A–Z of renovation terms

Renovations aren’t easy – from planning through to styling there’s a lot you need to know. To help, we’ve put together a list of common terms you may hear when renovating your home.

1-tap hole basin
Basin suitable for mixers only. Abbreviated to 1TH.

3-piece taps
Includes a separate hot tap, cold tap and spout. Temperature and flow adjustments are made by turning each individual tap to achieve the desired temperate and flow setting.

3-tap hole basin
Basin with provision for 3-piece tapware. Abbreviated to 3TH.

 

Above counter basin/vessel
Basin mounted onto a benchtop with all or most of the basin above the benchline.

Appliance

A piece of equipment or device (usually gas or electrical) used for a particular task such as cooking.

Apron sink

Also known as a ‘farmhouse sink’, apron sinks protrude out from the benchtop, so there’s no cabinet or benchtop between you and the sink.

Architrave

The moulding that goes around windows and doorways to cover the join between the frame and the wall finish.

 

Back inlet cistern
Water inlet connection is from the wall directly into the back of the cistern. The connection is completely concealed and has an integrated stop valve.

Bath hob
The structure that the bath sits in.

Benchtop

A flat surface in a kitchen that sits on top of a cabinet and is primarily used for food preparation.

Bottom inlet cistern
Water supply to the cistern is available via the underside of the cistern.

Box rim
Closed water rim with inlet holes around the underside to direct water into the bowl of the pan. Quiet operation and with excellent water distribution for bowl rinsing.

Bulkhead

A box type structure built to hide wiring, pipes and other fittings or to fill the space between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling.

 

Cabinets

Cupboards built into a kitchen or chest of drawers used primarily for storage of crockery, dishes and silverware.

Ceramic disc
These provide precise water control so you get just the right amount of water at the right temperature. Ceramic disc technology ensures a watertight seal, eliminating drips, minimising product maintenance and ultimately saving water and energy.

Closed couple suite
Pan and cistern are joined together so that the flush pipe isn’t visible.

Connector suite
The flush pipe is hidden with a connector plate so that the toilet looks like a close-coupled toilet suite, but with greater flexibility in how the toilet is laid out.

Convection oven

Also known as a fan-forced oven, a convection oven uses fans to circulate hot air around the food to cook it more rapidly and evenly.

Cooktop

A cooktop is the surface upon which food is cooked and primarily comes in electric, gas and induction formats.

Coring

Coring is the process of drilling or cutting through concrete floors, walls and ceilings using multiple holes.

Cornice

A profiled plaster moulding placed at the junction between the wall and ceiling.

Custom cabinetry

Custom cabinets are built to your specifications and can therefore be constructed to suit your particular needs.

 

Diverter
In-built mechanism within the shower system allowing the user to direct water flow to an overhead drencher, a handset or a bath filler.

Drawers

Multiple sliding drawers integrated into a base cabinet for storage.

Drop zone
The toilet bowl surface area has been designed for superior flushing performance and to minimise cleaning.

 

End panel

An end panel is used to make the exposed end of your cabinets look more appealing.

Exposure rail shower/shower systems
Exposed rails and showerheads allow for easy installation and upgrading. Enjoy the flexibility of a rail shower with the choice of an overhead drencher. Adjustable in-built diverter gives you whatever shower experience you desire.

 

Fit out

The process of turning a base construction or ‘shell’ into a final interior space suitable for occupation.

Fittings

Items that are fixed in your kitchen but can be removed such as refrigerators, microwave ovens and coffee machines.

Fixtures

Something deemed to be part of the building such as a wall oven, cooktop, light fittings and built-in dishwashers.

Flatpack

A piece or furniture or equipment that has been ‘packed flat’ in a box for easy transportation.

Framing

If your kitchen renovation includes changes to the layout, it may require additional framing before plastering and cabinetry can be added.

Freestanding bath
Sits directly on the bathroom floor with no adjacent support structure. Can be installed back-to-wall (depending on design), away from the wall or in the middle of a room. Normally supported by feet or a bath base.

 

Galley

A galley kitchen has two parallel counters and is an efficient way to make use of a small space.

Grout

A mortar-like mixture that is used to fill the space between tiles.

 

Hand shower
Offers the functionality of a fixed-point shower with the versatility of a moveable showerhead. Includes a handset on a hose that can be placed in a holder to act as a wall shower, or as a fully manoeuvrable shower on a hose.

Hardware

The bits and pieces that are integral to completing your kitchen renovation such as hinges, brackets and more.

Hi-rise shower
Practical, functional and adjustable, it includes a shower rose attached to an arm that’s height and angle adjustable, allowing for a range of showering options.

 

Induction

A cooktop that uses an electromagnetic field to heat while leaving the cooking surface cool to the touch.

Inset basin/vanity basin
Installed into the vanity benchtop with the outside rim above the benchline.

Inset bath
A bath where the tile flanges are inset into an adjoining wall.

In-wall cistern (concealed suites)
In-wall cisterns are hidden in the wall, with only the pan and flush buttons visible. Use either wall hung and wall face pans.

Island bath
Bath sits on a brick or framed surround without any of the flange of the bath’s sides adjoining a wall.

Island bench

An island bench is a freestanding piece of cabinetry that offers extra storage and workspace.

 

Jamb

The vertical sideposts of a doorway, arch, window or other opening.

Joist

A timber, steel or reinforced concrete beam that supports a ceiling or floor.

 

Kickboard

A panel that is attached to the floor of your kitchen cabinets to enclose the area underneath and give them a finished look.

 

Laminate

An alternative to hardwood that incorporates manufactured wood covered with a layer of protective material.

L-shape

A classic kitchen design that refers to the shape of the kitchen benchtops and cabintery within the space.

 

Mixer tap
Combines the spout and temperature handle in one unit. One lever controls both temperature and water flow.

 

Open plan

Integration of kitchen and shared living area in the same space.

Open rim pan
Open rim pan with flushing rim that directs water to the front of the pan and allows water to fall freely over the bowl for rinsing.

Oven tower

An oven tower is a piece of cabinetry that houses a single oven at just above waist height.

Overflow
A drainage point positioned near the top of the basin to prevent overflow.

Overhead shower
A showerhead mounted to a shower arm. This allows for a vertical, rain-like showering experience and wide spray coverage. Also known as a drencher.

Overmount sink

A traditional sink design where the edges of the sink overlap the benchtop.

O tap hole basin
Basin with no provisions for tapware. Used with wall or bench mounted taps, such as a tower basin mixer. Abbreviated to NTH or OTH.

 

P-trap
A toilet waste outlet that extends through the back wall.

Pelmet

A frame placed above a window to conceal the curtain fittings.

Pedestals
Optional extra for a wall basin. Located between the basin and the finished bathroom floor. A pedestal is often installed to conceal plumbing and add style to the bathroom space. Provides no support to the basin and does not sit flush against the wall.

Pendant light

A pendant light hangs from the ceiling by a cord, chain or metal rod.

Pre-fabricated

Components that are assembled off-site and arrive ready to be installed.

Push to open

A drawer or cupboard door that opens by pressing the front of it.

Pyrolitic oven

An oven that uses extremely high temperatures (500C) to turn food residue into ash, which can be easily wiped clean.

 

Rangehood

A mechanical fan that sits above the cooktop and extracts steam, smells and smoke while absorbing grease and ventilating your kitchen.

Rail shower
Offers the flexibility of a height adjustable shower with a moveable handset for premium control and performance. Hand shower is mounted onto a rail on which it can slide, allowing easy height adjustments.

Rough-in

The process of laying various lines such as plumbing, duct work and electrical but not making the final connections.

 

S-trap
A toilet waste outlet that extends through the floor.

Semi-recessed basin
Recessed into the vanity benchtop, extending past the front edge. Ideal for narrower vanity units.

Services

Utilities such as gas, water and electricity that may need to be disconnected and reconnected during your renovation.

Set out
This dimension details the position of the plumbing pipework and is essential when choosing your toilet, especially if you’re not changing the location of plumbing.

Shaker style

Furniture and cabinetry featuring traditional joinery and superior craftsmanship.

Shower rose
A showerhead attached to a shower arm. Shower roses can’t be fixed directly onto a wall outlet.

Shroud
Has the same function as a basin but shorter in length. Designed to conceal the plumbing fittings only. In most cases, it doesn’t sit flush against the wall.

Silent rangehood

These have an external motor resulting in a much quieter operation inside your house.

Skew trap
A toilet waste outlet that extends through the side wall, either on the left or right hand side.

Skirting board

A border fixed around the base of interior walls to protect it and cover the join between wall and floor.

Soft close

Kitchen drawers that use a mechanism to close gently.

Splashback

Paneling attached to the back of a cooktop or sink to protect the wall from splashed liquids.

Steam oven

Steam ovens boil water from an inbuilt reservoir to create a cloud of hot, pressurised steam.

Straight line

Straight line kitchens remove any barrier between the kitchen and living area.

Sub-floor

The bottom most layer of flooring that holds up all other layers along with everything in your house.

 

Task lighting

Refers to lighting that is used to illuminate a particular area or function.

Temperature limiting device
This spring-loaded cartridge ensures a pre-determined, comfortable temperature when the mixer is turned on. Also prevents small children from accidental scalding.

Tile flange bath
A raised edge of the shower base or bath found on one or more sides of the base or bath. The flange forms an integral part of the waterproofing system when abutted to or checked into a wall. Essential when installing an overhead shower.

 

Undermount sink

Mounted underneath the counter so that the counter drops directly onto the sink basin with no visible lip or rim.

Under counter basin

Designed for installation on the underside of a benchtop. Particularly applicable to stone benchtops.

Uni-orbital connector
Overcomes set out incompatibility when selecting a new toilet suite. Uni-orbital connector extends a toilet set out to any position within a 50mm radius, allowing greater installation flexibility by rotating the upper and lower bodies.

U-shape

A three wall kitchen design that maximises space by using walls for cabinets and appliances.

 

Wall basin
Installed fixed to a wall, without the need for a vanity. Ideal for small spaces.

Wall-faced suite
Pan is installed flush against the wall.

Wall-hung suite
Pan is suspended above floor level and installed directly to the wall. This is only available with in-wall cisterns.

Wall shower
An ideal choice for a confined area, due to its compact, sturdy qualities. Consists of a shower rose attached to a fixed shower arm.

Waterproofing

The process of protecting wet areas from a build-up of moisture, dampness and humidity.

WELS rating
This 6-star rating scale provides consumers with a standardised measure of water efficiency. The more starts on a WELS label, the more water efficient.

Work triangle

The three spaces used in the kitchen through which a person should be able to move effortlessly: preparation, cooking and storage.

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