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Understanding Timber Grading in Flooring


When it comes to flooring, nothing compares to the striking elegance and unique character of timber flooring. Having real timber underfoot not only elevates the look of any interior, it also comes with a wide range of advantages that Australian homeowners are enjoying more and more.

With the current biophilic design movement encouraging a connection to the natural world through nature-inspired interiors, Engineered timber is being used more and more, even in unexpected places throughout design-led homes, from floors, now to walls and ceilings.

What is timber grading?

Timber grading by visual means is simply the sorting process of wood flooring based on the size and number of features present in each floorboard. During manufacturing, boards with fewer and smaller features are sorted into one grade and separated from those with more frequent and larger features.

The knots and flaws embedded in the wood only serve to add a striking elegance and beauty to your timber flooring, however the size and frequency of knots, sapwood, pinholing and filler are key identifiers of timber grading. The natural colour variation of genuine wood flooring however is not graded. 

When setting client expectations specifying timber floors or designing a residential or commercial space, it is important to consider timber grading as it will impact the design aesthetic and overall look of your interior design.

Let’s take a close look at the five common timber grade options available in our Engineered European oak timber floors.

A Timber Grade Flooring
Highly sought after, A grade European oak timber flooring is a great selection for any sleek, modern, contemporary aesthetic as each floorboard is free of all knotting, checking, decay, worm holes and sapwood.

AB Timber Grade Flooring
AB grade timber flooring is free of decay, checking, worm holes and sapwood, but a small amount of shadowing and knots no greater than 20mm in diameter are featured sporadically throughout the floorboards. AB grade European oak timber flooring is an ideal selection for clean, minimalistic interiors which look to incorporate a hint of natural features.  

ABC Timber Grade Flooring
Create a cohesive interior feel with our ABC grade timber flooring. Featuring multiple filled knots greater than 20mm in diameter, considerable shadowing, surface checking, decay, filled pin holes and sapwood. Where filler is used, the colour is chosen to compliment the wood.

ABCD Timber Grade Flooring
Celebrating the natural embellishments of wooden floors, Embelton’s standard ABCD grade European Oak timber flooring features more natural characteristics including, filled knots greater than 40mm in size, checking, sapwood, worm holes and filled pinholes. Where filler is used, the colour is chosen to compliment the wood and may vary from batch to batch. 

CDE Timber Grade Flooring
Commonly known as Rustic grade, our CDE European Oak timber flooring highlights the naturally embedded knots and flaws of wood at the forefront. Characterised with little restriction around the size and number of knots featured throughout the floorboards our CDE timber flooring is a great selection for projects which seeks to incorporate natural elements and textures of timber.