Sometimes you pay for what you get! Debbie Gartner shares information on different grades of Oak Hardwood, and also where and when a cheaper grade might work as well for you! Interested? ... read on.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio or Essa Township villages of Angus, Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham, Colgan or Everett, call me, Chris Smith, @ 1.866.936.3500 for information and assistance in helping you achieve your Real Estate Goals.
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Which is better... select grade or Number 1 oak flooring?
Most customers don't realize that there are different grades of oak flooring. They just assume all oak flooring is the same.
For oak flooring, there are 3 main grades: select, Number 1 common and Number 2 common. Select grade is generally considered the highest grade as it has the least color variation. It costs more. This is followed by No 1 which has more color variation and some occasional knots, and that is followed by No 2 which has a lot more color variation and knots. Sometimes, this is called character grade or cabin grade wood.
Technically, the quality of the wood (as measured by hardness/durability) is the same across all the grades. The differences between the grades are their appearances. Some people prefer the higher color consistency that you find in select grade; others prefer more color variation that you find in Number 1 oak, and still others prefer a more rustic look and feel that it adds more character. There is no right or wrong answer here; it is preference and it's important to understand which you prefer.
Select grade (red oak hardwood)
Number 1 (No 1) Common - red oak hardwood
Number 2 (No 2) Common - red oak hardwood
The color variation among the boards is more obvious when the wood is natural (i.e. without a stain). The darker the stain, the less you notice the color difference in the boards. So, if you are planning to go dark and would like to save some money, this is one option to help.
Select grade (left) vs. No 1 Common (right) - red oak
This is a side by side of Select grade Oak vs. Number 1 Common (No 1) Oak. Check out this article from the National Wood Floor Association for more info on Red oak flooring vs. white oak flooring.
When you are getting estimates from flooring contractors, it's important that they specify what grade of wood they are using so that you are comparing apples to apples. Sometimes, the main reason that one estimate differs from another is based on the hardwood being used. And, if a contractor doesn't specify, they are probably going to use a lower grade since it costs them less (and they may think that you won't notice or won't know any better. For more pictures of oak flooring grades, check out the National Wood Floor Association
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What is the difference between select grade and No 1 Oak hardwood?
Hardwood Flooring - Carpet - Tile/Natural Stone - Laminate - Refinish Hardwood - Backsplashes
Debbie Gartner, President and Owner
"The Flooring Girl"
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