Wood flooring grades: what’s the difference?

When choosing a new flooring, more often than not wood flooring is in the running, offering a luxurious natural look that can’ be beaten. Wood flooring has been used in homes for generations and is only getting more popular. If you have decided on wood flooring, then your journey of decision making doesn’t end there, there’s lots of other factors to consider too! In this post we are going to look at the different wood grades, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Prime/A grade

The most common grade, known as the purest with minimal imperfections and knots offering a clean cut premise. This means it will work perfectly with a contemporary style or just if you enjoy something fresh and clean. This grade presents a popular neutral appearance, meaning it will go with most furnishings and themes! A reliable safe option. 

Common/AB grade

This is likely the most popular grade, as it is a nice happy medium, between clean cut and authentic. The wood’s natural beauty is well preserved in this wood but still with the necessary protection of a it being a flooring, no wear and tear likely! You still get the gorgeous natural charm of imperfections without it looking too busy, again a reliable option and it will always look good.


We’re getting towards a more shabby chic, characterful flooring type now. This allows the natural variation of wood without the knots and grains being too over compensated, with lots of natural variation with colour too. Again, a good medium but certainly lots going on.


This grade is true to it’s name, there really is no limits to the number of natural knots, grains and colour variation it has. The colour will also vary hugely, so be prepared for the rest of your interior to work with this! This flooring will look as natural as possible, and will certainly present its own unique charm without having to rely on anything else in the room to compensate. The grade is totally oozing with character, for a real farmhouse interior. 

Although these grades only differ slightly, it is worth paying attention to them as they all can create completely different looks, and really change the whole style of the room.