Vermont Plank Flooring Grades Explained

Vermont Plank Flooring Grades

Our approach to Natural Character and Knots explained

Reclaimed Oak Plank Flooring With Footworn Texturing

Our High-Quality Timber Grades

Vermont Plank Flooring has two proprietary flooring grades - Select and Character.

When we talk about the "grade" of flooring, we are referring to the level of natural characteristics, knots, and "imperfections" permitted in the timber.

It all starts, of course, in the forest. Harvesting selectively cut, mature timber provides us with the highest quality raw material from which to mill our flooring, regardless of grade.

Every Vermont Plank floor is a piece of nature -- a living material with its own story. Knots -- the remnants of branches that were embedded in the tree's trunk -- are a central part of this story, bearing evidence to the history of the tree. We don't think of these knots as flaws or imperfections, but rather as beautiful imprints of the tree's story, adding character, personality, and life to each plank.

No matter the grade, all wood floors will have variations in both color and grain -- and -- not all species are available in all grades! To learn about the available grades and associated qualities of a particular species, select the Grade tab from the desired species page. Learn about the general aesthetic qualities of our different grades below.

Select Grade

Vermont Plank's proprietary Select Grade features a more uniform, clear appearance with fewer knots and less color variation. The expression tends to be more formal, calm, subtle, and harmonious.


Character Grade

Vermont Plank's proprietary Character Grade offers a more dynamic, rustic appearance, with knots, mineral streaks, color variation, and other natural characteristics. The expression tends to be warm, natural, and authentic, and is our truest reflection of the full product and beauty of the timber from which the flooring is milled.

Knot Filling

In our Prefinished Character Grade floors, we carefully fill open knots prior to sanding and finishing. Determining which knots warrant filling -- and which do not -- is more art than science, and largely a question of aesthetics. Our standard practice is to fill all open knots larger than a pencil eraser. On our engineered flooring, we fill any knot through which you can see the substrate.

We eschew the typical epoxy or polyester resin wood fillers, and instead use an exceedingly durable, flexible, and non-toxic hot-melt adhesive made from polyamide-nylon.

By special request, we are happy to custom tailor our knot-filling process.

vermont plank flooring knot filling