Today’s wood floors come in more than 50 species, both domestic and exotic, spanning the spectrum of color options, hardness, and price ranges. No matter what the look you want to achieve, there are a variety of species to meet your needs.
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 free of defects, though it may have minor imperfections.
Select wood is almost clear but contains some natural characteristics such as minor knots and color variations.
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 variegated appearance, light and dark colors, knots, flags and wormholes. No.2 Common is rustic in appearance and emphasizes all wood characteristics of the species.
First grade wood has the best appearance, natural color variations and limited character marks.
Second grade wood is variegated in appearance with varying wood characteristics of the species.
Third grade wood is rustic in appearance allowing all wood characteristics of the species.
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. The board contains more variation than the other two cuts because grain patterns resulting from the growth rings are more obvious
Quartersawn produces less board feet per log than plainsawn and is therefore more expensive. Quartersawn wood twists and cups less and wears more evenly.
Riftsawn is similar to quartersawn, but the cut is made at a slightly different angle.
Work pictured is that of Timberline Hardwood Floors
Information gathered here comes from the NWFA.