Understanding Colour & Grain Variation

Understanding Colour & Grain Variation

Colour variation

Due to being natural product, the boards of a natural timber floor will never be consistent in colour - you will always get some boards that are lighter or darker than the majority of the rest. Even if the flooring has been stained you will see variation, as different parts of the tree absorb stains at different rates causing some boards to be darker than others. When reactive stains are used (such as with our Manor Collection range) the colour variation is often be accentuated even further.

The good news is, an experienced installer will be able to distribute these lighter or darker boards throughout your laying space so that they are less prominent and add to the character look of your floor. We believe colour variation is part of the natural beauty of timber and helps to set a real timber floor apart from imitation wood floors. If you have concerns about colour variation you could ask your installer to leave aside any significantly different-colored boards. However do take into account this will leave you with less boards for your project. A good tip is to use them in a less frequented area such as in a cupboard or wardrobe or under a fridge.

Grain pattern variation

Another characteristic of natural timber flooring is the variation in grain pattern - you will never see two boards the same. Some boards may have a very straight grain, some may be wavy, others will have knots and cracks and possibly even sapwood. So what determines the amount and type of grain variation in your timber floor? This is known as the grade of your flooring, and luckily the flooring industry have some commonly-accepted terms that describe the different grades available. A higher grade of timber will be more consistent and clear in appearance, while a lower grade of timber is likely to display more natural characteristics such as gum vein, knots, sapwood and colour variation, resulting in a more rustic, old-world charm. The higher grades are characteristically more expensive because the demand is high and only a small percentage of trees that are milled yield high grade boards - the lower the grade, the less expensive the timber should be.

A basic explanation of our grades is explained in the following chart.

Grade Comparative Appearance Comparative Price Comparative Look
Prime grade (aka Select grade or AB grade) Few and smaller knots, least colour and grain variation Most expensive Clean, minimalist, modern
Feature grade (aka Character grade or ABC grade) Larger and more frequent knots, more colour and gain variation, filled cracks Mid range Natural, contemporary (most common)
Heavy Feature grade (aka Rustic grade or ABCD grade) Unlimited knots of all sizes, unlimited colour and grain markings, surface cracks Least expensive Rustic, old-world charm

Date Added: Thursday, 1st March 2018