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Hardwood Flooring Grades Explained

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As you embark on the exciting journey of selecting the perfect flooring for your space, you’ll inevitably come across a crucial question: “Which hardwood flooring grade suits my requirement?” The term “hardwood flooring grades” encompasses the diverse characteristics and attributes of the wood you intend to install. In this guide, we’ll review each grade to help you determine which one best meets your needs.

What are Hardwood Flooring Grades?

When choosing wood for a home project, such as flooring, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. Natural wood can have extremely random patterns which may either put someone off or be just what they’re looking for. To ensure hardwood flooring had categories for everyone, grades were created to depict the visual qualities of the wood.

Another reason there are wood grades is that it makes it easier to determine the price of your flooring. Some grades are more expensive because it’s difficult to find natural wood that meets the required standards. This is something to keep in mind when you’re shopping.

The most common grades of hardwood flooring include the following.

Clear Grade

Clear grade gets its name because it’s usually free of lines, knots or blemishes. If there are any wood grains, they’re barely noticeable. This type of wood is more expensive because it’s more challenging to produce. The primary purpose of clear grade flooring is to offer a clean and uniform appearance often found in modern interior design elements.

Common Grades

There are two common grades, called #1 and #2. These grades introduce more natural wood patterns, such as long grains, rings and occasional knots. #1 common grade shows these features less than #2, but the appearance of the wood grain is easy to notice in both.

Select Grade

Select grade is like a bargain clear grade. It’s slightly less expensive at the cost of showing more natural inclusions. While you can spot the occasional grain and tree ring in the wood, they can be hard to spot unless you’re really looking for these features.

Cabin Grade

Cabin grade is the type of wood you’d expect in vintage log cabins. If you’re looking for a rustic or antique look to your floors, this is the grade to choose. It does show quite a few knots and imperfections, including mineral streaks throughout the surface. For these reasons, it’s considerably cheaper than other grades.

For some people, this makes cabin grade a win-win — they love the rustic appearance, and the discounted price is just an added benefit.

How to Choose the Right Flooring Grade

When you’re choosing hardwood flooring, you should consider how your other interior design elements will fit into the design. For example, your flooring should have similar qualities to wooden cabinets in your kitchen. Depending on the aesthetic, you might also want to think about different flooring options for each room in your home.

Consider the following when choosing your hardwood flooring grades:

  • Your budget for the project and if you can afford a more expensive wood grade.
  • Your personal preference when comparing the appearance of each wood type.
  • The current aesthetic of your home or your future interior design plans.
  • Whether you plan to use the same wood grade for other home features such as moulding or tabletops.

Elevate Your Flooring

Now that you have a grasp on the different hardwood flooring grades and their distinct characteristics, you can embark on a transformative journey for your living or working space. With Rome Flooring, you can unlock the full potential of your interior design vision. We can help you select the right grades and install quality floors that are built to last. Contact us today to learn more.