Office partitions can be stacked to create additional privacy and acoustic strength. In relation to office chairs, these allow for space saving when not in use and stored away.
  • Stacking Chair Trolley
    Used to move stacking chairs around easily. Floor space can be quickly cleared for cleaning, or alternative use.
  • Staff Bead
    The staff bead is the innermost strip of timber holding a sliding sash in place in a window frame.
  • Stave
    A stave is a planed wooden plank, somewhat bent into a curve, pared or chamfered at one or both, with a groove called a "croze" for assembling casks and barrels.
  • Steps
    Compact solid, easily portable units for minimum requirements to step up or foldaway step ladders with up to three steps.
  • Stile
    A stile is the vertical side component of a door or window sash. The vertical door frame parts are called 'stiles', the horizontals are 'rails'.
  • Stopper
    A stopper is a wood filler which matches the colour of the timber where, for instance, a knot has left a hole in a piece of wood furniture where it has fallen out.
  • Storage Solutions
    Storage solutions refers to the wide variety of storage needs within an environment.
  • String
    A string is a board that runs from one floor level to another, into which staircase treads and risers are jointed. A staircase has an outer string and a wall string.
  • Stud
    A stud is a vertical component in an interior timber-framed wall or room partition.
  • Stud Partition
    A stud partition is an timber-framed dividing wall within a building space. See also: Sandwich construction
  • Student Desk
    A student desk is a compact work-surface for school pupils or students, with or without storage options.
  • Study Desk
    They offer compact work surface and storage solutions, including pedestal cabinets and overhead storage cupboards and shelves. Modular workstation options allow for mix and match study desk combinations.
  • Sustainable
    Sustainable refers to the sources of materials, whereby natural environmental resources are replenished, so that there can be continued supply in the future.
  • Table Trolley
    This trolley is used to move and store stackable tables. They allow event space owners to clear or set up a room quickly, easily and safely.
  • Tack Board
    A tack board is fabric covered surface on the panel or partition between the workstation surface and the bottom of any overhead cabinet. Documents or other small items can be pinned to this surface.
  • Task Chair
    This is an office or desk chair used by general operational staff. It is generally comfortably padded and adjustable; it will be able to swivel 360 degrees and will often be on castors for movement around a workstation area.
  • Task Light
    This is an additional light source situated at a desk or workstation for the specific use of that user.
  • Tempered Hardboard
    Tempered hardboard is a very dense fibreboard for durability, with a smooth surface.
  • Tenon
    The tenon is the end of a piece of wood that's been reduced in section to fit in a recess or cavity of the same size or a projecting tongue on the end of a piece of wood which fits into a corresponding mortise. There are different kinds of tenons...
  • Tension Control
    Tension control is a feature that controls the degree of resistance the chair provides when leaning back.
  • Tilt
    Tilting is a feature of various office furniture.  The ability to tilt makes it easier for e.g. storage bins to be accessed.  Some office chairs will be able to tilt also ad may accompany a reclining foot rest.  Chalkboards and white boards will also offer the ability to tilt for ease of use.
  • Timber Composites
    See: Composites and Wood Composites.
  • Tongue
    A tongue is a reduced thickness on the edge of a board generally to slot together with a corresponding groove in an adjoining furniture component. There are varying types...
  • Tongue and Groove
    It is a kind of joint where a protruding 'tongue' on the edge of a board fits into a matching groove on the next adjoining board.
  • Top Cap
    This is the finishing element of the top of a workstation post or panel.
  • Touch Sanding
    Touch-sanding is used on the outer ply to minimise irregularities from patching, plugging or filling repairs to faults in the wood.
  • Transaction Top
    A transaction top is a work surface typically intended for receiving standing visitors such as in a reception area or trade event.
  • Transom
    A transom is a horizontal dividing element of a window frame.
  • U Shaped Workstation
    A ‘U’ shaped workstation consists of a desk surface often made up of modules, to surround the user, with storage cupboard space beneath to suit the space and the option for a modesty panel where facing outwards.
  • Used Office Furniture
    Used office furniture refers to reclaimed office furniture which has been restored to compliant safety standards, with associated warranties.
  • V-Jointed
    V-jointed is usually tongue and groove wood panels with a V-shaped channel in the centre of the board, with a corresponding 'V-shaped' tongue to slot into this.
  • Veneer
    This is a more luxury look and feel, expensive material for office furniture interior design.  The surface of veneered office products are often made from solid wood, or a particular colour, disguising a cheaper, functional base material. Veneer office products range from pedestal cabinets, cupboards, desks, credenza to functional and elegant bookcases and boardroom tables.
  • Vertical File
    A vertical file is a filing cabinet that is taller than it is wide.
  • Vertical Raceway Panel
    This panel has a vertical cavity which brings power and data cables
  • Waferboard
    Waferboard involves thin wafers of wood (veneer-like) are bonded together under heat and pressure with glue, This timber manufacturing process creates a strong, uniform panel that is water resistant.
  • Wall Mount
    This is where office furniture pieces are mounted directly to a drywall partition, rather than hung from a furniture panel.
  • Wall Plate
    A wall plate is a horizontal timber component placed along the top of a wall to support joists and helps to spread their load.
  • Wane
    The wane is the original rounded surface of a log with or without bark, generally showing unevenness and imperfections of the original tree surface, on any face or edge of sawn timber. This may be particularly found as a feature of hardwood 'rustic' furniture, to add character to the piece.
  • Waney Edge
    A natural wavy edge left on a hewn plank which adds character to a piece of furniture it becomes a component of, because it is not uniform and is a trace of the original tree's growth. The waney edge might still be covered by tree bark.
  • Wardrobe Cupboard
    Office wardrobe storage cupboards and cabinets are personal storage units in a workspace...
  • Warp
    To warp is to bend or twist wood. This may happen as a result of damp or heat exposure.
  • Wet Processing
    With wet processing, the fibres are suspended in water, then laid out on a mat to dry. This step releases the lignin resins which acts as a natural adhesive, bonding the wood fibres together, without need for an artificial, chemical bonding agent.
  • Wire / Wiring Management
    ...hide cables from view
  • Wood Block
    Wood block includes a variety of flooring styles, each made up of strips or blocks of wood, approximately 3"x9".
  • Wood Plank
    Wood planks come in varying lengths.  Long lengths generally have widths of four inches or more.  These can be used for wood furniture, flooring or wall covering.
  • Wood Strip
    Wood strip is made up of boards that are narrower and shorter than planks; up to three strips of wood equates to a board.
  • Wood-Based Board
    Wood-based board materials are manufactured from layers, particles or fibres of wood. These are glued or compressed together to produce a flat board.
  • Workstation
    A partitioned table or desk, with or without individual storage solutions for individual workers or sometimes pairs of colleagues.
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Random Glossary term

  • Tempered Hardboard

    Tempered hardboard is a very dense fibreboard for durability, with a smooth surface for clean office design.

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