Wood Grades Explained


Grades of Wood for Flooring

The grade is a way to classify wood planks according to knots, color variation, surface holes, and other character and milling marks. Grading refers only to the visual aspect of wood and is not a measure of quality. Generally speaking, Cochran’s Lumber offers three main grades of flooring.

Live Sawn Character Grade

When the log is milled straight through, it is called Live Sawn. Our Live Sawn Character Grades allows for the most unique grain patterns, color variations, and the highest amounts of character such as surface holes, knots, and milling marks to show through. This method also allows for the least amount of material waste, so it is generally more cost effective and environmentally friendly than other cuts. Live Sawn Character Grade is most desirable for applications where numerous notable character marks and prominent color contrast is desired.


Live Sawn Light Grade

Cochran’s Live Sawn Light Grade also allows for the character of the wood to show through, although not as prevalent as our Character Grade. With smaller, less frequent knots as our Character Grade flooring, Light Grade wood planks still give our clients a pronounced and nuanced color variation.


Select Grade

Wood flooring with the most uniform color variation is found in our Select Grade. With minimal knots and surface holes for distraction, our Select Grade features both heartwood and sapwood planks that produce a distinct color variation.  The combination of planks along with minimal character traits gives the flooring a more consistent look than both our Character and Light Grades.




Cochran’s Lumber, Inc. is proud to be the leading provider of spectacular floors for homes, offices, and retail spaces across America! Our newly redesigned showroom was thoughtfully designed to make the selection of flooring and finishes exciting and simple. We feature a variety of new and reclaimed flooring products and many new and unique finishes.

We are proud to offer an inviting space where customers can come and get a clear vision of the many types of hardwood flooring options that we offer, and feel comfortable at the same time.

Visit our showroom today in historic Berryville, VA (only 50 miles west of Washington D.C) or give us a call at 1(877) 297-8331.