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Published On: Wed, Jul 5th, 2017

The quality aspects of wooden flooring

Knowing about the types of wood flooring might help you to some extent in choosing the right kind, but it is not the only deciding factor. You must also consider the quality aspects to ensure that you take the best and well-informed decision.  While you might have some fascination with particular colors and wood species, you must not be happy to locate it unless you have assessed its quality parameters. While hardness is the most dominant quality parameter because you are using hardwood, there are some more elements to consider. Besides the quality of wood, you must also know about installation methods because the kind of finish you get depends on it. As you read on you will learn more about the structural aspects of wooden flooring.

photo/ NWFA

The gradation system

To know about the quality of wood, you should be aware that quality of wood linked to its grade. The grading system devised by the Wood Flooring Manufacturers’ Association (NOFMA) to assist consumers, is based on the appearance of floors made from hardwood. Marks, characteristics, and variations that you see in wood are not all occurring naturally, but some are imparted to it during the process of manufacturing.  The grades refer to the extent these marks and characteristics can exist. There are specified limits for these that define the categories. Better grades have minor imperfections and vice versa. It is not that higher grades are always suitable for your style because if you prefer rustic looks, it must have more imperfections hence lower class.

Grades of Wood

There are four types of categories for wood.

  • Clear – The oldest and densest portion of a tree is the heartwood where you find vibrant colors because the wood obtained from parts near the bark (sapwood) has a light color.  Wood obtained from heartwood is graded as ‘Clear’ and has least marks and imperfections.  The looks are uniform, and there is the least variation of color and almost no discoloration.  
  • Select – This is the second grade that comprises of wood that belongs to both sapwood and heartwood categories. There are more marks and more variations.
  • #1 Common – In this category, you will find a wider range of marks and characters and color changes are more than the earlier grades.
  • #2 Common – This being the lowest in the pecking order of quality, in this type of wood you find much more manufacturing marks, highest variations in color, knotholes, and character.

Finishing types

When it comes to the finishing, you must choose between unfinished wooden flooring and pre-finished flooring. Pre-finished Wooden flooring does not leave anything more to be done after hardfloor flooring installation Chicago. The surface is ready to use as it comes with a protective coating and it saves time and cost for users. Unfinished wooden flooring requires finishing at the site and involves the process of sanding and staining that is necessary to create the desired looks.

Having gone through the process of determining the structural aspects of wood, the quality assessment is completed.   

Author: Charlie Brown

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