19 Oct Engineered Wood Floor Grading. Prime, Rustic, Natural…
Wood floor grading, or selection is a controversial matter. You may have heard of “prime grade” or “select grade”. However there are many more grades available and different retailers use different naming that may include the following:
Prime, select, rustic, knotty, nature, country, classic, character, natural, grade1,2,3, AB, C, CD, D and some!
This has created a lot of confusion for retailers and especially consumers that cannot always compare like for like.
The EU has therefore established a degree of standardisation and classification of wood grading based on physical appearance of wood planks.
The appearance is mostly based on the presence of knots.
Dead branches drop off healthy, living trees all the time, and wood knots appear in the trunk where branches died. Knots are imperfections that cause living woodgrain to grow around them.
However, knots do provide a natural look to the finished planks and can be considered as part of the character of wood flooring.
Some people like knots while other don’t but it’s important to have a clear idea on what to expect when buying wood flooring.
As mentioned before the EU, via the Standard EN13489 has classified wood flooring according to the following grading.
SELECT grade often referred as PRIME can only admit knots of maximum diameter or 3mm.
NATUR grade often refer as Natural, Classic only admit knots up to 8mm in diameter.
RUSTIC class admits knots in various size without any restriction.
Select grade is of course much more expensive than Rustic grade but when comparing flooring from different sources, one should take into consideration such characteristics.
In other words, often products that are sold as “PRIME” have knots of 2 or 3cm in diameter. This is technically illegal and definitely misleading.