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Many things influence how a species looks, including its grade and cut.

Types of Grades

Wood grades are determined based on the physical characteristics of the wood. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each looks different.

Clear wood has minimal character marks and a uniform color and appearance.

Select wood has natural color variations and includes knots, mineral streaks, and other natural characteristics.

No. 1 Common has a varied appearance, light and dark colors, knots, mineral 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, quartersawn, riftsawn or livesawn

Plainsawn is the most common cut. Characteristics include a varied grain appearance. It is easier to produce from the log.





Quartersawn is more expensive than plainsawn. Characteristics include a uniform grain appearance with ray flecks. Ray flecks give the wood a shimmering flake effect.





Riftsawn is more expensive than plainsawn. It's similar to quartersawn without the ray flecks.





Livesawn is a combination of plainsawn, quartersawn and riftsawn wood.


Looking for a quick and easy guide to wood floor selection? We've got everything you need in one easy guide. View it here.


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