What to Do About Knots in Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring comes in several grades that vary in terms of the color and character marks of the wood. Character marks are knots, worm holes, mineral streaks, and slightly open characters. Homeowners choose different grades of hardwood flooring based on their personal preferences and price.
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- Clear grade wood flooring is mostly heartwood. It shows natural heartwood character variations and has minimal character marks and variations in color. This is the best and most expensive hardwood flooring grade.
- Select grade hardwood flooring has a combination of heartwood and sapwood, which produces greater color variation. Select grade flooring also contains minimal character marks. It is less expensive than Clear grade hardwood flooring.
- No. 1 Common prefinished hardwood flooring has greater variation in color than Clear or Select grades. It also contains prominent knots, open checks, and worm holes, with size limitations, as well as variations caused by machining and drying.
- No. 2 Common grade prefinished wood flooring contains more natural and manufacturing variations than No. 1 Common. It is a good choice for homeowners who want notable character marks and prominent variations in color.
- Cabin grade prefinished hardwood flooring has a rougher look. It has more checking, unfilled knot holes and worm holes, and no splits or loose knot holes.
- Short grade prefinished hardwood flooring has the most visible character marks, including many knots, pinholes, and color variations.
The number of knots in a hardwood floor can vary widely depending on the grade of the wood that is selected. Some homeowners like the appearance of knots, while others want to avoid them as much as possible. If you like the look of knots, you can choose a hardwood flooring grade in which they are acceptable. If you prefer a smoother look for your hardwood floor, you can select a grade with fewer knots and ask the contractor who installs your hardwood floor to fill in any knots that may exist to create a smooth surface.
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