THE APPEARANCE OF WOOD DETERMINES ITS GRADE
- Clear wood is a flooring product with minimal character marks that provides a uniform appearance.
- Select 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.
- First Grade Beech, Birch & Hard Maple Shall have the face practically free of all defects, but the natural color of the wood shall not be consider a defect. The highest standard grade, combines appearance and durability.
- Second Grade Beech, Birch & Hard Maplea floor with varying wood characteristics and colors to include distinct color variations, numerous Streaks, stained Sapwood, sound Knots, and Checks. All defects must readily fill.
- Third Grade Beech, Birch & Hard Maple must be of such character as will lay and give a good serviceable floor. The wood must be firm, Serviceable and may contain all defects common Maple Pieces with 1/4 full Tongue admitted. Third Grade will not admit-Knot Holes over 3/8" in diameter or unsound Knots where the unsound portion is over 1" in diameter; Voids on Ends or Edge; or Shake, Hear Checks, badly Split Ends and Imperfections in Manufacture which would materially impair the serviceability of the floor.
TYPES OF CUTS
The angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks. Wood flooring is either plainsawn, quartersawn or riftsawn.
- Plainsawn is the most common cut. Characteristics are its pleasing appearance, and varied grain appearance. It is easier to produce from the log.
- Quartersawn is more expensive than plainsawn. 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.
- Riftsawn is more expensive than plainsawn. It's similar to quartersawn without the ray flecks.