Your Guide to Choosing Hardwood Floor Grading

Choosing the right hardwood floor grading is a crucial step in choosing your hardwood flooring. Grading affects how your flooring will look and impacts your home style, so it’s important to make sure you love what you choose. This guide to choosing grading will help you pick out a flooring style you’ll love!

What is hardwood floor grading?

First, in order to choose the right hardwood floor grading, you need to know more about what grading is. Grading refers to the amount of variation and characteristics in your floorboards. Some of these characteristics include: knots, whorls, wormholes, slight color differences, and mineral streaks. Depending on the decor of your home, these characteristics could fit right in with your style!

One important thing to know about grading is that whichever one you choose, you won’t be changing the durability of your floors. Grading is purely aesthetic and it will not impact the quality of your flooring. There are four main types of grading we offer.

Character grading

85% of boards with knots and other characteristics & 15% of boards without

This type of grading is the most rustic. It includes many knots and variations, including whorls, mineral streaks, and even color variation. The color variation means your finish might look different on different floorboards, as is shown in the picture above. But if you want flooring with lots of character to add to your home, this is the perfect choice for you!

Natural grading

50% of boards with knots and other characteristics & 50% of boards without

Natural grading is half and half–half the floorboards can be expected to have variations and character, while the other half will not. This is a very popular grading choice since it allows the homeowner to mix the look of their flooring. It’s important if you choose this grading style to look through all the floorboards before installation to ensure you end up mixing the boards with characteristics and the boards without evenly throughout the space. You don’t want to end up with half the room having floorboards with character and half without!

Select grading

15% of boards with smaller knots and other characteristics & 85% of boards without

Select grading is another very popular option. Most of the floorboards will be free from knots and other variant characteristics, while 15% will have these variations. It’s also important to thoroughly mix the floorboards before installation when you choose this grading. This option gives the homeowner a flooring with a very even look, while some imperfections draw the eye in an appealing way.

Premium select grading

100% of boards without knots and other characteristics

Premium select grading floors have no knots or other variations. This flooring style is sleek and uniform, and the boards will have no color variation. This is the most expensive of the gradings because it requires the manufacturer to sift through many floorboards to find only the ones without variations. But if this is the look you want, then it’s all worth it!

Found the perfect hardwood floor grading?

Perfect! You can create your custom hardwood flooring on our website here. Whatever you choose, your floors will be beautiful. PurezaWood‘s engineered hardwood floors are always custom, so you can choose your grading, finish, and more. And, since our flooring is direct from the manufacturer, you won’t have to pay the markups that retailers charge. Learn more about our flooring process here.

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