Hardwood flooring is rated according to several factors. It is then divided into various grades. There are typically four or five grades, depending on which system a company prefers. The highest grade is often clear grade, and the lowest grade is often cabin grade or tavern grade. Cabin grade is typically called that because it was thought to be only worthwhile as flooring for cabins, taverns, sheds, and other functional buildings. However, cabin grade has grown in popularity recently.
The Rise of Cabin Grade
Cabin grade hardwood flooring is growing in popularity for a few basic reasons. For one, the rise in popularity of hardwood flooring has led many people to look for the most affordable way to get a hardwood floor in their home. Clear grade is often the most expensive grade; so, it stands to reason that cabin grade is often much less expensive. If you want a hardwood floor that is functional but don’t want to pay for clear grade, a lower grade can save you money.
Cabin grade is also popular because it looks great. Clear grade means that there are no knots, imperfections, or color changes in the planks. That might have been desirable in the past, but the trend now is for hardwood floors to have character. Many people even choose stains or finish coats that emphasize the color of the grain, color variations in the wood, and knots.
Some companies have even chosen to rename the grade to “rustic grade” to better emphasize the look of the wood. Rustic flooring is very trendy right now, and they want to take advantage of it.
You will often find that you have many more options when looking for cabin-grade hardwood than when looking for clear grade. That’s because hardwood is a natural product. As a natural product, it is going to have a lot of variation. Clear grade hardwood is hardwood with minimal variation.
You will also have greater variety in the wood you choose because you are already choosing wood that has imperfections and color changes. Since that is the case, you won’t have two arrays much about mixing batches of hardwood. If you find a great price on some white oak, for example, you can buy the entire batch even if it doesn’t cover your whole floor. You can then pick up more white oak from a different batch. It won’t match perfectly, but that will fit the theme.