What Is Wickham Hardwood Rustic Grade?

What is Wickham Hardwood Rustic Grade is a common question we hear many times. Grades of hardwood can be both simple to explain but easily confused. The issue with the flooring industries nomenclature is the attempt to distinguish one brand from another by changing they way each product is named. The thing that does not change is that lumber is a product of nature, and as such will have unique grain, imperfections, and color. This article aims to inform customers and shoppers on the definition of a Rustic grade hardwood flooring, and delve into both the benefits and downsides to Rustic grade flooring.

Since lumber cannot be perfectly consistent in color from tree to tree, after the milling process begins and raw wood is made into usable hardwood sizes between 2 ¼” and 5” wide planks. Once the planks are made the colors must be sorted into grades. This is done manually, and it is a time-consuming labour-intensive task. For Wickham Hardwood, there are 6 grades. In descending order Select & Better, Canadian Plus, Natural, Builder, Cottage, and Rustic. (There is also another 7th grade called Select grade that is specific to engineered hardwood, and for the purpose of this solid hardwood article will be left out.) The sorting process is what determines these grades and the style within. For the object of this article we will be briefly touching on the other grades so that we can better understand Rustic Grade.


Wickham Hardwood Select and Better Grade:

Is to be Uniform in color. Fish eyes are accepted. Checks, splits, stains, and worm holes are not accepted. Average length between 30” and 32” depending on the species and plank width.

Wickham Hardwood Canadian Plus Grade: A mix of 50% Select and Better and 50% Natural. Black or brown mineral streaks are accepted. Sound closed knots are accepted, no paste filler is accepted. Minimum length is 12 inches long. The average length is between 32 and 36 inches.

Wickham Hardwood Natural Grade: All color variations are accepted. Black and brown mineral streaks accepted. Sound closed knots accepted; no paste filler is accepted. The minimum length is 12 inches. The average length is 25 to 29 inches depending on the species and width of plank.

Wickham Hardwood Builder Grade: A mix of 70% Wickham Hardwood Natural Grade and 30% Wickham Hardwood Rustic Grade. All color variations in the planks are accepted. Knots, shakes, and checks are accepted. Pith and worm holes accepted. Minimum plank length is 10 inches. Average length of 27 to 29 inches, depending on the species and plank width.

Wickham Hardwood Cottage Grade: Mixture of Select 45%, Natural 40%, and Rustic 15%. All color variations accepted. Pith and worm holes are accepted. Minimum length is 10 inches. Average length of 40 to 43 inches depending on the species and plank width.

(Credit for above information and images: Wickham Hardwood)

Where is the Wickham Rustic Grade?

If you have visited Wickham Hardwoods website, you may have noticed that Wickham Hardwood does not have a Rustic Grade category. Hence the premise of this article and the answer within.  The simple answer is Wickham Hardwood does not wish to promote a Rustic Grade. Rather it is a grade that is accumulated through the process of manufacturing hardwood flooring. When all the other grades are created, there are leftover planks that either did not fit a grade or did not meet quality control. An example would be if there was an open knot it would not be accepted into any of the other grade’s classifications, and it would be added to the pile so to speak. When thinking Rustic Grade, think of a poor little lost piece of lumber that doesn’t fit in, and needs a home that understands…

Wickham Hardwood Rustic Grade

Wickham Hardwood Rustic Grade is a mixture of accumulated planks that do not fit other grades or are leftovers from production. Minimum length is 10 inches. Average length is between 15 to 18 inches in length. Open knots are paste filled. All color variations are accepted. All mineral streaks are accepted. No warranty is offered by the manufacturer. The grade is by accumulation only and is not made to order.

Why Go With A Rustic Grade Than?

The benefits of a Rustic Grade may surprise you. Since there is very little cost in sorting the product, the manufacturer heavily discounts this grade opposed to their regular runs. Price point of this non-advertised grade can save you thousands if you do not require a specific dependable color variation. Since Rustic Grade is a mixed bag you can expect a wide variation in color and size. Although the average length is shorter than other grades, it is still the same wood and can offer a beautiful low-cost option to get into a solid hardwood floor. While some may not like the “Rustic” nature of this grade, others will love a busy arrangement of natural wood. For décor, the true untamed wood look that Rustic Grade provides is easily paired with many different design styles.

Conclusion: Things To Keep In Mind When Ordering Rustic Grade

As mentioned above, Rustic Grade is dependent upon availability. Be sure to check with your local dealer on the stock availability for your desired width. Since Rustic Grade Hardwood does not have a manufacturer warranty, keep this in mind when ordering a rustic grade floor. This is not because the structural integrity is necessarily any less than the other grades of hardwood, but rather the reasons mentioned above and the price point of the material. Therefore, due to the low price of Wickham Rustic Grade, the manufacturer cannot include a warranty with a product that doesn’t follow strict sorting guidelines. When ordering from Domestic Hardwood from Wickham, the customizability still applies to Rustic grade. Options you have when ordering Rustic Grade are width, stain, and gloss level.  Since you will still be receiving Wickham’s high quality 6-layer A.O. UV Cured finish, you are sure to have a beautiful long-lasting hardwood product. Rustic Grade may not be for everyone, or every home’s style, but certainly is not an option to be ruled out if you are looking for beautiful “Rustic” looking floor.

Once you have purchased a floor be sure to avoid common install mistakes. See our blog Top Five DIY Flooring Installation Mistakes.