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Exploring wood grades and surface finishes

Exploring wood grades and surface finishes

21st Feb 2024

Wooden floors are a timeless and versatile choice for any home or commercial space. Not only do they add warmth and character to a room, but they also increase the value of your property. One of the key factors to consider when choosing a wooden floor is its grade and finish. In this blog post, we will explore the different grades and finishes available for wooden floors, and compare their unique features to help you make an informed decision.

What do we mean by wood 'grade'? 

The grade of a wooden floor refers to the quality and appearance of the wood. It is determined by the number of knots, colour variations, and other natural imperfections present in the wood. The three most common grades for wooden floors are prime, select, and rustic. Prime grade wood has minimal knots and colour variations, giving it a sleek and uniform look. Select grade wood has slightly more knots and colour variations, adding some character to the floor. Rustic grade wood has the most knots and natural imperfections, such as our Bromley Oak and Linford Oak planks. This style of wood flooring will create a more rustic and traditional feel in your space.

A rustic grade wood floor will have more knots and colour variations across the floor

Surface finish options

Another important aspect of wooden floors is the finish. The finish not only enhances the appearance of the floor but also protects it from wear and tear. There are three main types of finishes for wooden floors: oil, wax, and lacquer. Oil finishes penetrate the wood and provide a natural look and feel to the floor. They are slightly less robust than a lacquered floor, but allow for easy spot repairs if any damage occurs. 

Wax finishes also penetrate the wood, giving it a soft sheen and providing protection against spills and stains. However, they require more maintenance and may need to be reapplied every few years. 

Lacquer finishes are a popular choice for their durability and low maintenance requirements. They provide either a glossy or matt finish, depending on your personal preference, and help to protect the wood from scratches and moisture damage. 

When comparing the different grades and finishes of wooden floors, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired look for your space. Prime grade floors with a lacquer finish are perfect for modern and minimalist interiors, while rustic grade floors with an oil finish add warmth and character to more traditional spaces. It's also worth considering the level of foot traffic in the room when choosing a finish – higher traffic areas may benefit from a more durable lacquer finish.

Different wood species

In addition to the grade and finish, it's important to consider the type of wood used for your floor. Popular options include oak, maple, and walnut, each with their own unique characteristics and colours. It's always recommended to consult with a professional flooring company to determine the best type of wood for your specific needs.

In conclusion, when choosing a wooden floor, be sure to carefully consider the grade, finish, and type of wood in order to achieve the desired look and functionality for your space. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern floor or a more rustic and traditional feel, there is a wooden floor option out there for you. And with proper maintenance and care, your wooden floor will remain a beautiful and lasting addition to your home or commercial space. So, take your time to research and explore all the options available before making your final decision.