Home Improvement Glossary: F

faucet aerator: The faucet aerator forces water though a fine mesh to increase the force with which the water comes out of the faucet. The aerator lets you use less water while still maintaining the same force.

faux finish: A painting technique that employs different styles and techniques to give a wall more interest than a standard flat finish.

feather: To feather the edges means to apply the materials (paint, drywall compound, and so on) so that it’s thinner on the edges to allow it to blend into the surrounding material.

fiberglass insulation: Fiberglass insulation is the most common type of insulation and is available as either batts or loose fill. It is relatively inexpensive, and the batts are very easy to install. It is non-flammable and resists damage from water.

fixture base: The fixture base is the part of a ceiling lighting/fan fixture that contains the wiring. The fixture base secures to the ceiling box to provide electricity to the fixture.

flapper valve: The valve at the bottom of the toilet tank that controls the flow of water into the tank.

flashing: Roof flashing creates watertight connections between the roofing and items that penetrate it, including plumbing pipes, furnace flues, skylights, and chimneys.

flat finish: An opaque latex paint finish that works great on interior walls and ceilings.

flexible copper: Flexible copper, which is often used for dishwashers, refrigerator icemakers, and other appliances that need a water supply. It’s easy to bend, but if it becomes kinked, you must cut the piece off and replace it. Sections of flexible copper pipe are joined using either soldered or compression fittings.

float: A float is a board with a handle that smoothes thick compounds such as concrete.

floatball: The floatball is a ball that is inside the toilet tank that prevents the tank from overflowing. When the water level rises, the floatball rises which shuts off the water supply.

flush lever: The flush lever is the part on the outside of the toilet tank that you push to cause the toilet to flush.

flush lever rod: The flush lever rod connects the flush lever and controls the flapper valve or tankball.

flush valve: The flush valve is the controlling mechanism for the flush lever on a toilet tank.

flux paste: The soldering paste used to sweat copper pipes.

focal point: This is the point of visual reference to which the eye always returns—a “home base.

French Country: The French country look embraces the warmth and grace of the Provence region for France. French country has the warmth of American country but its furnishings tend to have a less homespun feel.

furring strips: Furring strips are narrow strips of wood used to raise the surface, level the surface, or otherwise smooth out a rough surface to prepare it for paneling.

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