What Are The Different Grades Of Oak Flooring?

23rd Jan 2014 @ 16:49

One of the most important decisions when choosing oak flooring for your project is the grade of oak flooring. The grading very much influences how your floor will look and can influence the whole character of your room. However with a number of different grades to choose from, it can often be difficult knowing what to go for. So what are the key differences?

Barn Grade

The barn grade is often described as the "roughest" of the grades available. It is sometimes referred to as rustic or pub grade in the oak flooring industry. A typical barn grade board will have a high number of knots, burrs, shakes, cracks and also some odd holes. This grade really is for areas where maximum character is required.

Character Grade

The character grade oak flooring is our most popular grade of oak flooring available. This grades is often seen as the "middle ground" of oak flooring grades, perfect for almost all renovation projects. It's features include: some knots of various sizes, some colour variation, shakes, fissures, as well as areas of perfectly grained oak.

Grades Of Oak Flooring

Select Grade

The next grade up is the select grade. Here the boards have become "cleaner" still, featuring the occasional small knot or tiny crack. The select grade is perfect for those areas where you are looking for a very clean look, but with the slightest bit of character to help break up the floor.

Prime Grade

A prime grade oak floor board is for those who are looking for a completely clean board. These boards are taken from the centre of the trunk. They are uniform in colour and free from any of the knots, shakes and burrs of the other grades. These boards are more suited to modern and contemporary areas.

Grades Of Oak Flooring

Quarter-sawn Oak Flooring

These boards are very much the "creme de la creme" of oak flooring. These are defined by their beautiful figuring and super tight grain. These boards are created from only a small part of a complete tree.

Distressed Oak Flooring

Distressed oak flooring contains the same range of knots and cracks as the standard character grade oak flooring. The main difference being that these boards have been given a "singed" look. This gives the impression that they have been recovered from a derelict, burnt building.

Brown Oak Flooring

The brown oak flooring also contains much of the same features as the popular character grade. These boards however contain deeply striped markings. These are caused by a naturally occurring fungus living within the oak tree.

With all of our grades of flooring our main recommendation is to always, where possible, take a look at them in person. However if you would like to discuss oak flooring grades with us, please give us a call on 01538 304584.



I need a quote for an Oak flooring in Qarter Saw or Prime grade (provenance is key, ideally European).

For 50m2 approx with planks from 16cm up to 20cm+ in width.


MIKE May 22, 2018 at 12:47am

Hi Mike,

No problem at all, if you wanted to give us a call on 01538 304584 we can perhaps discuss your requirement in more detail.

Peak Oak May 22, 2018 at 5:26pm

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