There are several different grades of hardwood flooring. The highest grade, often called clear grade, has nearly uniform grain with no blemishes and no knots. It is the most expensive grade and creates the most uniform flooring. However, that’s not always what people are looking for. A floor made of a different grade of hardwood will have knots, non-uniform grain patterns, and even some variation in the color. However, it will be much less expensive. It will also have character that a clear grade floor does not have.
Cabin grade wood is called that because it is thought to be only appropriate for use in cabins, outhouses, and garages. It might be used in sheds as well. It has knots, inconsistent grain patterns, inconsistent coloring, and it might even have some machining marks. Machining marks are spots like burns from the sander, notches from a saw blade skipping, or other blemishes. In a cabin grade floor, these are cosmetic blemishes that do not affect the actual quality of the floor. The physical quality of a cabin grade floor will be the same as a clear grade or any other grade.
Many people who choose cabin grade hardwood flooring for the monetary benefits decide to lean into the look of cabin grade.
Lean Into the Look
There are several ways to accentuate a cabin grade hardwood floor. If you stain the hardwood floor in a way that emphasizes the grain, it will actually call attention to the fact that the grain patterns are inconsistent. That can create a dynamic and exciting look for a floor. Furthermore, you might decide to add texture to the flooring. Cabin grade flooring lends a rustic look to your floor; it is reminiscent of the flooring that was used in homes hundreds of years ago. Those homes also featured hand-scraped hardwood floors. You might consider choosing hardwood that has been hand scraped by a professional or by a factory.
Hand scraping is a process that was very popular before sandpaper was invented. The process involves a crafter taking a knife with a handle on each end. They’ll then draw the knife across the surface of the wood. The surface is made smooth by the hand scraping process. The look is very distinct and very classic. You’ve likely seen it before, even if you didn’t know exactly what you were looking at. Hand scraping works well with cabin grade floors, as do many other rustic processes and stains.
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