What are the different grades for unfinished wood flooring?
The grading process of unfinished wood follows NWFA guidelines and is based on the characteristics and color variances of the wood product. The grade for solid and engineered can also vary. Prior to starting your project, please note the waste factor (number of boards that will be discarded during installation) is also determined by the grade. Please see below for details explaining the different grades:
- Clear Grade is generally free from knots and has minimal character marks. Clear grade is also considered the most consistent color, providing the installer with a clean look. Applies to solid wood products and has a waste factor of 5-8%.
- Select / Better Grade offers a wider range of color variation with a beautiful, natural quality containing minimal-to-no knots, and limited character marks. Applies to either solid or engineered wood products and has a waste factor of 8-10%.
- #1 Common Grade provides natural wood characteristics such as knots and wormholes, and a range of light to dark colors. This grade captures a unique and attractive variegated appearance. Applies to solid wood products and has a waste factor of 8-10%.
- #2 Common Grade offers a handsome visual texture through its natural character marks, such as knots. This grade allows the installer to achieve a rustic and unique look that captures the wood’s history, while remaining economical. Applies to solid wood products and has a waste factor of 15%.
- Character Grade is a combination of the #1 common and # 2 common grades. This grade also provides an interesting natural variation that creates a rustic appeal. Applies to engineered wood products and has a waste factor of 10-15%.
- Utility Grade contains a variation of both manufacturing and natural imperfections, such as wormholes. This grade is cost-effective and the perfect option for flooring in areas where character marks and contrasting characteristics are needed. Applies to solid wood products and has a waste factor of 20-30%.