Grades Of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is graded based on the quality, appearance, and characteristics of the wood. These grades are established to help consumers and professionals select the right type of flooring for their needs. The grading criteria typically include the color, grain, and the presence of natural features such as knots, streaks, and mineral marks. Here are the common grades for hardwood flooring.

Clear Grade

Clear grade hardwood flooring represents the highest quality available, characterized by its uniform color, minimal imperfections, and fine grain pattern, making it ideal for sophisticated and elegant interiors.

This grade offers a sleek, cohesive look with few to no knots, mineral streaks, or other natural marks, providing a refined and polished appearance perfect for high-end residential and commercial spaces.

Clear grade hardwood is made from superior quality wood, ensuring durability and resilience, but it comes at a higher cost due to its premium characteristics.

Cabin Grade (also known as Utility or Tavern Grade)This flooring is best suited for luxury projects and spaces where top-quality aesthetics are essential, although maintaining its pristine appearance requires regular care.

Select Grade

Select Grade, also known as Select and Better, is a high-quality grade of hardwood flooring that combines excellent appearance with minor variations in color and minimal natural imperfections.

This grade features slight differences in color, small knots, occasional streaks, and a consistent grain pattern, offering a balance between uniformity and natural beauty.

Select Grade hardwood is suitable for a wide range of interior styles, from traditional to contemporary, making it ideal for residential spaces such as living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, as well as commercial environments like offices and retail spaces.

It is made from high-quality wood, ensuring durability and visual appeal, although it is typically less expensive than the flawless Clear Grade. While maintaining the appearance of Select Grade flooring requires regular care, it provides a refined yet natural look that enhances various interior design projects.

Number 1 Common (No. 1 Common)

Number 1 Common (No. 1 Common) is a mid-range grade of hardwood flooring that features more color variation and natural characteristics than higher grades like Clear and Select.

This grade includes noticeable knots, larger streaks, and other natural imperfections, giving the wood a more rustic and organic appearance. The variations in color and grain add character and uniqueness to each plank, making No. 1 Common hardwood a popular choice for creating a warm, inviting atmosphere in casual or country-style interiors.

It is versatile enough for both residential and commercial settings, particularly in spaces where a natural, lived-in look is desired. While it is more affordable than the higher grades, it still offers good quality and durability, making it a practical and aesthetically pleasing option for many flooring projects.

Number 2 Common (No. 2 Common)

Number 2 Common (No. 2 Common), also known as Rustic Grade, is a lower grade of hardwood flooring characterized by significant natural imperfections and pronounced color variation.

This grade includes numerous knots, larger streaks, and other prominent natural features, giving the wood a distinctly rustic and distressed appearance. The abundant imperfections and diverse grain patterns add a lot of character and texture to each plank, making Rustic Grade hardwood an excellent choice for creating a cozy, authentic, and country-style aesthetic.

This grade is particularly popular in settings such as cabins, lodges, and homes seeking a natural, rugged look. While it is more affordable than higher grades, No. 2 Common still offers durability and a unique visual appeal, making it a cost-effective option for those who appreciate the beauty of natural wood imperfections.

Cabin Grade (also known as Utility or Tavern Grade)

Cabin Grade, also known as Utility or Tavern Grade, is the lowest grade of hardwood flooring, characterized by significant imperfections and extensive color variation.

This grade includes numerous defects such as large knots, prominent streaks, cracks, and other noticeable natural marks. The wood planks in this grade offer a highly rustic and distressed appearance, making them suitable for projects where a rugged, authentic look is desired.

Cabin Grade hardwood is often used in spaces like cabins, basements, workshops, and other areas where aesthetic perfection is not a priority. Despite its imperfections, it is a budget-friendly option that still provides the durability of hardwood, making it a practical choice for those who appreciate a natural and unrefined appearance.

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