What are wood grades for hardwood flooring? What's the Difference?
Because wood is a natural product, hardwood flooring has organic features like mineral streaks, knots, and even wormholes. These natural variations give each floor a unique look and style. Known as “grades” these attributes describe a wood’s distinct look.
Unlike the grades you got in school, hardwood grades don’t reflect a scale of quality A to F. Instead, wood grades are identifiers to provide a quick reference for a floor’s visible natural character. Read on to learn about the most common grades of hardwood we offer.
And instead of wondering 'What is the best grade for wood flooring?' ask yourself 'Which grade of wood flooring would I like best?'
Select Grade flooring has the most uniform look. It contains characteristics such as small knots and minor color variations produced by differences in natural heartwood and sapwood; however, its overall look has little variation.
Specific characteristics of Select Grade products will vary by wood species. They typically include slight imperfections in milling, slight variations in face-work which can be readily removed by an ordinary method of sanding, and occasional small, tight pin knots or small pin holes, burls.
Character grade floors, also called 'Natural grade,' features distinct variations in coloration and varying wood characters. Specific features of character grade flooring will vary widely by wood species. Typically these include minor imperfections in milling, slight variations in angle of end matching, varying wood characteristics such as spots, streaks, pin holes, small splits, broken knots or knot holes.
Rustic grade floors offer the most natural variation. This grade of hardwood features a wide range of color tones, knots or splits--all the variety that nature has to offer. You’ll find shorter plank lengths in rustic grade. The resulting floor is rich in character with a rustic, casual feel.
Utility Grade flooring will contain significant variation in wood coloration and character with open knots, splits and cracks that can be easily filled. Utility grade flooring requires a little more TLC, but still creates a beautiful, rural style, at a lower cost.
Millrun floors feature planks from a mixture of grades. The majority of millrun planks are select grade, with some character grade planks and rustic grade planks mixed in. This blending of grades creates a totally unique look. Millrun floors also offer longer plank lengths than other grades of wood.
If you have any questions we would be happy to speak with you at 844-455-3566.