Oak Grading

Not sure what oak grading to choose? Here is our helpful guide to help you decide and understand the difference.

All oak grades are classified under the European standard. These grade can look like this: Q – B  A.

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Q is for Oak

Hardwoods Group supplies European oak, so the first letter for all our grades starts with the initial Q for Quercus, which is Latin for oak.

B, S, F, P is for Product

The second letter shown is the product:

B is for Boules – Cut from one tree, can be cut to any thickness – Waney Edge

S is for Selected Boards – Does not have to be the same tree and can be cut to any thickness or length needed – Waney Edge

F is for Squared Edge – Sawn to size – Kiln Dried Oak

P is for Beams – Cut to length required and can have several finishes – Oak Beams

A, 1, 2, 3 is for Quality

The last letter refers to the quality grade. The letter can be an A for exceptional quality oak, or it can be a number 1 to 3, with 3 being of lower quality. 1 being good quality and 3 would have quite a bit of character, such as knots and sap. There is also a 4 which is the lowest quality, but we don’t supply that.

The quality grade can also be referred to as Prime,  FAS (first and seconds), Joinery, Character.

Prime

Prime used in the above would be A for exceptional. The word Prime generally means ‘of the best quality’ and the same goes for oak. It’s nearly flawless with less knots, one small bark pocket is allowed, and small sap bands are allowed. Perfect for joinery, carpentry, furniture and cladding.

FAS (First and Seconds)

FAS is the equivalent to quality grade 1. Not much different to Prime, very clear and perfect for joinery, carpentry and furniture making.

Joinery

Joinery would be quality grade 2. Joinery or Secondary grade is as good as Prime, but more knots and sap are allowed.

Character

Character would be quality grade 3. At Hardwoods Group, Character is a favourite and we have seen some great projects made with it. This is anything that doesn’t make the Prime grade, and like the words says, the oak has more character. There might be slight colour variations and knots, sap and splits.

Pippy

Pippy doesn’t have a grade. Pippy or sometimes called Patte de chat (cats paw in french) due to lots and lots of small knots, that can some times look like cat paw marks.

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