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Categories Hardwood

The different grades of Red Oak Hardwood

When looking at hardwood flooring you may have heard talk about grades. Hardwood flooring is graded based on the characteristics present in the wood. Red oak has its own specific rules for grading, we will explain the difference in all the grades below. Some grades have more than one name for the same level which can be confusing. Your hardwood installer should know which of the different grades will work for your design tastes!

Clear- The highest grade of red oak is the clear grain. Clear grade wood is cut and harvested from the heartwood or innermost wood of the tree. Knots, wormholes and color variations are at the absolute minimum or are non existent in this grade of wood. Graining is prominent and gives the wood a clean overall look. These pieces are picked carefully by the mill and all the elements of the milling process are done precisely.

Select and Better– Select and better wood is milled from the sapwood. These bundles often include some clear pieces. There are essentially no knots or wormholes but there are some present. Graining appearance is strong and there is a slight color variation between the heartwood and sapwood.

Number One Common– No. 1 Common has more variation and discrepancies than the other gradings. There are knots and wormholes but not an excessive amount. There is also color variation and the color is not as uniform as the clear of select gradings. There will be lighter and darker boards and even a combination of colors on the same board.

Number Two Common– No. 2 Common has a lot of light and dark color variations from the use of both heartwood and sapwood. There are a lot of worm holes and knots and the floor may have a more rustic appearance.

Number three common and shorts are two additional grading types but are generally not recommended.

The grading of the floor will not affect the overall quality of your floor. These gradings are just related to the aesthetics of the food and do not affect the hardness of the wood. You may see some difference in the milling but not the overall hardness or quality. With proper care and maintenance any grade of red oak will last a lifetime.

Categories Hardwood

Surface Texture in Hardwood Floors


When looking at different hardwood flooring samples you may wonder what the different surface textures mean. Hardwood flooring texture can add a lot of style and dimension to your flooring. Smooth, hand scraped, wire brushed and distressed are some of the textures you can get on some wood products like prefinished flooring or engineered flooring.

The most popular hardwood flooring texture is smooth. Smooth texture floors are sanded flat and then finished. This texture can be done on site finished or factory finished products. The smooth surface is elegant and uniform and looks great on dark stained woods. The smoother hardwood flooring textures can show dents, scratches and other blemishes more readily but for some lifestyles this is not a concern.

Handscraped hardwood flooring is becoming very popular. The level of texture can be very subtle or range to a more extreme level of texture. Handscraped hardwood flooring adds a warm feeling and makes the room feel lived-in. The more texture the boards feature the more scratches and dents can be hidden. The texture of handscraped floor can help mask wear and tear while still being beautiful. Virginia Vintage, Armstrong Gatsby Hand Sculpted, Mannington Inverness Hand Sculpted

Distressed or antiqued wood if another texture method for hardwood flooring. Distress marks are added to the floor like dents, blackening of the edges, burn marks or other texture methods added. Distressed flooring can be ideal for homes with pets and high traffic usage. The distressed look will help camouflage wear on your floor.

Wire Brushed wood falls between smooth and hand scraped texture. The wire brushing process is when the floor finish is lightly scraped with a wire brush to create long or linear streaks. The wire brush texture will highlight the linear grain patterns and can create a more interesting look to oak flooring. Wire Brushed products add a nice amount of texture without feeling like they are rustic.

In some engineered or prefinished product lines these methods are combined to create a beautiful texture and style. The different texture methods add to the wood and can create a unique feel to your flooring.

Categories Hardwood

Homeowner Expectations with Hardwood Flooring-

Hardwood flooring has been the standard for beautiful flooring for decades because of the unique grain patterns and beautiful colors but also because of the value and reliability. The decision to install hardwood can be still be hard for some homeowners and it is a costly endeavor.

The value is a big factor for a lot of homeowners. While the cost of adding hardwood may be high but there is a lot of value in adding hardwood flooring. Homeowners are generally willing to invest in their home if they feel like the item will add value to their home and wood floors are a great option in this scenario. Premium hardwood products can add a lot of style to a home and a lot of value. There are a lot of different hardwood products on the market and a wide variety of price points available.

Reliability

Reliability draws a lot of homeowners to hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring offers good quality and reliability in a beautiful product. Many hardwood mills or manufacturers have been around for decades and have great dependability. Well known hardwood brands that produce prefinished or engineered products are also know for the reliability. Many of the prefinished or engineered flooring products include a warranty that helps to guarantee the reliability of the product. Milling standards also help to guarantee the reliability of the product.

Appearance

The appearance of hardwood flooring is one of the biggest products benefits. Hardwood is beautiful, unique and timeless. While it is important to remember wood is a natural product and will have natural characteristics. Wood flooring comes in a variety of species and can be stained and coated to create the perfect fit for your home.

Hardwood flooring brings a lot to a homeowners and can bring joy and beauty for decades to come. Hardwood flooring is an investment but with a great return.

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