Home Improvement Glossary: S
sash brushes: A narrow paintbrush used to paint trim and molding.
satin finish: The most popular paint sheen, which is a good choice for woodwork, walls, doors, and hallways.
Schedule 40 PVC: Schedule 40 PVC is strong enough for residential drain lines, but check with your plumbing inspector first.
Schedule 80 PVC: Schedule 80 PVC is sometimes used for cold-water supply lines, but it isn’t allowed in some regions because it isn’t suitable for hot water.
seam iron: A seam iron is a tool for heating the heat-activated tape the holds the two carpet pieces together.
seam roller: wallpaper roller
seat bolt: A seat bolt is a heavy bolt used to hold the toilet seat to the toilet base.
security light: Outdoor security lights use infrared or microwave sensors to light up whenever someone or something passes within a certain range.
self-tapping screw: A screw that taps (makes a hole) all by itself, with no need to drill a starter hole first.
semi-gloss finish: A shiny paint finish that is scrubbable and good for moldings, doors, windows, kitchens, and baths.
sewer rodding machine: A sewer rodding machine is an industrial strength auger that is motor driven and can push its way through touch sewer lines.
shabby chic: The design combines the elegance of English Country living with the comfortable casualness of a California lifestyle.
Shaker: A decorating (1830-1850) style that utilizes designs that are plain in appearance, stripped to bare essentials (few turnings, no decorations.
showerhead aerator: The showerhead aerator forces water though a fine mesh to increase the force with which the water comes out of the showerhead. The aerator lets you use less water while still maintaining the same force.
sink trap: A sink trap is a plumbing connection that is bent at such an angle as to capture items that might have fallen down the drain allowing you a final chance to retrieve them before they disappear down the pipes.
sliding windows: Sliding windows open horizontally and bypass each other in separate tracks mounted on the header jamb and sill.
slumping: The amount of fall or collapse in mortar or concrete.
snap-off screws: Snap-off screws are designed so that the heads literally snap off below the surface of the floor to allow you to repair squeaks in the flooring without leaving a visible sign.
soffit: The flat boards under a roof's overhang.
soldered (sweat) fittings: Pipefittings that have been soldered to seal the connection.
spade bit: Spade bit is an inexpensive wood-boring instrument that looks like a paddle with a triangular point on the end.
spalling: Spalling is when chips and chunks break off a surface, such as concrete, usually caused by weathering.
spauled: Brick that has popped out of the wall
spline: 1. Rubber or neoprene cording that holds screening material in a window or door frame. 2. Ribbon-like finishing piece that holds in sheets of cane on furniture.
splining tool: Looks like a pastry cutter with a convex roller on one end and a concave roller on the other end. Use this to push spline into the grooves around a window or door frame.
spray tip: A small mechanical piece at the end of an airless paint sprayer's spray gun. The spray tip is the small hole through which the paint is dispersed.
spring clips: Spring clips hold the glass panes in place in steel casement windows.
spud nut: The spud nut holds the spud washer in place.
spud washer: Seals the gap between the flush valve and bowl.
standards: The long vertical slotted strips fastened to the wall to attach the shelves in a wire based shelving system.
stile: The unmovable upright on a sliding glass door.
straight across match: A straight across match is a type of wallpaper pattern that starts over at the ceiling line. This means that the design has to match the strips on either side. These take more planning than random matches, but they are not typically complex patterns.
sweating copper pipe: Sweating copper pipe is a term used to describe the soldering of copper pipe.