Plain Sawn Flooring
Unfinished solid hardwood flooring is commonly plain-sawn. Plain sawn is the traditional method for cutting logs into hardwood and creates the most usable wood. The growth rings in the tree mix throughout the face of the flooring, and at the ends of the boards, these rings join. When the growth rings join, it creates cathedral arches.
Live Sawn Flooring
Unfinished solid hardwood flooring can also be live-sawn. Live-sawn flooring gives a unique look to the boards, and this cutting style is becoming more popular. Live-sawn flooring has more character and is graded differently than a plain-sawn floor because of how the character appears on the boards. Live-sawn floors are becoming very popular in Europe and Asia. Live sawn flooring still has the cathedral style you see in plain sawn boards, but it’s commonly toward the middle of the plank, and the edges feature more straight grain.
Quarter Sawn Flooring
Unfinished solid hardwood flooring can also be quarter sawn. Quarter-sawn flooring is created by quartering a log and then cutting these quarters vertically and horizontally. The look created with this cutting method is unique and includes flecking, but none of the cathedral looks you see in other cuts. The cutting method used in quarter sawing wood cuts through the grain pattern differently than other cuts and creates a more stable plank. Quarter-sawn food is less likely to warp than plain or live-sawn flooring. However, quarter-sawn floors are often higher priced because this method produces more waste.
Rift Sawn Flooring
Unfinished solid hardwood flooring can also be rift sawn. Rift-sawn flooring is cut from the outer edge of the log, and the cuts are made at a different angle than quarter-sawn flooring. The rift-sawn cutting process creates uniquely uniform style cuts with less variation than other cuts. Rift-sawn flooring makes the grain all appear to run in a single direction.