Grades Glossary

We have included a glossary of terms to help you better understand your options when selecting the perfect floor.

Clear grade– Clear grade flooring is color sorted to have a near perfect and consistent color. This grade doesn’t have any surface defects such as mineral streaks, knots, wormholes, or cracks. This will also exclude multi-colored sapwood.

Select and Better– This grade is also known as Premium grade. This grade is color sorted, however there is a small amount of color variation. There are no surface defects such as knots, wormholes, cracks, or mineral streaks in this grade.

#1 Common– #1 Common grade flooring is minimally color sorted, as to have some color variation. There will also be a small amount of surface defects, like knots and mineral streaks.

#2 Common– This is better known as Rustic grade flooring. It has a full range of color variation and includes all of the character naturally found in the wood. This will include sapwood, knots, cracks, wormholes, and mineral streaks.

Quarter-sawn– Quarter-sawn flooring is made from lumber that has been cut perpendicular to the growth of the tree’s rings. It creates the vertical grain that looks different than the Plain-sawn grade. This is more expensive because it is less common, but it is more stable than a Plain-sawn floor.

Plain-sawn– This is the normal process when cutting lumber for flooring.

Circle-sawn– This is when the lumber is cut roughly, as to leave saw marks on the wood. In a floor, it creates some texture and character in the wood.

Heartwood– This is the wood in the center of the tree. It is usually a darker color and is harder than sapwood.

Sapwood– This is new growth in a tree, the outer portions of the tree. It is lighter in color and is softer than heartwood.

Wire Brushed– This is a process that distresses the wood.

Micro-beveled– This is a class of edge style which has a small bevel around the edge of the board.

Square edge– This is when the edges fit flush together.

End matched– This is when the boards are tongue & groove and fit together at the ends.

Tongue & Groove– This is a method of fitting the boards together.