Types and Finishes of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has truly lasted the different trends throughout the years. You can use this type of flooring and create looks such as modern, classic, rustic, and many more. Hardwood flooring has always been a classic flooring choice, and the best part about this flooring type is all of the new finishes and types of hardwood in the market.

Hardwood Types: Solid, Engineered, and Cabin Grade

Solid hardwood is exactly what it sounds like, a solid piece of wood that may be stained or left natural. You can check the Janka Rating system to learn more about the different strength levels of solid hardwoods. Engineered hardwood has a layer of real hardwood on top of layers of “cross-laminated timber.”

A good quality cabin grade wood will produce a good-looking floor, but it will be more rustic and have more character than better grades of wood. In other words, it will have more light and dark boards, more mineral streaks, pin holes, and small knots holes. When purchasing cabin grade wood, you will need to purchase 15% extra material than the square footage you are covering.

Hardwood Finishes

All of the three different hardwood types come in a variety of finishes. Hardwood with a traditional finish has a smooth, classic look. Planks with a hand-scraped finish have a hand-hewn finish that gives the product extra texture and character. Hardwood flooring with a distressed finish has more of an aged or vintage look. The products also look a bit more marked up than hand-scraped planks.

Here are some images of the different hardwood finishes:

Hand-Scraped Finish

Traditional Finish


Distressed Finish

Check out all of our hardwood flooring collections.

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Cabin Grade Hardwood Specials!


Currently, Carpet Express has some great cabin/tavern grade hardwood specials in stock. The hardwood is available in four species: hickory, maple, oak, and red oak. Cabin/tavern grade hardwood does have more character to the planks and short boards, but at the great prices it’s no big deal to get the extra 15% of product to complete the flooring.

Click here to see our selection of cabin/tavern grade hardwood.


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The Difference in Wood Grades

SW483-00296-roomWood grade is described as the visual of natural wood. Wood grade is evaluated along a wide spectrum that ranges from very uniform to significant color variations, streakers, short lengths, open knots, and worm holes.

Here is a list of the different wood grades, their characteristics, and allowable defects:

1st Quality/A Grade –
Wood is cut from the center of the log and they have a highly uniform appearance with few knots. The sap content of the wood is low so color variations are minimal. After finishing, the face of the boards have a clean appearance.
Allowable defects – Natural color variations, off-color streaks 6 inches in length, and occasional very small knots or pin-worm holes.

2nd Quality/B Grade –
The planks will have more wood characters that are normal to the species, but the face of the boards will still be even and smooth after filling and finishing.
Allowable defects – Small worm holes, season and kiln checks, dime-size broken knots, larger open knots if they are properly filled and finished, and some sapwood, torn grains, and burns.

C Grade/Mill Run –
This grade of wood will have more color, bigger knots, and creamy-colored sapwood. There will also be some unfilled or unfinished open characteristics on the face of the planks. The boxes of this type of wood will also have shorter pieces.
Allowable defects – Some finish irregularities, bubbles, small skips, lines, stain, color variations, and surface handling scratches.

Cabin/Tavern –
This grade has shorter board lengths, more color variations, small dings, and other quality imperfections because of machining issues. This wood grade has more than a 10% waste factor.
Allowable defects – A small amount of unfilled knots, and small finish defects such as skips, color variations, scratches, and bubbles.

Click here to see our collection of hardwood flooring.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or call one of our sales representatives at 1-800-922-5582.

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Cabin Grade Wood

cabin grade“Cabin grade”or “tavern grade” wood is an excellent choice when purchasing new hardwood flooring. Cabin grade is basically the same wood as 1st quality, which means it is the same species, it is milled to the same specifications, and it is stained the same color. The only difference is that cabin grade wood was called or rejected from the 1st quality run for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are mineral streaks and knot holes, which can give the floor a more rustic look. Many customers prefer this rustic look to the color consistency in many 1st quality styles. There may also be more short boards in a box of cabin grade material. Most wood flooring is purchased in random lengths, and you will find more boards that are 9” to 18” in a box of cabin grade than you would in a typical 1st quality box. Other irregularities found in cabin grade may include missing tongues, over wood, or an uneven finish. In addition, certain manufacturers are known to have cleaner cabin grade wood than others, and they have a 5 year finish warranty on many of their cabin grade flooring.

Installing cabin grade wood is more challenging, and you should purchase 15% to 20% extra material to allow your installer to use only the most uniform boards from each box. Keep in mind that cabin-grade is engineered, and when you see “tavern-grade” it means it  is solid hardwood.

Click here to see our selection of cabin grade hardwood flooring.

Click here to see our selection of Mohawk hardwood.

cabin grade 2

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Winter Care Flooring Tips

snowWinter is a fun season when you’re outside making snowmen, sledding down a hill, or throwing snowballs at family and friends, but winter is never a fun time for the flooring in your home. During the winter, you track in a winter mix of snow, ice, salt, and mud indoors across your clean floors. If you do proper prevention and clean-up, then you can still enjoy winter without worrying that your flooring has been ruined.

Here are a few tips:


  • Place area mats at all entrances of the house to keep snow, ice, and mud at bay.
  • Make sure the mats have a rubber backing so the mud and moisture will not seep through the mat and into the carpet.
  • Vacuum daily
  • If you do get mud on the carpet, allow the mud to dry completely. After it has dried, shatter the mud with the handle of a knife, then vacuum as normal. Blot any dirt spots with a small amount of detergent solution (1/4 teaspoon detergent per 1 qt. of water) and a white paper towel to work the affected area. Continue applying detergent and blotting until the spot is removed. Rinse with tap water using a spray bottle and blot to remove excess moisture.


  • Place area mats at the entrances of the house.
  • Vacuum or sweep your hardwood floors with a soft-bristle broom every day during winter to prevent scratches from salt. Make sure you do this step before you use any cleaning products on the hardwood flooring.
  • Wipe up spots immediately with a cleaner, and make sure the cleaning solution is applied directly to a white cloth. Wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Another great way to prevent floor damage during the winter months, is to purchase carpet and hardwood flooring that are easy to clean and durable. Mohawk has great carpets that are easy to clean, and these are called their SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets. SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets are beautiful, durable, and very easy to clean. In addition, SmartStrand carpets are created for active families. We also have some new cabin-grade hardwood floors from Mohawk that will work well in any home if you take care of them well.

Click here to see our selection of Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets.
Click here to see our selection of Mohawk Cabin-Grade Hardwood.

Overall, the best way to care for your floors this winter is to be proactive and stay on top of the issue.

Do you have any tips for household care during the winter season? Let us know!


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New Cabin-Grade Hardwood from Mohawk



Recently, we just got in some amazing cabin-grade hardwood from Mohawk. Cabin-grade hardwood adds great character to any home. Whether you want to go for a rustic interior design or a contemporary design, cabin-grade hardwood will work with any interior design style.




American Retreat is one of the beautiful hardwoods that we received from Mohawk. This is an engineered oak hardwood flooring. American Retreat comes in two different sizes: 5″x3/8″ or 3″x3/8″. Here are the colors we have available in this hardwood flooring: Butternut Oak, Gunstock Oak, and Stonewash Oak. WEC08-50








Greyson is a distressed engineered hardwood flooring, which is available in a nice Saddle color. This hardwood flooring is available in size 5″x3/8″.  WEC56-40







Brookedale is a lovely soft-scraped engineered hardwood flooring that is available in a chocolate hickory color. This hardwood flooring is available in size 5 1/4″x3/8″. WEC58-11








Henley is a nice hand-scraped engineered hickory hardwood flooring, and it is available in a nice hickory chocolate color or hickory shadow color. This hardwood flooring is available in size 5″x3/8″. henley 2








Brandymill is a nice hand-scraped engineered hickory hardwood flooring, and it is available in a hickory autumn color. This hardwood flooring is available in size 5″x3/8″. brandymill








Oakland is a great engineered oak hardwood flooring, and it is available in an oak cherry color or an oak autumn color. This hardwood flooring is available in size 3″x3/8″. oakland








All of these are great cabin-grade hardwood floors to choose from, and there are many lovely colors with each product. When you purchase cabin-grade hardwood flooring, you need to make sure that you order at least 20% extra flooring. The extra flooring will come in handy if you do not want to use a board that has too many knots or grain streaks.

Click here to see American Retreat 3″.

Click here to see American Retreat 5″ – Stonewash Oak.

Click here to see American Retreat 5″ – Butternut Oak.

Click here to see American Retreat 5″ – Gunstock Oak.

Click here to see Greyson 5″ – Saddle.

Click here to see Brookedale 5″ – Chocolate Hickory.

Click here to see Henley 5″ – Hickory Chocolate.

Click here to see Henley 5″ – Hickory Shadow.

Click here to see Brandymill 5″ – Hickory Autumn.

Click here to see Oakland 3″ – Oak Cherry.

Click here to see Oakland 3″ – Oak Autumn.

Click here to see more hardwood from Mohawk.

oakland 2


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