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What is colour variation and the grades in engineered timber flooring mean?

Colour variation refers to the different colours within the wood. The grades in our engineered timber flooring are available in AB, ABC & ABCD grades. Below we provide further information on what colour variation and the grades of timber flooring mean...

ABC Grade - Tinge Oak Herringbone Flooring
ABC Grade - Tinge Oak Herringbone Flooring

What is colour variation in wood?


Colour variation and the grades in engineered timber flooring. All Imperial Flooring Australia's engineered timber floors feature beautiful colour variations which naturally occur in real wood, some species with higher amounts of variation and some species with more consistent colour variation throughout the panels. Due to this authentic effect, all of our engineered timber flooring ranges are inclusive of a range of lighter and darker shades.


More intense colour variations may be found where sapwood is present in the wood. Sapwood is the younger, outer part of the tree which is lighter in colour than the retired inner part which makes up the majority of wood floors. The grading of the floor will depend on how much sapwood is present in the wood.


When laying a floor, it is important that colour variation is taken into account so that the floor planks are laid sympathetically to avoid contrasting shades being next to each other.


What are the grades of engineered timber flooring?

The most commonly sold timber grade in the Australian market is ABCD grade


AB Grade

This is the highest grade available in timber flooring. This wood is cut from the centre of the tree, and the wood from the centre is much more uniform and has far less knots & imperfections. AB grade flooring has a much lower sap content, usually no more than 5% of the board which leads to a more uniform colour across different boards. If you like an engineered timber floor with minimal feature and character this is for you.


ABC Grade

With ABC grade floors, you can expect minimal amount of natural features, such as very few and tiny knots, as well as gum veins, splits, cracks and checks. Sapwood and colour variation will be controlled to minimum, it means you can expect no or minor flaws in our ABC grade timber floors. The finish will be clear or slightly stained, with virtually no major visible flaws. ABC Grade is of the highest quality and will meet the expectations of customers who want clean and less natural inherent in the species of their floors.


ABCD Grade

This grade of timber contains more knots than both AB and ABC grade flooring. These knots can be as big as 50mm in diameter. Manufacturers often use coloured wood filler or “putty” to fill in the larger knots, which then allows for a more even finish. This putty can be either lighter or darker than the board and can look attractive in both ways, depending on personal preference. This is the floor for you if you like feature and character.


ABCD Grade - 15mm Engineered Oak Timber Flooring - Colour: Tinge Oak
ABCD Grade - 15mm Engineered Oak Timber Flooring - Colour: Tinge Oak


ABC Grade - Colour: Neutral Oak - 15mm Herringbone Flooring
ABC Grade - Colour: Neutral Oak - 15mm Herringbone Flooring

Conclusion, so what is colour variation and the grades in engineered timber flooring


Remember, colour variation is all part of the woods natural character, its what makes the tree distinctive!

The most commonly grade of engineered timber sold in the market is ABCD Grade, If you are searching for the cleanest grade of engineered timber flooring featuring little to no knots, prepare to pay a premium price for AB grade hand selected clean grade panels.

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