Does the grade affect the quality?
We get asked this question quiet a bit. The grade levels for hardwood are really meant to describe the character of the species, more so than the quality. When grading lumber, things like appearance of individual planks, what part of the tree the lumber was taken from, length of boards and more aesthetic features are what are really being referred too.
When grades of lumber are assigned, they are given their grading level based on common points of reference for describing. Similar qualities in lumber are then put 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 is 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.