Glossary of Terms




A type of construction comprised of three laminated layers.


Aluminum oxide

A chemical compound also known as alumina. Particles of aluminum oxide are added to urethane finish on hardwoods for increased abrasion resistance.


ASTM International

Organized in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services. ASTM's members, representing producers, users, consumers, government and academia from over 100 countries, develop technical documents that are a basis for manufacturing, management, procurement, codes and regulations.


These members belong to one or more committees, each of which covers a subject area such as steel, petroleum, medical devices, property management, consumer products and many more. It is these committees that develop the more than 12,000 ASTM standards that can be found in the 77-volume Annual Book of ASTM Standards.


ASTM D1037

ASTM's Standard Test Methods for Evaluating the Properties of Wood-Base Fiber and Particle Panel Materials.



Essentially a pressure cooker; a strong, pressurized, steam-heated vessel where bamboo slats are caramelized



Bamboo slats laminated into a large block or beam from which many Teragren bamboo products are cut and constructed.


Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI)

Located on Bainbridge Island in Washington, Bainbridge Graduate Institute offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in Sustainable Business and Certificates in Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship. Students from diverse backgrounds learn to build enterprises that are financially successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.


Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

Business for Social Responsibility is a global organization that helps member companies achieve success in ways that respect ethical values, people, communities and the environment. BSR provides information, tools, training and advisory services to make corporate social responsibility an integral part of business operations and strategies. A nonprofit organization, BSR promotes cross-sector collaboration and contributes to global efforts to advance the field of corporate social responsibility.


Caramelize, Caramelized

The process of pressure-heating bamboo culms or slats to "brown" the sugar compounds naturally present in the plant, yielding the warm, amber Teragren Caramelized color without using stains or dyes.


CARB, California Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency which reports to the governor. CARB has developed regulations in accordance with the California Clean Air Plan, including rules governing VOC (volatile organic compound) levels of many consumer products.


Carbon negative

A product or process is said to be carbon negative when it sequesters or offsets more carbon than it releases.


Carbon neutral

A product or process is said to be carbon neutral when it releases no carbon. This can be achieved by balancing the amount of carbon released with the amount of carbon sequestered or offset.


Carbon sequestration

Terrestrial carbon sequestration is the process of transforming carbon in the air (carbon dioxide or CO2) into carbon stored in plants and soil. Carbon dioxide is taken up by plants through the process of photosynthesis and incorporated into living plant matter. As the plants die, the carbon-based leaves, stems and roots decay in the soil and become soil organic matter. Bamboo is very adept at this process and contributes greatly to decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe—especially considering the constant re-growth of its leafy canopy. Carbon sequestration, then, is a mitigating factor in reducing the overall carbon footprint of human activity on the planet.


Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)

A nonprofit technical organization serving construction specifiers and related building professionals. CSI publishes the SpecData Manual, which includes product information for use in product selection, preliminary specifications, working drawings and final bid specifications. CSI aims to enhance communication among all the nonresidential building design and construction industry's disciplines and meet the industry's need for a common system of organizing and presenting construction documents.


Cross-fillet, cross-ply

A type of bamboo flooring construction in which a bamboo core is placed perpendicular to solid-bamboo top and bottom layers for extra stability. Used in Teragren Studio floating floor and Teragren cross-ply panels in a variety of dimensions. Other types of bamboo construction are solid strip and strand bamboo.



The main stem or stalk of the bamboo plant that is above ground. Also referred to as a "cane" or "pole." The main stem that grows below ground is the "rhizome."


End grain, end-grain parquet

Type of construction in which the laminated blank exposes the ends of the bamboo slats as the wear layer in a sort of bird's eye view of the culm. The grain is characterized by a distinctive fiber pattern. Manufactured in a parquet style with alternating slat directions builds pattern upon pattern, as in our butcher block countertops.


Environmental Leadership Program (ELP)

ELP is a diverse network of visionary, action-oriented emerging leaders who are working for a just and sustainable future and partnering with experienced environmental leaders to nurture future generations of leaders.


Flat grain

Type of construction in which bamboo slats are laminated face up to form a three-ply solid plank with no internal voids. The resulting look is one of long slats subtly broken by a pattern of nodes. Also called horizontal grain.


Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests.



The chemical formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is naturally present at low levels indoors and out, usually at less than 0.03 ppm (parts per million). Used in many common household products and building materials, it helps make manufacturing adhesives durable. Formaldehyde can cause some irritation to humans and at very high levels of exposure has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. See also phenol formaldehyde and urea formaldehyde.


Green Building Rating System™




Describes objects that readily absorb moisture, as from the atmosphere.



Indoor environmental quality, encompassing air quality, ventilation, thermal comfort, lighting and noise. Also IAQ, Indoor Air Quality.


IEQ Credit 4.3

This indoor air quality credit is part of the LEED® Green Building Rating System™. IEQ Credit 4.3 covers low-emitting flooring systems. To qualify, a product must comply with the California Special Environmental Requirements Specification 01350 for VOC emissions or be FloorScore®-certified. All Teragren floors are FloorScore®-certified, so all qualify for IEQ Credit 4.3.


IEQ Credit 4.4

The indoor air quality credit that is part of the LEED® Green Building Rating System™. IEQ Credit 4.4 covers Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products. In order to qualify for IEQ Credit 4.4, these products must contain no added urea formaldehyde. Currently, this credit provides acceptable levels of formaldehyde emissions, but also qualifies as to type of formaldehyde. For example, urea formaldehyde does not qualify, but phenol formaldehyde does qualify.


Teragren Synergy™ strand bamboo solid-strip and floating floor, stair parts and trim qualify for LEED® IEQ Credit 4.4 because they are manufactured using a phenol-formaldehyde adhesive that emits an average of 0.01 ppm of formaldehyde. Teragren strand, panels, and veneer, as well as our formaldehyde-free bamboo countertops and table tops contribute to LEED IEQ Credit 4.4.

Teragren traditional bamboo flooring, panels and veneer are available manufactured with an IEQ 4.4 formaldehyde-free adhesive; select products are in stock or by special order only.



A U.S. Green Building Council approved certification that fulfills the compliance path to LEED credits for low-emitting materials—Flooring Systems. Developed by RFCI (Resilient Floor Covering Institute) in concurrence with the SCS (Scientific Certification Systems), FloorScore® rigorously tests flooring and adhesives for compliance with indoor air quality emissions requirements. All Teragren floors are FloorScore®-certified.


SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold

A SCS Certification that ensures individual VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) do not exceed one-half of the defined CREL (Chronic Reference Exposure Levels) threshold. Consumers who buy products with this certification have the assurance that their products meet tough indoor air quality standards. This certification also contributes to LEED® v3 credits for low-emitting materials (IEQ Credit 4.4) and complies with the California Special Environmental Requirements Specification 01350. All Teragren panels and select veneer are SCS IAG-certified.



Hollow sections of the bamboo culm that lie between the nodes.


ISO, ISO-certified

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a global network that identifies international standards required by business, government and society, and develops them in partnership with the sectors that will put them to use. ISO is a non-governmental federation of the national standards bodies of 150 countries from all regions of the world, including developed, developing and transitional economies. The organization distills standards from an international consensus from the broadest possible base of stakeholder groups. Expert input comes from those closest to the needs for the standards and also to the results of implementing them. In this way, although voluntary, ISO standards are widely respected and accepted by public and private sectors internationally.


ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) regulations that ensure product quality and business practices. The ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families are among ISO's most widely known standards, implemented by more than a million organizations in 161 countries. ISO 9000 has become an international reference for quality management requirements in business-to-business dealings, and ISO 14000 is primarily concerned with environmental management. The vast majority of ISO standards are highly specific to a particular product, material or process. However, the standards that have earned the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families a worldwide reputation are known as as generic management system standards.


Janka ball test

A standardized test used to indicate hardness of wood flooring by measuring the force required to embed in the wood a .444-inch steel ball to a depth of half the ball's diameter. Teragren Signature Naturals and Signature Colors have an average Janka rating of 1876. Teragren Portfolio and Synergy™ strand bamboo with Xcora™ technology, made by a patented manufacturing process, are 160 percent harder than red oak. View hardwood hardness comparison chart.



The knuckles of the bamboo plant between the hollow sections of the stalk. See node.


Laminate, lamination

Bonding together with adhesives. In Teragren products, it means to bond together several layers of bamboo slats under extreme pressure with a durable, environmentally safe adhesive to form hardwood "blanks" from which flooring, stair parts, trim, panels, veneer and butcher block are constructed and milled or to bond together layers of "blank" material with cores or substrates.


LEED®, LEED Green Building Rating System™, LEED credits

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the national standard by which green building is judged. Buildings are awarded LEED certification by earning credits for performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.


Low-emitting, low off-gassing

Describes materials like volatile organic compounds that emit, give off or off-gas chemicals at lower-than-standard levels.



Cutting and shaping manufactured products such as engineered hardwoods.


MR Credit 6

LEED MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials is a credit that can be earned toward LEED certification within the Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council. All Teragren products, being made of bamboo, a naturally rapidly renewable resource, contribute to MR Credit 6.



The Teragren color that is the natural color of bamboo—a light blond.


The Natural Step

The Natural Step is an international organization that provides businesses and organizations with a strategic planning tool for sustainability in all its forms.



The joint between hollow sections of a bamboo culm. Comprised of a rigid membrane that spans the culm where branches and buds are found, the nodes reinforce the stalk without adding weight so the culm remains flexible and strong.


Off-gas, off-gassing

The process by which chemical compounds such as VOCs  including formaldehyde vaporize and enter the atmosphere.


Parquet, parquetry

Wood that is laid in a geometric or mosaic pattern, used especially for floors.


phenol formaldehyde

A thermosetting resin used to make molded products, including billiard balls, and as coatings and adhesives. It doesn't break down as easily as urea-based adhesives, so it releases less formaldehyde. Under the LEED Green Building Rating System, products made with phenol formaldehyde manufacturing adhesives can qualify for IEQ Credit 4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Flooring Systems and IEQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products.


Phyllostachys pubescens

The botanical name for moso bamboo.


Rapidly renewable

Describes a natural resource that replenishes itself by natural processes very quickly, at least as quickly as it is used by human enterprise. The bamboo plant is considered rapidly renewable because when harvested sustainably the plant re-grows from the same root stalk, maturing in just a few years. By comparison, oak and maple trees take decades to grow, are incapable of re-growing from the same plant, and can be harvested only once.



The woody, jointed stem or root of the bamboo plant that grows underground. Rhizomes of hardy "running" bamboo grow laterally just below the surface of the soil. The tip of a running rhizome grows alternatively with shooting, often more than 30 feet in a single year. "Clumping" rhizomes of tropical varieties spread slowly and widely.


Self-locking system

A method of installing specially milled flooring without glue, nails or staples. Floor plank edges are milled to interlock, snapping into place and holding without fixatives.



Scientific Certification Systems is an independent certification board in environmental, sustainability, food quality, and green building claims. Over two decades they have become internationally recognized for delivering superior world class assessment and certification services.


Slat, slats

The long, thin, narrow pieces of bamboo, cut from the culm and planed to appropriate dimensions, that are then laminated into "blanks" that are used to construct bamboo flooring, panels, veneer, trim and butcher block.


Solid strip

The solid pieces cut from the bamboo culm that are laminated to form blanks from which flooring, accessories and panels are made. See also strand bamboo.


Strand bamboo

A patented construction method in which fibers of semi-shredded bamboo are intertwined in a pressure-treated adhesive base to form a high-density, homogenous bamboo plank without internal voids as used in Teragren Portfolio™ and Synergy™ strand bamboo flooring with Xcora™ technology. Strand panels are available are available in Wheat, Chestnut, Brindle and Java


Sustainability, sustainable

A process is sustainable if it can be repeated again and again without negative environmental impact or high costs to anyone. For plants like bamboo, it means harvesting crops or materials so as to ensure the health and vitality of the plant for future harvests. For bamboo farmers, it means being paid fair prices that sustain their families. Issues of sustainability impact every aspect of a business from raw materials to manufacturing and shipping to proximity of labor force to factories. For a business, it means a complex of things from profitability to fair worker wages to carbon-neutral operations.



A method of fitting flooring together, edge to edge. Each piece has a slot (groove) cut all along one edge, and a thin, deep ridge (tongue) on the opposite edge so the pieces fit together snugly.


Urea formaldehyde

Urea formaldehyde is a clear, thermosetting resin or plastic made from urea and formaldehyde and heated in the presence of a mild base such as ammonia. Used in adhesives, urea formaldehyde has high tensile strength and flexibility, low water absorption and higher surface hardness. Urea formaldehyde is used in interior plywood and MDF and breaks down more easily than phenol-based adhesives, thereby releasing more formaldehyde. Urea-formaldehyde manufacturing adhesives, even those that off-gas at levels far below national and international standards, do not qualify for IEQ 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products under the LEED Green Building Rating System.


U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

A coalition of building-industry leaders working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible and profitable, as well as being healthy places to live and work. USGBC's purpose is to improve the quality of life by transforming the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated with regard to environmental and social responsibility, healthfulness and prosperity.



Välinge Innovation AB is a developer of patented, glueless, self-locking systems for flooring. Teragren utilizes two types of Välinge locking systems in its products. One is completely self-locking, the other uses a separate, flexible tongue for single-action installation.

Vertical grain

Type of construction in which the bamboo strips are laminated with edges exposed as the wear surface to form a solid bamboo plank with no internal voids. Vertical grain bamboo has minimal pattern, with no visible nodes.



Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemical compounds that under normal conditions significantly vaporize and enter the atmosphere. Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release organic compounds when in use and, to some degree, when stored. Some of these chemicals have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors. Learn more about VOCs from the EPA.


Xcora™ technology

Teragren's Xcora technology is the very best in strand bamboo product engineering. It includes our state-of-the-art hot press equipment and proprietary formulas. As a result, Portfolio and Synergy™ strand bamboo flooring with Xcora are 160 percent harder and much more stable than red oak.

Bamboo Forest