Species and Grading
TYPES OF GRADES: The appearance of the wood determines its grade. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each affords you a different look.
Clear wood is a flooring product with minimal character marks that provides a very uniform appearance in color.
Select or Select & Better wood is a flooring product with natural heartwood/sapwood color variations that also includes knots, streaks, etc.
Common wood (No. 1 and No. 2) has more natural characteristics such as knots and color variations than either clear or select grades, and often is chosen because of these natural features and the character they bring to a room. No. 1 Common has a varied appearance, light and dark colors, knots, streaks and wormholes. No. 2 Common is rustic in appearance and emphasizes all wood characteristics of the species.
TYPE OF CUTS: The angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks. Wood flooring is either plainsawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn.
Plain Sawn is the most common cut. Characteristics are its pleasing appearance, and varied grain appearance. It is easier to produce from the log.
Quarter Sawn is more expensive than plain sawn. Characteristics are greater wear resistance, less tendency to cup and twist, less shrinkage in width, and uniform grain appearance with ray flecks. Ray flecks appear in flooring that cuts across the wood’s ray cells, which creates a shimmering flake figure spread over the wood.
Rift Sawn is more expensive than plain sawn. It's similar to quarter sawn without the ray flecks.