Grading in the hardwood flooring industry Exotics/Tropical’s
Select Grade is NOT the new Clear Grade – Never will!
Wherever you decide to purchase your flooring, it is vital for you to know how the grade of lumber will affect your overall flooring project. Clear grade offers the highest quality, the longest lengths and the most consistent color in exotic/tropical hardwood. Lower grades of hardwood flooring will create wild variations in color, and actually cost you money & time due to longer installation cost. The clarity or quality of the lumber (Clear Grade) is key to highest quality hardwood floor.
We offer Premium/A (Clear) Grade flooring 97% of the time. This means that your floor will:
- Have longer length boards, random 1-7 ft
- Demonstrate greater color consistency, without sacrificing character or grain
- Not require more than 7-8% waste to finish your project
I added the definitions of the grades below, too. Let me know if you have any questions!
There are essentially four grades of exotic flooring:
- Straight-grain (quarter-sawn)
- Premium/A grade (Clear)
- Select and Better (S & B)
All of our flooring at Brazilian Direct Ltd. is Premium/A grade flooring. Advantages of using Premium/A grade flooring over select grade include longer average lengths, less color variation from board to board, and less waste requirement.
Brazilian Direct does carry straight-grain flooring as well. Straight-grain or quarter-sawn flooring is only available in unfinished Brazilian Cherry and Santos Mahogany. We recommend this floor specifically for radiant heat application.
Brazilian Direct does not offer select-grade flooring. Brazilian Direct discourages the sale of select-grade flooring due to quality issues.
Quarter-sawn or straight-grain flooring is a slightly different cut of hardwood flooring than clear grade. It has the same features as clear grade; however, it is cut so all grain runs vertically. This minimizes the risk of horizontal board expansion, making Quartersawn the only choice for radiant heat applications. This premium cut will carry a higher price.
Premium/A Grade (Clear) is the highest grade of hardwood flooring available for that species. It offers the minimum number of character marks and discoloration, providing a uniform appearance while allowing for natural color variations. Premium/A grade flooring has the longest average board lengths as well as the highest quality milling. Our average clear grade board length is 38.5″.
Select & Better grade flooring (S & B) is a ranking assigned by some mills in Brazil indicating the highest grade of flooring they offer. S & B offers the minimum number of character marks and discoloration, providing a uniform appearance while allowing for natural color variations. S & B grade flooring is synonymous with longer average board lengths as well as exceptional quality milling. Our average S & B grade board length is 35-37″.
Select-grade flooring (not offered) is a lower grade of flooring than clear grade. It has more character marks and possible discoloration, creating a less uniform appearance. Small knots and some imperfections in face work are acceptable. A typical average length for select grade flooring is 28″.