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Interior Design Lingo Bingo

By November 29, 2018October 2nd, 2019Interests, Knowledge & Tips

Learn the Lingo, with Interior Design Bingo!

As with most industries, home renovation uses specialist language to describe parts, processes or details.  Whilst some of these words/ phrases are well known by the general population, there are many which are more obscure, but still extremely useful to know.

We’ve created collection of some of our favourite, weirdest or most useful words for you to consider…and learn?  We’ve even devised a new game, Lingo Bingo, to help encourage full family engagement with the renovation works!

Some of our favourites:


  • Soil Pipe– a large pipe which carries away waste- in kitchens, bathrooms etc. It must have a fall to ensure waste flows away properly; see Approved Document Part H for building Control regulations.
  • Moulding– a shaped strip of wood or plaster, fitted as a decorative architectural feature, especially in a cornice or around a door.
  • 5amp socket– a type of socket into which freestanding/ desk lamps are plugged, and then control by a light switch on the wall. It is similar looking to a normal UK socket but the top of the 3 prong holes is circular, therefore only specialist or adjusted lamps can be used.
  • Riser and Tread– Parts of a staircase – the tread is the part you stand (tread) on; the riser is the part which connects the floor/ step to the next tread up. NB did you know- unequal risers in a set of stairs are very dangerous and can cause tripping.  That’s why Building Regs requires risers to be the same height in a stair run.
  • Party wall– a wall which lies in the middle of two or more boundaries and is shared by two or more properties. For example, the wall between your home and a neighbour in a terraced property.

Know your Treads from your Risers


  • Kingspan– a brand of insulation widely used
  • MDF– a type of timber typically used for joinery. It has very poor environmental credentials and is unattractive unless painted.  Nevertheless, it is favoured since it is low cost, widely available and doesn’t expand/ move in the same way that natural wood can do. (MDF stands for Medium Density Fibreboard)
  • Coir mat– usually brown rough mat which is placed by the front door. It can be loose or fitted within the floor/ across a large area.  It is extremely hardwearing.
  • Engineered wood– flooring typically consisting of a few lower layers of low cost timber, glued together with opposite grains to stop the wood warping with heat/ water etc. The top layer is usually 3-6mm of good quality timber.  Oak is most commonly used in the UK.
  • Helibars– piece of steel with a helical detail, often used to tie masonry together and reinforce walls.

Engineered wood – layers of wood for a practical and beautiful finish


  • Mitred edge– when two pieces of material are cut at 45degrees and fitted together at a right angle (as in a picture frame)
  • Gang– describes how many switches on a faceplate, for example a ‘2 gang dimmer’ would have 2 dimmer switches on it.
  • Whipping (carpet)- when the edge of a carpet is finished with material.Usually used for carpet runners. Another option is Binding.  Each to their own…
  • Misting system– a type of fire suppression system which typically uses a smart detector to detect a heat source and emit a mist of water directly onto it (less costly to fit/ destructive to use than a sprinkler tho not intended to extinguish fire).
  • Ephemera– often refers to printed items such as newspapers/ postcards/ posters used for art.
  • Terrazzo– a material composed of cement and bits of broken material (often stone such as marble or glass). It is usually sanded down and polished to create beautiful patterned tiles or a large floor area.

Terrazzo Tiles


 How to play-

  1. Download the 2-4 bingo cards and full list of lingo (click on the links!)
  2. During your renovation project, cross off each word as you encounter it. This can be in-
    1. emails
    2. design documents (plans, spec of works etc)
    3. word of mouth- on site or phone calls with the contractors/ specialists/ project managers.

The rules-

  1. Keep a log of when you cross off a square OR notify the other players- to avoid cheating!
  2. Words can only be crossed off if received from- specialists, the contractor, the project manager- subcontractors.
  3. No cheating!

Suggested renovation related prizes you could award each other –

  • First line crossed off- could win a design decision- such as a colour choice?!
  • Whole card crossed off- could chose a piece of art?!
  • Ability to accurately describe all the words on your bingo card- full control over the renovation decisions.
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