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A Guide to Different Flooring Grades

By Jessica Kadel, Flooring Expert on 19th July 2016.

When you’re looking for new hardwood floor for your home it’s important to understand the different flooring grades that are available to you and what each one can offer. This way you can be confident you’re choosing the perfect floor for you and your home. There are four main types of flooring grades all with their own unique qualities:

Prime Grade Flooring

A prime grade will have few knots dotted around the whole floor, these might be very small if not non-existent. You’ll also see a very small amount of defects and filler – hence the ‘prime’ nature of the grade. When filler is used, this will be kept as close to the colour of the wood as possible, not so as to match it exactly, but to complement it and give the impression of a natural variation in the wood’s colour. Over the entirety of the prime grade, there will be very little variation in colour, the opposite to the rustic grade below.

Classic or Select Grade Flooring

Classic grade flooring, also known as select or prime, is the highest grade flooring available on the market. Classic grade floors offer a very uniformed look as there is very little variation in colour between each board. It’s the cleanest grade of flooring as it’s free from sapwood and you won’t find any knots. Classic grade flooring is a very popular choice in many parts of Europe, however it’s one of the rarest choices here in the UK.

image of wooden flooring

Natural Grade Flooring

Natural grade flooring is the middle ground between the uniformed boards of the select grade and the very traditional look of the rustic grade. You’ll find more character in natural grade floors than you will select, you’ll find various sized knots and a little colour variation.

Related: How to Fit Underlay

image of glasses on floor

Rustic Grade Flooring

Rustic grade flooring is by far the most popular choice for homeowners here in the UK. This grade offers you the full spectrum of characteristics that you would expect to find in real wood. It comes complete with knots varying in size and shape, shakes where the wood has split, sapwood and a significant variation in colour between each board.

A rustic grade floor is completely unique; each plank is different with its own characteristics giving your floor a truly beautiful look that you can be proud to show off to your friends.

Here at Factory Direct Flooring we have a plethora of hardwood flooring for you to choose from ranging in grade, material and style. A particularly popular range is our very own Abbey collection of solid wood flooring. Each of our selection is specifically chosen to give customers the very best choice of wood flooring without the need to compromise on quality.

Related: How to Measure your Floor

image of wood floor

If you need any further advice or information on choosing the ideal wood floor when it comes to for your home don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today on 0330 100 00 15 or take advantage of our free samples available on most of our products.

Jessica Kadel, Flooring Expert

Jess Kadel has been working in the flooring industry for over 4 years. She enjoys writing helpful, practical guides on interior design and fun facts about flooring. With a degree in Art and a passion for colour, she knows everything there is to know about creating the perfect space for your home.