Glossary + Materials

ABS - A common thermoplastic used to make light, rigid molded products.

Acrylic - Often referred to as plexiglass, it can be used in lieu of bent glass to form coffee tables, end tables and dining tables. Compared to glass, clear acrylic is less tinted, lighter weight, very hard to break and when broken, the resulting pieces are not necessarily sharp. Although acrylic scratches more easily than glass, the scratches are typically easier to remove. Acrylic has also become popular recently as dining chair and bar stool seats.

ANSI/BIFMA Standards - The Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) sponsors the development and maintenance of the standards covering comfort, safety, sustainability, and durability of workplace furniture. BIFMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Learn More

Bed Sizes - Many of our beds are available in some or all of the following standard US sizes: Twin 39"w 75"d, Full (Double) 54"w 75"d, Queen 60"w 80"d, King 76"w 80"d, California King 72"w 84"d. Other International sizes may also be found elsewhere on the market.

Bent Glass - A sheet of clear or colored glass that is shaped into a side table, coffee table, desk or dining table. Compared to acrylic, clear glass has a slight, often green tint, is heavier, is more resistant to scratches and if broken, the pieces can be sharp to the touch.

Bicast Leather - Also spelled as Bycast Leather. A genuine split-hide leather manufactured with a protective layer of polyurethane for strength, durability and modern finish. Although bicast leather is often less expensive to produce than top grain leather, is easier to clean and maintain and generally has a more uniform grain pattern.

Bonded Leather - Bonded leather, or regenerated/reconstituted leather, is a term used for partially synthetic leather upholstery. It is mechanically processed to give the appearance of leather, but at reduced cost compared to natural leather. There are different types of bonded leather; the type being used on upholstered furniture today is a plastic material (generally polyurethane or vinyl), backed with fabric and then a layer of latex or other material mixed with a small percentage of leather fibers in the product's backing material. The surface is typically stamped to give it a leather-like texture.

Color Temperature - Refers to the appearance of a light source measured on the Kelvin Scale. A warmer light has a lower temperature, such as 3000K - 4000K, and cooler light has a higher temperature of around 5000K - 6000K.

CRI - Used in lighting, the Color Rendering Index measures the ability of a light source to reproduce colors of other objects compared to natural sunlight, which has a CRI of 100.

Eco Leather - A term for faux leather, or leatherette - an artificial leather created from ecologically responsible methods.

Enamel - A paint that dries to a very hard, glossy finish.

Espresso - Dark brown color, also known as wenge.

Frosted Glass - Produced by acid etching or sand blasting a clear sheet of glass. The effect renders the glass translucent by scattering the light that passes through. Because glass is inherently green, the forced translucence generally enhances that color in the panel.

GREENGUARD Certification - Ensures that a product has met some of the world's most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air. Learn More

Lacquer - A clear or colored varnish that produces a hard, durable finish.

Leatherette - A form of artificial leather, usually made by covering fabric with a soft PVC layer with an artificial grain. Although leatherette is not as porous as leather, it requires little maintenance and is highly resistant to fading and cracking.

LeatherSoft - Leather with polyurethane for added softness and durability.

LED - The abbreviation for Light Emitting Diode. LED is a solid-state lighting which uses a semiconductor as a source of light. LED bulbs are used in lamps LED for their increased efficiency and longer life.

Limed Oak - 16th century process, also known as cerused oak, involving filling the grains and pores of the wood with a white lead derivative. The modern process uses non-toxic wax to create the same effect, which whitens and rusticates the oak for a richer finish.

Lumens - Refers to the amount of light produced by a light bulb with more lumens equalling more light output.

Masonite - Boards, sometimes used on platform bed support systems, made from wood chips which are disintegrated with high-pressure steam and then pressed and heated to form a smooth product with a burnished finish. No adhesive is used to bond the fibers and the product has a high tensile strength and density which allows for easy bending.

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) - An engineered wood product formed by applying high temperature and pressure to a combination of wood fibers, wax and resin. MDF is generally 3-4 times stronger than particleboard and is an excellent core for wood veneer products. Furthermore, MDF has no natural grain and, therefore, no tendency to split, is uniform in size and strength and is the most cost effective material used in furniture manufacturing worldwide. This balance of strength and cost in MDF is the main reason that approximately 90% of all furniture manufactured today consists, at least in part, of MDF.

Melamine - A durable, plasticized laminate commonly used over an MDF core in kitchen and bathroom countertops, as well as furniture.

Microfiber - A synthetic fabric specifically designed for softness and durability, typically made from polyester fibers. Microfiber is designed to repel liquids and resist staining, which makes it second only to leather in terms of overall durability of upholstered fabrics.

Powder Coat - A finishing process typically used for metals, including furniture, automobile and motorcycle parts. Although the finish is similar in appearance to standard liquid paint, power coating is generally applied electrostatically as a dry powder, allowing a thicker, more even finish (without running like a liquid paint). Power coat finishes are known for their durability, in particular.

PPM (Polyurethane-Polyester Microfiber) - A new upholstery material that has many advanced features including breathability, super durability, easy cleaning and maintenance. It is suitable for all climates and with its high durability, it emulates the finest leathers. PPMs 1.5 mm thickness gives reliable strength that also resists tearing, sagging, crocking and shrinking. PPM is recommended for high traffic commercial environments.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) - One of the most widely used plastics in the world in everything from clothing and piping to furniture.

Regenerated Leather - Made in a process similar to that of paper, Regenerated Leather has a completely smooth surface, is durable, easy to clean and is less expensive than genuine leather. Production includes compressing fibers of leather waste with other materials such as latex, synthetic compounds or natural gums. It is also sometimes called Bonded Leather.

Silk-Screened Glass - A modern alternative to frosted glass, silk-screening glass is printed with a color on one side. Depending on the applied color, silk-screening minimizes the inherent green color of glass by preventing light from passing completely through the panel.

Split Grain Leather - Created from the layer of the hide just below the top grain. Split grain leather has an additional layer applied to the surface which is embossed with a leather grain. Split grain leather is known for its balance between durability and value. Since split grain leather is more abundant than top grain it can be produced more cost effectively. Additionally, the manufacturing process minimizes many of the natural imperfections in the hide itself, while sustaining the natural strength of the fabric.

Tempered Glass - a type of safety glass with increased strength compared with normal glass. Tempering creates balanced internal stresses which cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.

Top Grain Leather - Refers to the upper section of a hide closest the epidermis. Full grain leathers have not been sanded or buffed, so they still retain the natural variances and imperfections present in all leather. Correct grain leathers, conversely, have been sanded or buffed in an effort to minimize the natural imperfections in the hide.

Veneer - Thin layers of wood that are applied onto a core panel such as MDF. Generally, the finest logs are sent to veneer producers in order to make the most efficient use of rare and beautiful wood grains. Rather than producing solid lumber, veneer manufacturers can produce up to 45 times more usable veneer. In addition to preserving natural resources, veneer enables furniture manufacturers to design pieces otherwise impossible with solid woods that are much more susceptible to changes in humidity.

Wattage - The amount of energy used to produce light. The higher the wattage, the more electricity is used.

Wenge - A large tree of Central and West Africa valued for its hard dark wood, often used in furniture and flooring. Now used commonly, as with espresso, to describe very dark brown coloring in furniture.