All hardwood flooring is not the same – thank goodness! Can you imagine how dull life would be for designers and architects? We shudder to think.
Fortunately, our clients can pick and choose each aspect of their wood floors. From the wood species, to lengths and widths, to stains, to cuts – we can create one-of-a-kind flooring to complement your designs.
The cut of the wood plays a pivotal role in the final appearance. Sawing methods create many wood flooring options and looks, even within the same species of tree. The way the wood is cut affects how it is dried, how it will look as flooring, and how it will perform in the home or office once it is installed.
The four types of cuts
We’ve created a high-level glossary of the four types of cuts to consider while making your selections.
- Plainsawn (also called flatsawn): The face of a plainsawn board has what is referred to as a “cathedral” grain pattern. Most of the lumber produced by plainsawing is flat-grained, with some vertical-grained wood included. Plainsawn lumber will tend to contain more variation within and among boards than other cuts.
- Quartersawn: Quartersawn wood typically produces vibrant ray flecks along with a tight wavy grain pattern. A lot of people refer to this wood as “tiger striped.”
- Riftsawn: Similar to quartersawing, riftsawing results in floors that have an accentuated vertical grain but minimal fleck effect.
- Livesawn: Livesawn wood is a combination of plainsawn, quartersawn and riftsawn lumber. The cut is straight through the log at the center, and all remaining cuts are made parallel to the first cut. Livesawn produces very wide boards with very little waste.
Two more terms to know
- “Rift and quartered” is used when quartersawn and riftsawn woods are sold together.
- “Hit-skip” is typically seen in reclaimed wood. It describes the saw-mark texture from when the boards were originally milled. Because the saw blade hits and skips different portions of the boards, each board is unique.
While we’ve provided a quick guide to cuts, we’re always happy to talk through how they affect wood flooring and what type of cut will best serve your design needs.
At Mansion Hill Custom Floors, we’ll collaborate with you to select all of the key elements for your dream wood floor.