Does the grade affect the quality?
We are asked this question quite a bit. The grade level scale for hardwood is used to describe the character of the species, more than the quality. There are many factors used to identify the grade level of wood including: the appearance of individual planks, the part of the tree the lumber was taken from, the length of boards, and aesthetic features.
When grades of lumber are assigned, they are given a grading level based on common points of reference. Similar qualities in the lumber are then grouped together and given a grade. These qualities range anywhere from knots, wormholes, mineralizing, and open grain lines to even-toned and without “blemishes.”
Clear Grade –
This is the highest and “cleanest” grade of hardwood. Meaning there are few to no “blemishes”. No knots or wormholes and the most uniform in color and grain lines between the planks. Clear grade cut hardwood comes from the center of the tree.
Select Grade –
There will be natural color variations in this grade. You will also see small, tight knots and pin worm holes. A slightly busier grain pattern, while still maintaining a fairly clean look.
Common Grade #1 –
You won’t find many surprises with this grade of lumber. There is consistency in appearance and length of boards. Very small knots if any will appear on the surface and the color of each board is more uniform.
Common Grade #2 –
The natural characteristics of the hardwood will come to life in this grade. You will see more visual knots and variation between the planks both in color and length. Overall, this grade is a great choice if you are looking for a more rustic look with a good amount of character.
Rustic Grade –
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