Rustic Grade Flooring Explained

Half Your Home Renovation Costs Using This Unlikely Hardwood Flooring


Rustic Utility Tavern grade Flooring


Cabin Rustic Utility Grade Flooring

What are the benefits of using rustic (utility / cabin / builder) grade hardwood flooring?


1. Great Value for Your Money

If you’re on a budget, rustic grade hardwood flooring is an excellent way to cut renovation costs. The prefinished solid hardwood can save you half of what it would cost to purchase unfinished wood flooring alone.


2. Built-in Character

Hardwood flooring is REAL wood, a natural product, and will inherently have imperfections. From knots to worm holes, this is what gives hardwood flooring its character. With the greater number of accepted flaws and blemishes, rustic grade can bring added warmth and personality into your home. Designers go out of their way to intentionally bang up furniture and flooring to achieve this authentic, lived-in look.


Hardwood flooring is a great addition to your home. It adds warmth, style, and ups the property value. Depending on the species and grade of wood however, it could cost you quite the pretty penny. But there’s one type of hardwood flooring that may have gone under your radar. It’s called rustic grade hardwood flooring and it can save you a lot of cash while still providing the character you crave.

What is rustic grade hardwood flooring?

Prefinished hardwood flooring comes in a variety of grades. Rustic grade—also known as utility grade, cabin grade, builder grade—is the lowest grade of them all. Rustic grade accepts a range of defects, including open knots, missing tongues, sander burns, short pieces, and splits. As quoted by the NWFA:

"Contains sound natural and manufacturing variations including knot holes, open worm holes, and other open characters along with prominent color variations. Manufacturing variations include drying characters and machining irregularities to include broken tongues, splits and other non-natural wood characteristics."

But “at the bottom” doesn’t mean bad. Sure, it lacks first grade standards, but rustic grade hardwood flooring can still be a feasible option for your improvement projects, under the right conditions.

What types of defects can I expect to get in a lot of rustic grade hardwood flooring?

The types of defects in a lot may include but are not limited to:

  • Broken or missing tongues

  • Checks or splits

  • Open Knots

  • Shorter than average pieces

  • Worm holes


Rustic Utility Cabin Tavern Flooring

How much waste should I expect to have with rustic grade hardwood flooring?

It’s up to you to decide which defects you will keep or discard. But Hardwoods4less recommends a 20% waste factor when buying rustic/utility/cabin/builder grade wood.

Pictures don’t do it justice

When ordering, ask about the average length of the boards. Also, keep this in mind: When viewing pictures of rustic grade hardwood flooring up close, the flooring may appear unappealing. But when looking at flooring in your home or other location, you’re standing from a distance. Once installed, what may seem unsightly up close will not so easily stand out from afar.


Questions and Answers -


Can I turn a rustic grade flooring into a select grade by not using the pieces I do not like?

No, if you want a select grade finished floor you should buy a select grade floor. Rustic grade hardwood flooring has character and defects, for example shorter average lengths, that you will not overcome by buying extra.

Some of the product pictures have white marks on the wood, what are they?

Those marks are crayon grading marks. With a dry cloth and a bit of "elbow grease" they will be removed and not effect the finish. You can also use mineral spirits or acetone if it works better for you and will not effect the finish.

Can I return the flooring if I don't like it?

Yes, you can return it, however please know only un-open boxes in good condition will be credited. The customer is responsible for the shipping cost back to our warehouse. Returning hardwood flooring is not easy so please be sure to do your homework and make sure rustic grade flooring is for you.

See our Customer Service tab for complete details.