Grading Scale

Hardwood Flooring Grading Scale Unfinished and Prefinished



Superior / Premium

Superior grade for imports or exotics, like Brazilian Cherry is uniform in appearance with natural color variations according to species. There is a minimum number of character marks and little if any discoloration. Superior grade will have the longest average lengths and is also known as A grade and/or First grade. Superior grade for domestic species has little color variations according to the species, small knots, mineral stains and is a mix of select and select / better. Many of our Superior Exotics carry a 100 year finish warranty. NOTE: Mills in Brazil are not sorting for a "clear grade" and have not since 2007. If you have questions about this please call and we will give you the true details.


Select grade characteristics will include more color variation, shorter average lengths with averages around 2.4' to 3.0' lengths. More cathedral graining can be expected as well.


Character grade characteristics include small knots, color variations from a mix of natural heartwood and sapwood as well as mineral stain. Builder grade flooring may contain a small percentage of Tavern grade material and lighter species will show more color variation. Rustic / Cabin - More Information Here


Rustic grade has larger tight knots and some open knots with the most pronounced variation in color. Rustic grade is also known as Tavern grade, Utility grade, # 3 grade and C grade. Can contain, but not limited to defects including, splits, shake, and have shorter average lengths. Depending on the flooring look your trying to achieve consider 15 - 20% waste. Rustic grade is a price point product, please do not order extra and try to "create" a Superior flooring.



Select and Better

Select and Better consistent color and grain throughout. Almost completely free of knots and mineral streaks. Average lengths on 1' - 7' product will be 36%+.

Euro Character Grade

Euro Character Grade is a mix of 60% #1 Common, 20% Select & Better, and 20% #2 Common

#1 Common Grade

#1 Common will have knots up to about 1 to 1 1/2" in diameter with more color variation between boards than select & better grade. Average lengths on 1' - 7' product will be ~30".

#2 Common Grade

#2 Common grade has much greater board to board variation in color as well as larger knots and mineral streaks throughout the wood. The material will have a shorter then average board length, averaging ~24".

#3 Common (Utility/Cabin) Grade

Great low budget material with very high degree of color variation from board to board, large knots, open hole knots, as well as pocket knots. Large mineral streaks throughout the material. Some boards will have broken tongue & grooves, cracks on the ends, and some boards will even be unusable. Strongly recommended to adjust waste factor between 20%-30%.


Hardwood Flooring Grades - Detailed

Select and #1 Common

#2 Common and #3 Common




Tigerwood Hardwood Flooring Rustic vs Builder

 Tigerwood Premium vs Builder


 Hickory Utility