Menu

Tag: Product Knowledge

What does the grade of hardwood mean?

Appearance

Other things can influence how a species looks as well, including grain and cut.

Types of Grades

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 a flooring product with minimal character marks that provides a uniform appearance.

Select wood is a flooring product with natural heartwood/sapwood color variations that also includes knots, streaks, etc.

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 varied appearance, light and dark colors, knots, streaks and wormholes. No. 2 Common is rustic in appearance and emphasizes all wood characteristics of the species.

First grade wood has a uniform appearance, natural color variations and limited character marks. It is similar to a select grade.

Second grade wood is varied in appearance and features knots and some variation in color. It is similar to a No. 1 Common grade.

Third grade wood is rustic in appearance allowing all wood characteristics of the species. It is similar to a No. 2 Common grade.

Learn more about the appearance of hardwood.

What is the difference between solid and engineered hardwood?

Types of Wood Floors

Advances in wood flooring during the past few years mean that you now can have wood flooring anywhere in your home or business. Where you want to put it, however, will determine the type of wood flooring you can use.

Unfinished and Factory Finished Wood Flooring

All wood flooring requires a finish. This is a protective coat that seals your floor against every day wear.

You can buy unfinished wood flooring, and your installer will sand the wood and apply the finish on the job site. There are several finish options available. Learn more about finish options. If you are looking for a specific color or need to match existing flooring, this option may suit your needs better.

Also available for purchase is factory-finished wood flooring, where the finish was applied at the manufacturer. This type of flooring has become as widely available as unfinished wood flooring. These floors require less time to install because the sanding and finishing process has already happened. The floors are ready to walk on immediately following the installation and have a harder surface.

Talk to your installer or retailer about what options best suit your lifestyle and needs.

Solid and Engineered Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring is exactly what the name implies: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from ¾” to 5/16”. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.

Learn more about the types of hardwood.