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Hardwood Grades

In buying hardwood floors, one shouldn’t just jump into bandwagon blindfolded. What we mean to say is that floors that work for others may not be suitable for your taste, personality, lifestyle or budget, no matter how trending it is nowadays. Selecting the right wood floor in New Jersey takes more than just looking at its beauty on the surface. There are reasons why wood floors are categorized for better selection of homeowners, engineers, interior designers and architects. One important feature that is note-worthy to be familiarized if you’re eyeing wood floors for installation is the type of hardwood grades.

National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) plays a key role in grading hardwoods. Hardwood grades are based on the number of flaws there are on the planks. Each plank has natural knots, wood tone variation and mineral streaks to name a few that make it naturally and uniquely beautiful, creating its own characteristic apart from the rest. Hardwood can be considered Clear Grade, which is the highest grade that offers the most consistent look with no defect allowed. The second highest grade is called Select Grade, which only differs from Clear Grade in terms of allowing more range of colors or grain obtained in the species. The third highest grade is the Common No.1 Grade, which only differs in terms of having too much color/grain variation on the surface. Lumbers that don’t fall on these grades are categorized as either natural or rustic grade. Natural grades pertain to natural characters that are formed on the wood, such as small knots, rips, checks, worm holes, mineral streaks and contrasting sapwood, while rustic grades allow more kinds of natural characters developed on the wood than that of Natural grade.

Aside from the hardwood grades, one should be knowledgeable of the various hardwood cuts that define the beauty of each plank.

Plain Sawn is the most common cut of hardwood, done after the log is squared and sawed lengthwise in a string of parallel cuts. It is the least expensive of the three types of cuts since it requires less labor and even leaves least waste than the rest.

Quartered Sawn boards are created by initially cutting a log into quarters and then making a series of parallel cuts at right angle to the tree’s rings, cutting it on the radius. What make it stand out from the rest are the unique ray flecks that add character to the board.

Just like the quartered sawn boards, the log is also first cut into quarters in rift and quartered type of boards, but then it is cut from 30-60 degrees angle of the grain, resulting in a uniform appearance of the boards.

Purchasing hardwood floors from a reputable wood flooring company like Wood Floor Planet in New Jersey guarantees you of getting precisely graded and cut hardwood, saving you from the troubles of being cheated, scammed or misinformed.