You are here: Select Grade Oak Flooring

Select Grade Oak Flooring

Like all domestic species, solid oak flooring is given one of four grades: Select & Better, #1 Common, character, or #2 common. Hardwood not up to a manufacturer's standards is given a "#3 common," "value," or "tavern" grade. While all oak flooring has the same qualities, grades indicate its appearance. An even appearance receives a higher grade, while hardwood with character marks or color variation is marked lower.

Select & Better oak flooring is primarily heartwood and has a uniform color. #1 Common flooring, on the other hand, retains some of these qualities but may start to display a small amount of character marks. Select oak flooring, as well, has more sapwood. Lower grades, #1 common, Character, and #2 common, both have more color variation, including streaking and knots.

If an even appearance is one requirement you have for hardwood, consider going with Select & Better oak flooring. But, no matter the amount of character marks oak hardwood has, each species has a general set of qualities. A light reddish color, red oak consists of heartwood and sapwood of a similar shade. The wood itself is characterized by open but somewhat coarse grain, which makes it more receptive to staining, and has a plumed or flared appearance. Durable to wear and tear, red oak has high shock resistance and a Janka scale rating of 1290. In installation, this hardwood is resistant to splitting, has good holding ability, sands well, and is ideal for bleaching.

With many of the same qualities, white oak flooring is a white, cream, or light brown shade and, despite less variation when cut, has the appearance of longer rays. Also durable, white oak has a Janka scale rating of 1360, making it slightly stronger than red oak, and is better for machining. While not ideal for bleaching, white oak has a high concentration of tannins, which make the wood resistant to insects and fungi.

Various sawing methods are available for Select & Flooring oak flooring, and each one creates a different appearance. The most common, plain sawn oak flooring, typically has a plumed appearance. Rift sawn, on the other hand, gives the wood a tighter grain pattern, and quarter sawn gives it a flaked appearance.