What actually is rustic grade hardwood flooring?
Hardwood lumber comes from sustainably harvested, self regenerating non-coniferous trees. Rustic grade hardwood flooring is a natural hardwood that has more than the usual amount of knots, pith, sharp colour variations and other minor defects.

Why would you want it?

If you are looking for all the benefits of hardwood flooring (like durability), but have a lower budget, rustic grade hardwood would work well for you. Within the flooring industry, rustic most often indicates appearance, not composition, and is usually different from most hardwoods that are identified merely as rustic. This flooring does wonderfully in places like the family cabin, mudroom and other areas that are considered “outbuildings.”

Are there different grades?

For over 100 years, the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) has established grading rules for the U.S. and Canadian hardwood industry. They did this so that buyers and sellers could use these terms to refer to product yield. These grades have nothing to do with the aesthetics of the hardwood.

Before we get into the different grades of hardwood, we need to go over some terminology.
Two terms will come up often, they are:

  • Clear-Face Cutting
A cutting having one clear face and the reverse side sound as defined in Sound Cutting. The
clear face of the cutting shall be on the poor side of the board except when
otherwise specified.

  • Sound Cutting
A cutting free from rot, pith, shake and wane, however texture is not considered.

      1. FAS (First and Seconds)
FAS grade hardwood is a top-tier hardwood. It comes in long pieces that are free of most defects and have a clear-face cutting appearance.

      2. F1F (FAS One Face)
FAS One Face is sometimes called SAB boards. They are sourced from the best face of the wood and are clear-face cuttings with a good colour consistency.

      3. No. 1 Common
No. 1 or No. 1 Common grade hardwood can be used for a wide variety of projects and around ⅔ of the faces are clear.

      4. No. 2A Common & No. 2B Common (Rustic Grade)
Rustic grade hardwood, also known as No. 2, tavern or even cabin grade flooring. Its surface quality is poorer than natural grade flooring and around 50% of the cuttings are clear-face cuttings.

Where would you install it?

You could absolutely install rustic grade hardwood through your entire home, however, some
people may find it too “primitive” for their in-home installation.

True to its name - rustic - most people enjoy installing this flooring in places like their family
cabin, shed, in home gym, mudroom or any other outroom they may have. Generally, you do
not want to install rustic grade hardwood flooring in any room where anyone would have to
be without shoes or socks.

Now that you know more about rustic grade hardwood flooring, would you install it in your
home?