Home Improvement Glossary: A

5-in-1 tool: A 5-in-1 tool is a specific type of tool that has at least five uses. The tool acts as a scraper, a putty knife, a nail puller, paint can opener, a hammer, and a tool to squeeze out the excess paint from the paint roller. The pointed edge can also be used for widening cracks.

ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) pipe: ABS piping is easier to work with and less expensive than metal piping. It also doesn't rot, rust, or corrode.

acoustical tile ceilings: These ceiling tiles are specially designed to improve sound quality and reduce noise levels.

ADA-compliant shower: ADA-compliant showers are designed to allow individuals with disabilities greater freedom to access the shower. Some showers are made so a wheelchair can roll in, and some are designed for transferring to a seat in the shower.

Adirondack: The Adirondack style (1890s-present) embraces rustic, natural, often made of bark-covered logs or simple planks.

adjustable shelving systems: Adjustable shelving systems involve open wire shelves that can be adjusted to suit your individual needs.

airless paint sprayer: A power tool for painting that uses high pressure to force paint through a small tip very quickly.

alignment and depth control device: A device that helps you to eliminate squeaks in floors by placing nails at the right depth and breaking them off below the floor's surface.

alkyd paint: A paint that has an oil base. Alkyd paint is extremely durable and easy to clean; however, it requires mineral spirits to remove.

American Country: American country style that stresses antiques and folk art, basically pieces and fabrics from America's past.

American Southwest: The Southwest look blends the colors and styles of the Native American cultures and the west.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA is a law signed in 1990 that requires buildings and businesses to provide equal accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

analogous color schemes: A color scheme using colors that are located next to each other on the color wheel.

anchor bolts: A type of bolt used to anchor or mount something securely.

angled sash brush: A narrow paintbrush that is angled to allow more control in corners and other tight areas.

armoire: A wardrobe that has drawers and shelves. It can be used for either clothing or as an entertainment center.

Art Deco: The Art Deco Style (1918-1939) is fashion-oriented and influenced by primitive art and cubism.

Art Nouveau: The Art Nouveau style (circa 1900) was the first new style not using any historical reference was based on flowing lines of leaves and vines and influenced by Japanese art.

Arts and Crafts: The Arts and Crafts style (circa 1900) uses simple designs executed in natural wood. Emphasized hand craftsmanship, quality materials, and strong, clean lines.

asphalt broom: A stiff bristled broom that is designed for working with asphalt.

awl: A tool with a handle and a long, sharp pointed end used for punching holes into things like wood or leather.

awning windows: Awning windows are hinged at the top and swing outward via a crank or lever.

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