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Term Definition

A mat-formed panel made of wood wafers randomly arranged and bonded with a waterproof binder.

Wafle Slab

A concrete slab that has ribs running in two directions forming a waffle-like grid.


A protective or decorative finish wall covering applied to the lower part of an interior wall.


A variation in a board from a flat, plane condition.

Waste Pipe

Horizontal plumbing pipes that connect a fixture to the soil pipe.

Water Repellent

Liquid that penetrates the pores of wood and prevents moisture from penetrating without altering the desirable qualities of the wood.

Water Retention

The property of a mortar that prevents the rapid loss of water by absorption into the masonry units.

Water Stop

A rubber or plastic diaphragm placed across a joint in cast concrete to prevent the passage of water through the joint.

Water Table

The level below the ground where the soil is saturated with water.

Water-Based Coatings

Coatings formulated with water as the solvent.

Water-Cement Ratio

In a concrete or mortar mixture, the ratio fo the amount of water (minus that held by the aggregates) to the amount of cement used.


A process used to drive off the remaining water from clay products before they are fired in the kiln.

Water-Struck Brick

Brick made in a mold that was wetted before the clay was placed in the mold.

Water-Vapor Permeability

The rate of water-vapor transmission through a given area of flat material of a given thickness induced by a given vapor pressure difference between the two surfaces under specified temperature and humidity conditions.

Water-Vapor Transmission Rate

The steady-state vapor flow in a given time through a given area of a body, normal to specified parallel surfaces, under specific conditions of temperature and humidity at each surface.


A material used to make a surface impervious to the penetration of water.


The unit of measurement of electrical power or rate of work. It is a pressure of one volt flowing at the rate of one ampere.

Wavelength (Sound)

Wave is one complete cycle of sound vibration passing through a medium (such as air) from compression through rarefaction and back to compression again. The physical length of this cycle is termed the wavelength. Wavelengths in air vary from about 1&1/16" for a 20,000-cycle per sec. (see Frequency) sound, to approximately 56&1/2' for a 20-cycle per sec. sound -- the two approximate extremes of human hearing sensitivity. There are waves outside of this range, but generally, they cannot be heard by humans.


The ability of a plastic to resist deterioration due to moisture, ultraviolet light, heat, and chemicals found in the air.

Weathered Joint

A mortar joint finished so the mortar slopes outward, allowing water to shed away from the joint.


Changes in the strength, color, surface, or other properties of a material due to the action of the weather.

Weathering Index

A value that reflects the ability of clay masonry units to resist the effects of weathering.

Weathering Steel

A steel alloy that forms a natural self-protecting rust.

Weep Hole

Small openings at the bottom of exterior cavity walls to allow moisture in the cavity to drain out.

Welded-Wire Fabric

A form of steel reinforcing made from wire strands welded where they cross, forming a mesh.

Wet Sand

To smooth a finished joint with a small-celled wet sponge. A preferred method to reduce dust created in the dry sanding method.


Warnock Hershey International, an independent fire-testing laboratory.

Wilton Construction

Carpet formed on a loom capable of feeding yarns of various colors.

Wind Load

Any load on a building caused by pressure or suction developed by the wind.

Wind Uplift

Upward forces on a building caused by pressure or suction developed by the wind.

Window Wall

A type of metal curtain wall composed of metal framing members containing operable sash, fixed lights, ventilators, or opaque glass panels.


A term used to describe the mining of clay.

Wired Glass

Glass made with a wire grid embedded in it.

Wood Preservative

Substance that is toxic to fungi, insects, borers, and other wood-destroying organisms.


(1) Describes the ease or difficulty with which concrete can be placed and worked into its final location.

(2) In relation to mortar, the property of freshly mixed mortar that determines the ease and homogeneity with which it can be spread and finished.

Working Joints

Joints in exterior walls that allow for expansion and contraction of materials in the wall.


When a building component, such as a wall, is forced out of plumb.

Wrought Products

Products formed by any of the standard manufacturing processes, such as drawing, rolling, forging, or extruding.

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