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Wood Flooring Grain & Grading Rules

Every species of wood has its own unique set of "grading rules," which helps to define and categorize the wood's appearance.

At Gate, we primarily work with oak, which has three grades to choose from: rustic, light rustic, and select.

When choosing your wood, you'll also want to consider its cut. The cut used affects the wood floor's appearance and performance. It also determines what width sizes are available for the wood floor.

  • Plain Sawn Cut Wood Flooring GrainPlain Sawn cut wood is the most popular cut today and has a shorter production time compared to the other cuts.
  • Quarter Sawn Wood Flooring GrainQuarter Sawn involves cutting the wood into quarters, with the wood's growth rings set at 90 degrees to the surface.
  • Rift Sawn Wood Flooring GrainRift Sawn wood can have planks with growth rings that are angled around 45 degrees, which makes it hard to get rift sawn wide-plank flooring.
  • R&Q Sawn is made from a mixture of rift sawn and quarter sawn cuts. R&Q sawn boards create less wood waste.
  • Live Sawn Wood Flooring GrainLive Sawn is the latest wood cut trend. It includes a combination of plain sawn, rift sawn, and quarter sawn cuts, making it one of the most versatile cuts for size and grain pattern.
Plain Sawn Cut Wood Flooring Grain Quarter Sawn Wood Flooring Grain Rift Sawn Wood Flooring Grain Live Sawn Wood Flooring Grain

Because wood is hygroscopic, it will shrink or swell depending upon the amount of moisture in the air or ground. This direction of plank movement as it expands or contracts is largely determined by how the growth rings are cut. That's why you'll see plain sawn boards expand and contract across their width, while quarter sawn and rift sawn boards will expand and contract in thickness.

Call Gäte Hardwood Floors today to learn more. We can answer any wood grain questions you have and offer free on-site consultations for homes and businesses throughout Boise, Sun Valley, Moscow, Meridian, McCall, Nampa, and surrounding areas.

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