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Select vs Character Grade: Discover the Difference

When choosing hardwood flooring, Select and Character grades significantly impact your space's aesthetics and ambiance. The primary difference lies in their visual appearance, especially the presence of knots.
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When it comes to hardwood flooring, choosing between Select and Character grade can make a significant impact on the aesthetics and overall ambiance of your space. The grading of hardwood flooring depends on the wood's origin – specifically, which part of the tree it comes from.

The primary difference between Select and Character grade hardwood flooring lies in their visual appearances, particularly concerning the presence of knots. The knots in hardwood flooring come from the tree branches, with each part of the tree offering distinct characteristics. For example, in European oak, the wood from the top of the tree is not used for hardwood flooring. This top part of the tree, with numerous branches and holes, is the oldest wood primarily used for firewood.

The middle part of the tree exhibits visual appeal and character while avoiding the large holes found in the top section. The wood from the middle log is used to obtain the Character grade, characterized by the presence of knots. Lastly, the bottom part of the tree yields the plank renowned for its sleek and knot-free appearance. The Select grade is found in the youngest part of the tree and is used for premium hardwood floors without knots, wine and whiskey barrels, boats, and furniture.

Character Grade Hardwood Flooring

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Zoom in: RIVA Spain in Crystal color, Character grade.

Character Grade Hardwood Flooring

Known for its charming appeal, this grade strikes a beautiful balance as it features some knots that add a touch of rustic allure. Sourced from the middle part of the tree, character grade is a popular choice for those seeking a warm and inviting ambiance in their living spaces.

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In this living room, Character grade charming and rustic allure RIVA MAX 10”, Crystal color.

Select Grade Hardwood Flooring

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Zoom in: RIVA Spain in Crystal color, Select grade.

Select Grade Hardwood Flooring

Derived from the bottom part of the tree, Select grade is characterized by its sleek appearance and pristine quality. Being the youngest wood, it offers a flawless finish without knots, catering to a sophisticated and modern aesthetic. Due to the absence of knots and imperfections, Select grade hardwood is in high demand and comes at a premium price point. The scarcity of knots in Select grade wood makes it a preferred choice for various applications, from aging barrels for wine and whiskey to crafting furniture, thanks to its clean and refined look. Select grade hardwood flooring is sought after for its enduring beauty and timeless elegance. With a nod to nostalgia, this grade embodies clean, simple lines and a minimalist aesthetic that resonates with modern design trends.

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Being the youngest wood, Select grade offers a flawless finish without knots, catering to a sophisticated and modern aesthetic. In this kitchen, RIVA Elite 8, Mercury color, Select grade.

GRADING

Learn about our wood grading.

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character

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FIREWOOD

The upper section of the tree is used for firewood, which may not be suitable for flooring due to higher branch density and smaller trunk size.

CHARACTER

Our character grade comes from the middle part of the tree. This part has a visual appeal and some knots but avoids the large holes of the top part. We refer to our character grade as “light character”.

SELECT

Our select grade comes from the bottom part of the tree and is the youngest wood, which results in the absence of knots and a sleek appearance.

SELECT

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CHARACTER

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