What Is Cabin Grade Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring products are in high demand and used in various applications for both residential and commercial uses. Natural hardwood floors are a great flooring option because, with proper care and maintenance, they are long-lasting. They can be sanded and refinished over time, keeping them looking fresh and new.

You may be surprised that hardwood flooring is graded, similar to how the meats or eggs we buy in the grocery store are graded. For example, most of the eggs we see on store shelves are Grade A or Grade AA, while Grade B eggs are used in dried, frozen, and liquid egg products. When it comes to grading eggs, it’s not about the overall quality but the appearance of the egg.

Hardwood flooring is graded in much the same way.

The different hardwood flooring grades reflect the characteristics of the wood and ultimately affect the product’s price point.

Hardwood Flooring by Grade

As mentioned above, a hardwood flooring price grade is determined through the assessment of its overall features and characteristics. Therefore, color variations, knots, or imperfections will be considered when determining the grade. However, it is important not to confuse a lower-grade wood product with a lower “quality.” A lower grade does not equal lower quality. Every hardwood flooring option, regardless of grade, is well-constructed.

Hardwood floor grades are as follows: 

  • Grade AB (Prime Grade)
  • Grade ABC (Select Grade)
  • Grade ABCD (Natural Grade)
  • Grade CD (Rustic Grade)
  • Cabin Grade (aka Utility Grade)

The highest grade hardwood flooring products are characterized by a lack of imperfections, flawless milling, and design uniformity. In contrast, cabin grade, the lowest grade of all, features wood pieces that failed to meet higher grade standards. Lower-grade wood flooring products are sometimes called utility grade, shop grade, or tavern grade because of their rustic appearance. The variations and imperfections found in lower-grade wood floor products result from the planks being harvested from a tree’s outer edge rather than from the inside, which is more uniform.

Cabin Grade Hardwood Floor Characteristics

Every hardwood flooring product is graded on its unique characteristics. When it comes to cabin grade hardwood flooring, natural imperfections in each hardwood piece give it a distinctly casual look that sets it apart from other wood grades. When installing cabin grade hardwood floors, you can rest easy when you have kids or pets around because any light damage to the wood floor might sustain will likely enhance the floor’s distressed look.

Cabin Grade Hardwood is Perfectly Imperfect

Since hardwood flooring products are naturally sourced, so you can always expect variations. That includes pinholes, knots, streaks, and dents. Cabin grade wood floor products embrace these variations and are therefore characterized by ample imperfections throughout every plank. Such imperfections may vary greatly, resulting in worn, rustic looks once the flooring has been installed. Such natural variations do a great job of calling attention to the wood’s natural beauty.

Cabin Grade Hardwood Features Variations in Natural Color

Cabin grade hardwood flooring varies greatly in color tone from plank to plank. These natural variations in color give the product a distinctive character that is the polar opposite of the uniformity that higher-grade hardwoods bring. The color variations of cabin grade hardwood flooring make it easy to coordinate the finished wood floors with various furniture finishes.

Cabin Grade Hardwood is Known for its Variations in Thickness

Aside from the color variations, you can expect to find differences in a cabin grade wood flooring thickness which can determine its rating along with the flooring length, which may also vary from piece to piece. Cabin grade planks are often shorter than higher-grade wood flooring products.

Cabin Grade Hardwood is More Affordable

Out of all the wood flooring products on the market, cabin grade wood floors are the most affordable. Its low cost makes it much more accessible to consumers on a tight budget.

Cabin Grade Wood Floor Installation

Here are a few ways to maximize the performance of cabin grade wood flooring:

Mix Up Your Planks and Thoughtfully Place Your Boards

Since cabin grade planks vary greatly, mixing them thoroughly during installation is your best bet. Open multiple flooring boxes and disperse them throughout the area for a cohesive look. Make sure you have numerous boxes on hand during installation. When you come across planks unsuitable for visible spaces, save them for a closet or other more inconspicuous areas.

Purchase Extra Product

When dealing with lower grades of hardwood flooring, you will likely find planks you won’t want. Purchasing twenty percent more product than needed will help account for planks you might discard during installation.


If you are looking for a well-worn, rustic wood floor feel, look no further than cabin grade wood flooring. The product is far less expensive compared to higher-grade flooring, and its natural characteristics make it unique.

If you are interested in installing cabin grade wood flooring for your next project, reach out to Artisan Wood Floors. The team at Artisan Wood Floors are Pennsylvania hardwood flooring experts. Call (215) 515-7355 and ask for Steve!


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