Timber can be cut from a tree in several different ways. The angle that a timber plank is cut relative to the centre of the tree affects the grain pattern.
Timber planks can be in parallel from one side of the tree trunk to the other. The grain pattern of these planks will vary in style and quality; the plank cut through the centre will have good grain pattern, the other planks will vary in quality. The strength will also vary depending from which part of the tree the plank is cut.
Very little wood is wasted with this method.
Rift or Quarter Saw
Planks can be cut from the outer edge of the tree (the bark) towards the centre. This gives fairly consistent grain patterns and the woods strength is also consistently strong across all the planks.
Some timber is lost and wasted with the method.
Engineered Timber Floors
Engineered floors are veneered wooden planks. They have a surface layer chosen for the attractive grain, with other lower layers providing stability and strength. The top layer can be rift / quarter sawn for the grain pattern. The other layers can be plain sawn. This minimises wastage and make the best use of the expensive timber on the top layer.
Floating timber floors are installed above a pre-existing floor. These floors can be chosen for their attractive grain pattern; they are often engineered floors with a thin top veneer of attractive grain and multiple base layers proving strength and stability. The pre-existing floor below the floating floor provided support, so the floating floor only required moderate strength.
Floating floors have several advantages – they provide acoustic isolation, they are moderately soft to walk on and they are fairly easy to install.
The woodgrain pattern is part of the attraction of timber flooring. Choose the best option for timber floors and enjoy the benefits for decades.