Why Use Hardwoods?
Click on the link for some very convincing reasons why.
Just The Facts
Helpful tips and facts to educate you about hardwood flooring.
Hardwood Species
Images of popular hardwood floor species.
The Character of Wood
Some defining characteristics that set hardwood apart.
Making The Decision
Key factors to account for in your decision to have a wood floor.
When it comes to hardwood flooring, the term "grading" is sure to come up. Grading refers to the system used by manufacturers to assess the appearance of hardwood floors. NOFMA: The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association grades emphasize color, grain pattern and other markings that occur in wood. Color is determined by what part of the tree the wood comes from, & grain pattern is determined by species and how the wood is cut.

COLOR: Heartwood, the oldest, densest, innermost section of the log, is often darker and richer in color than sapwood, which lies closest to the bark. The color difference may be so pronounced that heartwood and sapwood from the same species are marketed under separate names.

CUT: Boards can be cut from a hardwood log in several directions: tangent to the annual rings (plain-sawn or flat-sawn), or radially, across the rings (quarter-sawn and rift-sawn). Arched or flame-shaped markings, evident in bold-grained hardwoods such as oak, characterize plain-sawn wood, while rift-sawn and quarter-sawn or "quartered" boards show a pattern of roughly parallel lines. Both have advantages depending on application and species.
Unfinished Flooring
If your choice is unfinished oak, you will have four NOFMA grades to choose from:
NOFMA Clear   NOFMA No. 1 Common
NOFMA Select   NOFMA No. 2 Common
NOFMA Clear and select grades are further identified by sawing direction:
NOFMA Clear Plain   NOFMA Select Plain
NOFMA Clear Quartered   NOFMA Select Quartered
Factory Finished
NOFMA also maintains grading standards for pre-finished oak flooring:
NOFMA Prime   NOFMA Standard
NOFMA Tavern