Wood Flooring Grades Explained

Wood flooring has inimitable beauty. Each plank features unique details never to be repeated again in any other floor – or any other tree. The natural knots, cracks and colour variations are what make a wood floor so distinctive. Yet, when it comes to home design, our tastes differ and for some of us, wood is just as impressive in its more refined state with less character.

Grades are the categories that allow us to control the levels of character in each of our wood floors. And the grading process involves carefully selecting planks by eye to ensure they are grouped with planks that have a similar level of detail. Using this method we can ensure a consistent feel is achieved across each of our floors.

Woodpecker grades

Our grading categories are Select, Rustic and Extra Rustic. These are home to three distinct styles of wood, making it easy to choose a level of character for your taste and interior theme.


Select is our most refined grade of wood. Each board is carefully picked for its few small knots and limited sapwood. The grade does still contain considerable graining, colour variation and character, as is honest to the nature of timber. Yet these features are minimised. The overall look is smooth and understated yet still immersed in the beauty of real wood.

Select flooring is a great choice for contemporary, minimal interiors where a subtle base would suit. York Select Oak and Harlech Select Oak are some of our beautifully mellow oak floors.


oak flooring, harlech white oiled oak

Our Rustic grade floors feature more graining and colour variation. Larger quantities of sapwood and bigger knots are included, together with dark streaks and filled cracks. The grade provides a beautiful range of the rich details that you would expect to see in real timber. It’s the most common and our most popular grade of wood floor. It works well with lots of interior schemes.

Harlech Rustic Oak and Goodrich Natural Oak are some of our most loved rustic floors.

Extra rustic

extra rustic wood flooring grades

Very little is dismissed from floors of our Extra Rustic grade with an almost limitless number and size of knots included. Large colour variations, filler, splits, cracks and sapwood are common characteristics of this truly distinctive design. Extra Rustic celebrates the striking details of wood as it naturally occurs.

You’ll find our range of Extra Rustic floors in the Berkeley collection. These designs have an aged and antiqued look with warm tones and dark details.

a note about About knots

Knots occur naturally in wood where a branch grows out of the main trunk. They can go deep into the timber’s core. In terms of flooring, there are two types of knot. A dead knot is where the core of the knot has fallen out or been removed, and then filled. With a live knot, the core remains in the board. All grades contain both types of knots.

colour variation

All Woodpecker floors feature beautiful colour variations which naturally occur in real wood. This means lighter and darker shades can be found throughout all of our grades.

More intense colour variations may also be found where sapwood is present in the wood. This is the younger, outer part of the tree which is lighter in colour than the retired, inner part that makes up the majority of the wood in our floors. Sapwood is most common in our Extra Rustic floors.

Finding the grade of Woodpecker floors

Check the specifications table on each of our product pages to find the grade.

Find more handy guides to wood flooring on our Resources page.