When shopping for your hardwood floor, there are some factors to keep in mind about the cost, appearance, or quality. There are different ways to divide and cut a log into flooring boards, and the key is to know what you’re looking for. The grain patterns affect the appearance, cost, and quality, and the milling methods that are used to manufacture the floor will give it a specific appearance.


Live-sawn-white-oak1Live Sawn

Most efficient

This is the most efficient way to cut a log into floor planks. It’s a unique cut of wood that combines the grains found in plain saw, quarter sawn, and rift sawn. Each plank is cut straight off of the log in one direction, and the orientation of the log does not change. This results in boards with a range in angles of the log’s grain.


SelectRedOak-samplePlain Sawn

Most common, less expensive

This is the most common way to cut a log into planks, although more waste is produced than live sawn milling. The way the planks are   cut produces angles on the ring no more than 35 degrees. This results in the grain pattern of the face of the plank to resemble a dark cathedral shape.


quartersawn-oak-boardsQuarter Sawn

More expensive than plain, more waste material

This is a common cut in high-end furniture and tables. It produces a very straight grain with patterns mixed through it in red and white     oaks. During the milling process, the log is quartered lengthwise, which results in wedges with right angles that end toward the center of the log. Because of this, quarter sawn boards are narrower than plain sawn boards.


rift-sawn-surface-w800Rift Sawn

Most expensive, most waste material

This is the most expensive of all methods. These boards are milled perpendicular to the tree’s growth rings, which produces a straight grain pattern with no visible flecking. Because of the high amount of waste from the rest of the wood, rift sawn is rare and costly. However, it comes with better stability and a beautiful look.


Have any more questions about the different cuts of wood and how they work? Contact the hardwood flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors for any questions, and a FREE ESTIMATE. You can call us at 410.415.0755 or click here today! You can also follow us on Facebook