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Originally posted 19th July 2016

Last updated 13th June 2023

A Guide to Different Flooring Grades

Whether you're looking at solid wood or engineered, we've got a guide to the different flooring grades to help you decide

Chris Payne

Flooring Surveyor Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

3 min read
Written by Expert

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 different flooring grades all with their own unique qualities, which we'll go through in the sections below:

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 Ltd, 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

Our Flooring Calculator

When you browse any type of flooring at Factory Direct Flooring Ltd, each product has a flooring calculator on the page. Simply enter the surface area in either metres or feet squared and our My Project flooring calculator will tell you how many packs you’ll need and how much it will cost you.

By simply measuring your room and entering your dimensions, we will provide you with an instant price which will show on every type of flooring you browse across our website. You can either input the total coverage or your width and length measurements, in meters or feet. You can even save your measurements room by room to make your shopping experience stress-free.

It also offers to add an extra 10% for wastage. While this may cost a little bit more, we highly recommend adding it just in case there are mishaps during the installation process. Enjoy the My Project flooring calculator below:

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.

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About the Author

Chris Payne, Flooring Surveyor

Chris has been with the company over 23 years he has a wealth of experience in his roll as Flooring Surveyor. Most of his daily routing is inspecting all sorts of floors so that we can establish suitability for installation. This sort of experience is very important as nearly 98% of problems start with the subfloor.