Plain Sawn vs. Quarter Sawn
The grain that shows on the surface of your hardwood floor will appear different, depending on how the wood was cut.
Plain sawn (or flat-sawn) lumber has the growth rings of the tree parallel to the board’s broad face. Plain sawn wood highlights the grain, loops and growth swirls of the wood.
Quarter sawn has the growth rings of the tree approximately perpendicular to the board’s surface. Quarter sawn wood has the straightest grain, and is used for our premium floors to add a sleek, streamlined look to any room.
Rift Sawn lumber is cut at a 30-degree or greater angle to the growth rings. This produces narrow boards with accentuated vertical or “straight” grain patterns.
How Quarter-Sawn Wood is Milled?
First, the log is cut into quarters. Then, the quarter is flipped ninety degrees back and forth to saw off a plane of wood. This process does not produce any more waste than plain sawing, but it does require some extra time to flip the quarters back and forth. This milling process produces a specialty wood flooring cut called Rift and Quarter Sawn.
The benefits to this cut of wood are straighter grain that is up to 50% more stable than plain sawn flooring, and a superior looking product featuring less variation, longer lengths, and medullary rays.