Harmony Flooring – Grading Characteristics

*Note: Harmony Engineered Long Length flooring is subject to strict quality control and grading. Boards are carefully selected and those that do not make the grade are discarded. In the wood flooring industry a defect rate of 5% and less (of the quantity of material purchased) is within industry standards. The 5% rate includes both manufacturing defect and natural flaws.

Character Grade: Pronounced grain pattern from flat or plain sawing of raw lumber. Natural color variation allowed throughout the wood. Character knots are present along with smaller knots, shakes, and fissures. Larger knots are epoxy filled. Mineral streaks and irregular grain patterns are present.

Select Grade: Uniform color that allows for some minor color variation. A very limited amount of natural characteristics is allowed to produce a more unblemished, even appearance. A typical select grade will include roughly 40 to 50% plain sawn material with the balance being a mix of rift sawn and quarter sawn material.

Rift Sawn: This grade applies to Harmony Red and White Oak. The saw blade is positioned to cut at right angles to the trees growth rings which give the board a straight grain appearance. Rift sawing reduces the appearance of “flecking” or medullary ray.

Rift and Quarter Sawn: This is the combination of 2 cuts of material that render a straight grained look to the board. Quarter Sawing, particularly of Red and White Oak, produces a straight grained appearance with the inclusion of “flakes” or medullary rays (see below) whereas the rift cut is substantially free of flaking. Combining the 2 cuts is a very common practice and produces a linear appearance to the board, with flaking, and results in a more dimensionally stable cut than flat or plain sawn. This grade is particularly popular for consistency of appearance and for radiant heat installations.


Medullary Rays on Quarter Sawn Oak Flooring



Why choose Rift and Quartered or Vertical Grain (VG) Flooring.

  • Rift and Quartered boards shrink less than plain sawn and remain more stable.
  • R&Q boards resist movement over radiant heat.
  • Seasonal gaping and buckling of flooring is minimized.
  • A straight grained appearance to the floor for discriminating buyers.
  • Flecking and medullary rays enhance the beauty of the floor.


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