Oak Flooring Grades

An Introduction to Oak Flooring Grades

When it comes to oak flooring, or hard wood flooring in general – in this case, oak timber – there are certain grades that are assigned to them that determine their overall quality. This is not to be confused with oak flooring types. These grades can be seen as the results of a review from qualified woodworkers, and cover various aspects that deal with the wood quality, such as the sheet stability, the flaws detected, the color, and the grain composition.

Measuring the Oak Flooring Grades: Unfinished Wood

Oak Flooring Grades

Oak Flooring Grades

Grade 1: Clear. This is the top of the line that you can hope to get from oak flooring grades of wood. It is composed entirely from the heartwood of the oak tree, which means that only the most stable and rich part of the trunk is included in its production, rather than the weaker exterior. It has no defects or weaknesses that the qualified inspectors have noticed, making it a wonderful choice for your oak flooring installation needs.

Grade 2: Select. This is the next best quality you can get. It is lighter than clear grade, and it is somewhat less sturdy and stable. It has some color variations, making the tones random. There aren’t any gaping or obvious flaws in this category, but there are enough to give it the designation of a lesser grade.

Grade 3: Common. This grade has a lot of knots and inconsistencies in the body of the wood. The wood grain is compositional weaker and less sturdy. The shades are also random much of the time, which does damage the aesthetic value of the timber cuts. In short, there is nothing special about them, but will do in a pinch.

Measuring the Oak Flooring Grades: Finished Wood

Grade 1: Prime. This is the best finish you can get on a piece of select or clear wood. Not only is the wood itself quality, but the curing process is as well, leaving no inconsistencies in the base or the structural foundation in the finished product. It is a gold standard for the woodworking industry, but can also be more expensive.

Grade 2: Standard. As its name implies, this is the most common way to finish wood in the scale of oak flooring grades. The texture in the wood grain are somewhat random here, leading to instability in some cases, and less structure in others. Select grade wood is usually applied with this method of finishing, instead of clear grade.

Grade 3: Tavern. The least structurally and visually appealing method in oak flooring grades. Common woods are used here, most of the time. It has obvious foundational flaws that take away from it a lot. The wood grain composition is merely acceptable to use on some projects. Flaws, discolorations and blemishes are more obvious with this method as well, since less care is taken due to costs of production being cut down.

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