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Wood Grading 101

The purchasing of wood flooring for your home is a large investment. With so many options available the terminology can sometimes become confusing and overwhelming. So, we have decided to help make your decision a little easier by breaking down the differences between the different wood grades that we offer.

As a product of nature wood has many unique qualities and characteristics. A lot of this is reflective on how the log was cut. Wood flooring comes in many different grades so let’s look a little deeper into the grading we offer.

Select & Better:

This grade is made up of carefully selected plain sawn or “flat cut” boards and some rift and quartered boards as well. The flat cut material is produced by making parallel cut through the log, with growth rings being 30 degrees or less to the face of the board. This cut produces what is known as the cathedral effect in the grain of the boards. If you are looking for a floor with less variation, Select & Better is a great option. Select & Better floors have minimal tonal variation between boards, and uniform grain patterns. Some knots are permitted in this flooring type however they are small at only 10mm or less. This grade of wood is typically found on the outer area of the tree where less knots occur.

Rift & Quartered:

Rift & Quartered is our premium grade of wood, this material is highly sought after for its clean appearance and low colour variation. This grade features Rift sawn boards, these boards come from the outer portion of the log which is milled perpendicular to the growth rings which are 30-60 degrees (ideally 45) to the face of the board. This produces a very linear and consistent look.

The Quartersawn boards are produced when a log is cut into four quarters, and then each quarter is flat sawn. The growth rings are usually 60-90 degrees to the face of the board, resulting in an exceptionally clean look without the cathedral effect seen in plain sawn boards. Quartersawn boards will feature medullary rays or “flecking” in the grain. The Rift and Quartered grade offers a timeless and consistent appearance, and due to the nature of how it is cut from the log, it excels in dimensional stability.


Our Character grade features plain sawn boards that have been carefully sorted to feature more knots, unique grain patters and a distinct color variation. Our Character grade is one of the options with the most pronounced wood characteristics, highlighting all the natural elements. In PurParket character grade flooring you will see a higher color variation, larger filled knots of 30mm+, sapwood and filled cracks. This beautiful grade offers an authentic look that truly encapsulates hardwood flooring.

Rustic (Available in Handscraped only):

Our Rustic grade is our most unique, you will find this grade offers the most variation in color and has an unlimited number of knots and filled cracks. We permit larger filled knots of 45mm+ as well as sapwood in this grade. This type of flooring has a mid to high variation between board colors and a noticeable texture to touch. This is a suitable option for highly active households as this grade is often very forgiving of wear and tear, as any indentations or marks just add to the natural characteristics present in this floor. Its important to note, that rustic grade material is more sensitive to changes in relative humidity in your home. It can be common of this grade to see further face cracks overtime as this material expands and contracts in the environment.

Now that you have all the information we look forward to helping with your next flooring project!

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