Explaining the grading of hardwood flooring

Prime, Select, Superprime, Rustic, Nature, AB, BC, ABCD and much more. It’s an absolute chaos of different names out there, all used in different ways with different meanings. So, how do you navigate it all and how do you identify the right wood flooring for you?

Grading defines the aesthetic appearance of wood flooring, especially in regards to the presence and/or size of knots. Whilst in theory any retailer, importer and manufacturer can adopt their own grading system (and most do so), in reality there are specific grading standards that are set and widely adopted in the market.

The European Standard EN 13489 was created to provide guidelines about the aesthetic appearance of wood flooring and parquet (multi-layer parquet elements), and provides 3 different grades:

  • Prime grade or select (○) refers to wood flooring with knots up to 3mm in diameter
  • Nature grade (△) refers to wood flooring with knots up to 8mm in diameter.
  • Rustic grade (□) refers to wood flooring with knots up to 25mm in diameter.

Lastly, Country grade is an open category and includes wood flooring with knots of any size.

The table below will help you understand the characteristics of the 3 main classes according to the EN 13489.

In other words, when understanding and selecting a wood flooring, do not pay too much attention to the name of the grade commercially used by brands. In order to identify grades and their characteristics, always go by the EN Standard’s categories instead.

Should you have any questions or require assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you source flooring of any grade and format.

By :
Comments : Off
With over 15 years of experience within the industry, Paolo is an expert consultant of stone, tiles and wood flooring. Driven by the passion of what is aesthetically pleasant and practical at the same time, Paolo has a strong voice within the marketplace and he is not afraid to use it.