Wood flooring is considered warm and natural by actual survey. Most people feel comfortable when in contact with wood. In fact, it would impossible to imagine a home without wood in it. While the technology today permits the creation of a host of wood look-alike products, however, they remain look-alikes. Real wood, well, is real wood! The thing that affects the final aesthetic of how your room will look post-installation of wood flooring is it’s grading. By grading is meant, the selection grade of the wood. Here is an example of a Select grading:
As you can see, the above grading is quite even and clean. Colour variation between individual planks is less. Wood is a natural product with no two pcs of timber being the same just as no two human beings are identical. It is this characteristic of wood that people find charming. That said, an interior designer or an end-user would think of the final effect he wants to be created. Should that be an elegant and rich ambience with a very calm appeal, a select grading will do the job. Wood sawing mills in order to get such grading will have to do a lot of sorting and segregation. Discarded timber is sorted to other, lower grades. This jacks up the pricing of Select and Better grade. Now, this does not mean that the sorted timber left after Select grade has been segregated is lower in terms of durability.
The major impact is on the aesthetic. Let us look at the next grade. By the way, the names of these grades are entirely on the manufactures and they may give them their own names. We have named it 1 common from our Coswick engineered flooring collection as below:
The main difference between Select and 1 common grade is the size and quantity of wood knots. There is also more variation. As said it totally depends on the effect you want created per your design theme. I would use the above where I want a bit more earthy and natural affect and the floor is more lively. Will save me some money too! Next is our Tavern grade:
A higher level of variation and more sapwood (the light streaks that you see) with bigger knots are the main charecterstics here. A large room or even a study, done with such a grading, while keeping other surfaces more calm and even, can make the floor stand out and turn it into a conversation piece that attracts attention. If the design demands a stained look, say a dark brown or a black wood floor for a chic, dramatic effect, this grading can be used. The stain will hide the variation and you will have a beautiful floor at a lesser cost. Here is an example of our Coswick collection engineered wood flooring in Oak dark-stained:
The next one would be Rustic or Character grade which essentially means more variation, bigger knots, more sapwood (white streaks – the outer part of tree trunk). By the way, sapwood is generally less durable than the heartwood (the centre part of tree trunk). This is one of the reasons for the lower cost as well. However, in most interior applications, it should work fine. Here is an example:
As an architect or an interior designer, one could use this information about grading effectively to create the kind of ambience one desires at a budget that works.