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Glossary of Terms

B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  XYZ


accent lighting
Lighting that emphasizes displayed items, such as artwork or china cupboards.

Additional cabinetry items such as overlays, moldings, etc to enhance the appearance and quality of a project. Also includes towel bars, soap dishes, hardware, etc.

Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer®. A certification available from NKBA for qualified industry professionals who can adequately substantiate a minimum of two years of industry experience and who

The environment surrounding us. In the context of buildings, the environmental conditions in the room.

Ambient lighting
General lighting diffused within an entire room.

Machines such as refrigerator, dishwasher, sinks and others used to perform household task.

Appliance Garage
A common name for a roll-up or single door unit placed under a wall cabinet typically for storage of small appliances.

Trim attached below a tabletop or window sill

A quality or characteristic of a design item.

Auxiliary Sink
Second sink in the kitchen providing another work area for either clean-up or food preparation.

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The portion of the exposed area between the bottom of the wall cabinets and the top of the countertop. 2) Also, an elevated section of counter material approximately 4" high typically part of the countertop.

Base cabinets
Cabinetry used on the floor to provide countertop support and typically is 34 ½ inches tall and 24 inches deep.

Bearing wall
A wall designed and placed in a position to hold more of a load above it. Usually around the perimeter of a house and in strategic locations to support floor, ceiling, and roof beams.

A personal hygiene fixture with a hot and cold water supply that is designed for personal cleanliness; used to wash the perineal and genital area.

Living and recently dead biological material that can be used as a sustainable fuel.

Blind base cabinet or Wall Blind base cabinet
A base or wall cabinet usually incorporated into a design to turn a corner with an appliance or other cabinet perpendicular to it.

A copy of a drawing done to scale showing the room or a number of rooms, dimensions and configuration of floor space for each level or story of the interior of the proposed building. After the machine copies the drawing onto the special paper, the paper is blue, hence the term blueprint. 2) In engineering, a line drawing showing the physical characteristics of a part.

A large cabinet or bookcase whose center section projects beyond the two end sections

Building code
Community ordinances governing the manner in which a home may be constructed or modified.

A "soffit" in Canadian usage. The under surface of a lowered portion of the ceiling.

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An enclosed frame around a door or window opening. Also called trim.

Certified Bathroom Designer® This certification is awarded by NKBA to those professionals that specialize in the design, planning and execution of residential bathrooms, and prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as a design specialist. A candidate must have a minimum of seven years experience to qualify to take the academic and design practicum required

A line drawn equidistant from the sides of an object, such as a sink or an appliance.

Chair rail
A trim piece that runs horizontally on a wall at the height of a chair back and is used to make the transition between a wainscot and upper wall. Originally used to prevent damage to a wall from the backs of chairs.

A lighting fixture hung from the ceiling containing several small lamps.

Using color to affect mood and sense of well-being, using colored lights in a bathtub.

Certified Kitchen & Bathroom Installers® - Skilled individuals who specialize in kitchen and bathroom installation, safety awareness, customer relations and business management. Kitchen and bathroom installations require more than just the ability to physically install cabinets, fixtures, and appliances; professional installers must also be able to competently manage a project from start to finish. CKBIs prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as an installer specialist. This certification is awarded by NKBA.
Classic crown molding
Type of crown molding which is usually used to conjunction with additional moldings. Classic crown is larger and has more decorative profiles.

Clear floor space
Clear floor space - area which is free of obstruction within an overall space, typically used in bathrooms in reference to the recommendations for clearances at a center (i.e. the lavatory or the shower) or for a particular activity (i.e. bathing or exercising). Typically used in kitchens in reference to the recommendations for clearances at an appliances or work center.

Clearance space
The space required for a safe and clear use of an appliance, cabinet doors and safe passage.

A decorative paint technique in which a base color and glaze(s) are applied to a wall for a muted "washed" effect

Compartmentalized bathroom
A bathroom where individual activities, like toileting or showering, are separated by walls into individual compartments.

Concealed hinge
A hinge that is attached to the door and the inside end panel or stile of a cabinet, making it not visible from the exterior of the cabinet

Concrete slab
Used for the foundation of a house or building when there is no basement or crawl space.

An affirmative indication or judgment that a product or service has met the requirements of a relevant specification contract, or regulation.

Console sink
A sink basin supported by legs. The legs can be metal or wooden.

Construction plan
A drawing that shows both the existing conditions of the structure and the changes to be made to achieve the design .

Contract installer
Self employed contractor; usually a self proprietor

The difference in brightness between surfaces in the field of view.

Countertop plan
A separate plan showing the countertop is helpful in illustrating the installation or fabrication to the allied tradesperson, particularly in complex projects, such as those that combine various counter materials or built-up edge treatments.

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Decorative overlay
Overlay - A piece of carved, scrolled wood which is usually fastened to the face of a panel or custom hood.

Diagonal corner cabinet
A cabinet used to span across a corner; another term for this type of cabinet is wall angle.

Dimension lines
Thin, solid lines showing the height, length or width of a wall or object.

Measurements of wall and objects

The tax imposed by a government on merchandise imported from another country.

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Drawing prepared to scale showing the width and height of one wall of a room. An exterior elevation shows the design, architectural style, and height of the exterior of the proposed building as viewed from any side of the building.

A raised effect on an object

End panels
Accessory cabinet part used to finish the end of a cabinet run or the side of an appliance or unfinished cabinet.

Energy efficiency
Ratio of energy output of a conversion process or of a system to its energy input.

Energy smart
Meeting energy needs cost effectively and with the least impact on the environment.

Ergonomic design
The application of human factor data to the design of products and spaces to improve function and efficiency.

Exposed hinge
A hinge attached to the door and the front frame of the cabinet, making it visible from the exterior of the cabinet

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Any fixed part of the structural design, such as tubs, bidets, toilets, and lavatories.

Any fixed plumbing feature that is part of the structural design, such as the primary and auxiliary sinks.

The housing or assembly that holds the lamp and/or trim.

Fixture, electrical
Any device permanently, or "hard-wired" to the home wiring system.

Fixture, lighting
The assembly that includes the mounting base, or socket, and any features that reflect or disperse the light from a lamp fitted into the fixture.

Fixture, lighting
Any light-producing device permanently, or "hard-wired" to the home wiring system.

Fixture, plumbing
A sink or lavatory (these terms used interchangeably in this book), toilet, bathtub, spa, shower, and bidet.

Floor plan
An overhead, cut-away view of the project and the central reference point for all the other drawings. Generally, the floor plan shows the entire building or project

The below-grade portion of the structure between the footing and main level. .

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Industry term for a pane of glass in a window. The transparent materials in a window or door.

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Hood insert
A liner for a custom made hood for housing the filter system, fan, and lights. Made from sheet metal or other non-combustible material.

Hot tub
A large container of heated water used for soaking. The original hot tub resembled a barrel. They usually did not have moving water. Currently used similarly to a spa tub -large tub holding warm water, having whirlpool action, and seating for multiple users.

The amount of water vapor in the air.

Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning.

Refers to a variety of bathing options that use hot water, water movement, and/or pressure to stimulate or relax the body.

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Lighting produced when an electrical current runs through a poor conductor, such as a tungsten carbide filament in an incandescent bulb.

An area of cabinets and countertops which can be accessed and walked around from all sides. Considered free standing.

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Knock Down
Items non-assembled, usually in a box.

A portion of a branch or limb that extends into the trunk of a tree and appears as a darker spot on sawn lumber.

In Judaism, the term kosher can be applied to foods that meet a series of dietary laws. The ease of meeting some of these dietary laws, such as the separation of meats and dairy products, can be enhanced by the design of the kitchen

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Any thin material such as wood or plastic glued to the exterior of a cabinet, countertop or other surface.

Lazy Susan
A corner cabinet on which the shelves are mounted on a vertical axle such that items may be retrieved by pushing on the shelves to turn them may also be called a lazy Susan. This type is usually found in kitchens. Closed, this type of lazy Susan appears to be two normal cabinets at right angles to each other. When pushed on, the cabinet "doors" reveal the shelves, which are circular except for the ninety degree cutout where the doors are mounted.

Lead time
The time between when a product or item is purchased to the actual delivery date.

An all natural flooring material made of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone, and pigments; regarded as environmentally friendly flooring.

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An embellishment in strip form, made of wood or other structural material, that is used to decorate or finish a surface, such as the wall of a room or around a door or window

Multiple Molding Application
The use of more than one molding stacked or overlaid onto each other to achieve a grander and more elaborate effect.

A small vertical or horizontal strip that divides window panes from each other.

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National Council for Interior Design Qualifications. An exam recommended by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for certifying interior designers.

Needs assessment
In the context of the design process, gathering information about the client and their needs, wants, and desires for the design project as well as the physical characteristics of the jobsite.

Net weight
The weight of an article exclusive of the weights of all packing materials and containers.

National Kitchen & Bath Association

National Kitchen & Bath Month, recognized in October of each year

A code consisting of numbers and letters to identify cabinetry. Example: An SB36 would be a 36" wide sink base cabinet.

Indicates that a drawing is not to scale.

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Oblique Drawing
All paraline drawings including oblique, diametric, isometric and trimetric have three characteristics which separate them from other drawing types: all vertical lines are parallel to each other; all horizontal lines are parallel to each other; and all lines indicating depth are parallel to each other.

Abbreviation for original equipment manufacturer.

Outpost kitchen
Small kitchen located away from the primary food preparation area, such as in the bedroom/bathroom area (morning kitchen) or a living or recreation area. .

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Particle Board
A panel product made from sawdust or wood particles, bonded with a resin under high heat and pressure.

Pedestal lavatory
A free-standing fixture with a wide top and narrow base that conceals the plumbing.

A lighting fixture hung from the ceiling containing one or more lamps.

An area of cabinets or counter fastened on one side which can be accessed and walk up to on three sides.

A drawing that relies on the appearance of the space, giving depth to the items in the space and is not drawn to scale. Perspective drawings indicate a drawing with depth. A two-point perspective drawing has two vanishing points. Items get smaller as they approach the vanishing point. For example, think about telephone poles as they move away from the viewer.

Picture Plane
The plane on which the picture is viewed. Imagine that the picture plane is a sheet of glass through which you are viewing the scene. On this sheet of glass you will draw the scene you are seeing.

Picture Rail
A horizontal trim piece installed high up on a wall as a means of hanging pictures without puncturing the wall with nails or brads.

A panel product made by cross-laminating alternate thin layers of wood

Pocket door
A door that slides horizontally on a track and is typically moved inside a wall for storage.

Powder room
A small bathroom for guest near the public areas of the home. Consists of a sink and toilet.

Standardized building sections that are created in a factory to be shipped and assembled in another location.

Project Plan
In project management, a document that is to be used in executing and controlling a project. It may exist at a summary or a detailed level.

Project Schedule
In project management, a list of activities and their planned completion dates that collectively achieve project milestones.

Devices attached or built in that enable a person to open a drawer. Pulls are often referred to as stirrup grips and are in the shape of the letter "U."

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Quality Control
The process of making sure a job is completed with the standards set forth by your organization. The method of solving problems and measuring results using teamwork.

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Remove and Replace. A term describing simple remodeling project that involves removing and replacing

A condition causing a cabinet or other unit to become out of square. This may be an uneven floor or a corner that is not square. Installers use wooden shims to realign the box to prevent racking. This will allow the box to be level or plum.

Structural members used in series to support roofs.

One of the horizontal structural parts of a door panel or face frame of framed cabinets.

Reach range
The measured distance off the floor within which a person can reach and grasp an item. The universal reach range refers to the distance where most people can reach an item, which is 15" to 48" off the floor.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets (RTA), also known as knock-down cabinets or flat pack cabinet, is a form of cabinet that is purchased in multiple pieces and requires assembly. This form of cabinet arrives in a box and contains instructions for the buyer to follow in order to assemble it after purchase.

A representation of a building, interior, etc executed in perspective. A 3-D representation of a kitchen or bath design. In CAD software, the process of generating an image from three-dimensional objects using viewpoint, texture, and lighting information.  

Replacement Kitchen
A kitchen remodel where the new cabinets and appliances are installed in the same locations as the old cabinets and appliances were installed.

An item that replaces components originally installed on equipment; a modification to in-service

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A Finnish steam bath. A room that uses dry heat and steam to cleanse and relax the user Steam is produced by pouring water over heated rocks

A group of pages within the plans which have lists of like items specified for the home

A light fixture that is fixed to a wall.

The sum of the products and services to be provided as a project.

The process of adjusting bumps and other irregularities in the wall by cutting and shaving a countertop or filler to fit.

Service entry
A second, informal entrance to the home, used for bringing in groceries and supplies. It is often close to the kitchen and to garage or carport.

A material such as plywood used to cover studs or joists, tying them together into a single structural system and providing a base for attaching finish materials.

Shelf/drawer frontage
Calculation of cabinet size x number of shelves or drawers x cabinet depth in feet. Used to determine adequate storage in a kitchen.

The use of small pieces of wood or plastic to compensate for an existing floor or wall which is uneven and not plumb or level.

Shut-off valve
A valve control that allows the user to shut off the water entering a fixture. These valves are usually located close to the fixture. Valve which controls the flow of water or gas to an appliance.

Site Plan
A drawing prepared to scale showing the placement of a proposed building(s), location of existing structures, and other lot development features -- setback measurements, driveways, fencing, landscaping.

A level of competency and abilities which a person is able to perform.

Snack bar
An area of countertop space used for eating or snacking usually 36 or 42 inches off of the floor.

Soaking tub
Extra deep tub that allows the user to submerge to their neck.

A lowered portion of a ceiling. The horizontal surface below the eave. A porch roof. The under surface of a lowered portion of the ceiling. A "bulkhead" in Canada. An enclosed area used to fill a space between the tops of the wall cabinets and the ceiling.

Soffit Board
A board cut to fit the space between the top of a wall cabinet and the ceiling. Usually used in conjunction with other molding.

Soffit Plan
A drawing showing the space above the wall cabinets.

Soffit Trim Board
Applied to the top of the wall cabinets and designed to help support the soffit board.

A vessel intended for soaking in heated water.

Spa tub
A large tub holding warm water having whirlpool action and seating for multiple users, hot tub.

The measurement between centers of luminaires.

Spacing Ratio
A factor often provided by fixture manufacturer. Multiply the spacing ratio by the distance (in feet) from the fixture to the workplane.

Descriptions, in words, of the materials to be used and the quality expected; can be either on the plans or as a separate document if they will complicate the drawing

Stick Method
Type of pricing where every conceivable item and hourly wage is calculated and added together for a total cost of a project.

One of the vertical structural parts of the door panel in a stile-and-rail door or the vertical members of a face framed cabinet.

Storage principles
"A series of recommendations, developed through research, to increase both the efficiency of storage space and the ease of use. The most common principles are:
1.Store items at the first or last place of use.
2.Store items in duplicate locations, if needed.
3.Items used together should be stored together.
4.Items should be stored so they are easy to see.
5.Frequently used items should be stored so they are easy to reach.
6.Like items should be stored or grouped together
7.Hazardous items should be stored out of reach of children
8.Store items in the appropriate environment." which the cabinets are fastened to.

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Task lighting
Added lighting for specific tasks, like grooming, dressing, reading, etc. Lighting focused on an work area.

Task lighting
Lighting focused on a work area.

Terms and Conditions
All the provisions and agreements of a contract.

Thermal Break
An insulating gasket placed between the inside and outside portions of a metal window or door frame to stem heat loss and minimize condensation.

Toe kick
An indented space in cabinetry near the floor to accommodate the feet while standing next to a cabinetry.

Traffic Patterns
The normal walkway or passage a person would go from one place to another.

Transfer Shower
A shower open on one side with a seat adjacent to the opening, and grab bars on all three sides, that allows for a person to transfer from a wheelchair to the seat.

A horizontal window set above a door or other windows.

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Unit Pricing
A pricing method where each operation performed, piece of material, and product is broken down and given a value.

Universal design
The design of products and environments to be useable by all people to the greatest extent possible.

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Bathroom cabinet with the lavatory on the type.

Veiling Reflection
A kind of glare that comes from a shiny surface, such as a glass table.

Translucent paper with high strength often used in design drawings.

A thin sheet of material bonded to one or more other materials. Plywood is one example of a veneer material.

Vessel lavatory
A lavatory bowl or basin that sits on top of the counter or ledge.

Vichy shower
A seven-headed rain bar with pressure spray treatment used to apply water and warmed essential oils to relax and stimulate the mind and body.

The condition of a home that has been planned to allow for a guest with accessibility needs. Includes a level entry, wide doorways, and an accessible bathroom on the first floor.

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A bath with jets that move warm water into a swirling motion, jetted bathtub.

A bathing fixture equipped with jets around the bottom to circulate warm water under the pressure of a pump.

Work aisle
Space needed to work at the kitchen work centers.

Work center
Comprised of an appliance or sink, surrounding landing/work area, and storage.

Work Triangle
The distance between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, clean-up/prep primary sink, and refrigeration). Ideally between 12 and 26 feet in total length.

Actual or implied height at which an activity takes place; at this height an imaginary plane which cuts through the entire room is assumed. It is on this workplane that the footcandle measurement is taken. For a kitchen, the countertop is the workplane at 3 feet above the floor, the bath can be anywhere from 2-1/2 to 3