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What Grade Is Your Hardwood Floor

Hardwood flooring grades refers to the system used by wood flooring manufacturers to assess the appearance of hardwood floors. The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association grades are emphasized on the color, grain pattern and other markings that are seen in the wood. Color is determined by what part of the tree the wood comes from. On the other hand, grain pattern is determined by the kind of species and how the wood is cut.

The grade of flooring is the primary determinant of a durable floor, and how the floor looks once it is installed and finished. Stains can be used to alter the color of the wood but the character markings will still be visible after finishing. Knots, mineral streaks, grain, growth ring and color variations are character markings that would determine the grade of the wood.

All hardwood species undergo different grading specifications due to their unique characteristics. There is several hardwood flooring grades. One sample of a grading system is NOFMA – certified flooring which categorized hardwood into four grades: Clear, Select, #1 Common and #2 Common. NOFMA is an organization established to create and enforce grade rules and quality standards for most domestic species of wood flooring. The grading depends on the exterior look or the character markings of the unfinished solid wood flooring.

The primary indicator of difference between the grades is the degree to which the natural character markings are allowed. Clear grade is the best looking floor with the most uniform color. Select grade is somehow similar to Clear but may contain natural character markings, this is the most standard high grade flooring sold on the world market. On the other hand, #1 and #2 Common grades offer a variety of color, mineral streaking and knots. Prominence and frequency of natural characteristics are shown more on #2 Common than on #1 Common.