Understanding Wooden Flooring Grades
Although each hardwood flooring manufacturer uses its own terms and divisions to describe the various qualities of flooring material available, some sample terminology can help prepare a consumer to better understand the marketing information that such manufacturers use to promote their products.
Standard Grade Hardwood Flooring
The term “standard grade” or a synonym is generally used to refer to wood that exhibits a great degree of variability in terms of appearance. Such wood flooring will be milled to be straight and true, but incorporates surface features that can make one board look quite different from another. This means that boards may show such natural variations as gum veins, insect trails, burls and spirals.
Some people prefer standard grade flooring for entirely practical reasons: it is less expensive than other grades. Others, however, prefer it regardless of cost because the standard grade of wood can simply be more visually interesting. In the markings on the boards, homeowners can read a sort of history of the trees from which the wood was milled.
Select Grade Hardwood Flooring
This is considered a more exclusive product, and as such, it carries a higher price tag. Boards that are ranked as select grade are those that show more uniformity in terms of their surface characteristics. Because the process of sorting out hardwood boards takes time, select grade is more expensive than standard grade.
It is important to remember that both grades of hardwood flooring will need the same regular maintenance provided by a floor sanding company.