You might not realise it, but there are a lot of variations when it comes to timber. From the colour of the timber to the type, there are quite a few ways that you can classify and sort timber. However, one of the best methods is using the timber grading scale. Understanding this will help you choose the best timber for your needs in the future.
It can generally go without saying that most people want to understand what they are purchasing, especially when it comes to major purchases such as a deck or flooring. One thing that many people do not pay much attention to is the timber in their houses. You might not think about it all that much, but timber is actually sorted and graded somewhat rigorously. If you want to be able to choose the best of the best timber for your needs, the first thing you’ll want to do is understand the timber grading scale. Before you know it, you will be able to make a well-informed purchase of your timber products.
Understanding the Grading Process
Grading timber is a lengthy process, but once you understand the core of it, you will easily be able to know what kind of timber you are investing in. First things first; timber grading begins with determining the type of wood being used, or the species of wood. From there, it is a matter of taking measurements to determine what grade the wood is. There are a few different grades that you should know about. There are the Upper grades and the Common grades. As you might be able to imagine, the Upper grades are typically higher quality, larger, and have more clear material in them than the Common grades. However, the Common grades are still used regularly, so they are fine to use if they fit your needs. In fact, if it works for your project, going with a Common grade is generally cheaper, which is something that everyone can appreciate.
The Differences Between the Grades
Typically, the Upper grades (FAS, F1F, and SEL) are used for joinery projects, architectural interiors, and furniture that needs long, wide cuttings of wood. They can also be used for mouldings, depending on the situation. The Upper grades of wood tend to be much longer, both in width and length, allowing you to use more material and thus enabling you to use the wood for larger projects. Firsts and Seconds (FAS) are generally the highest quality of the Upper grades, being at least 83.3% clear material, and sometimes more than that if you get lucky.
On the other hand, the Common grades are used for furniture parts, and are often a part of the premium flooring range. While the Common grades are still good quality, they will not be nearly as large as the Upper grades, nor will they have as much clear material in them. The best Common grade that you can get has about 66.6% clear material in it compared to Select (SEL), which has 83.3%.
In the end, Common grades tend to be better for traditional lumber companies that work with cabinets, smaller pieces of furniture, and flooring. The cheaper price of the Common grades makes it much more affordable to get projects done, and this is something that anyone can appreciate. With that being said, if you are looking for the best of the best quality for larger projects, you will want to consider using the Upper grades instead.