We follow the National Hardwood Lumber Association grading rules which is the predominant standard in the world.
This is just a short description to help you understand grading of hardwoods. For an in depth and complete explanation please check out the
National Hardwood Lumber Association PDF guide to grading lumber.
FAS (highest grade) commonly known as "firsts and seconds"
FAS is regarded as the top and usuallymost expensive grade. This grade is reserved for boards 6" and wider, 8ft and longer. Yields 83-1/3 percent of clear face cuttings with minimum sizes of 4" x 5', or 3" x 7'. FAS is normally used for fine cabinetry and projects where clean wide boards are desired.
F1F (FAS 1 face) A select lumber that is 6" and wider
F1F grade lumber meets the same specifications FAS grade except the board is graded from the better face. F1F is usually combined with FAS lumber providing at least one FAS face.
Select (FAS one side and #1 common the other)
Face side is FAS, back side is No. 1 Common. Boards are 4" and wider, 6ft and longer. Yields 83-1/3 percent clear face cuttings with minimum sizes of 4" x 5ft, or 3" x 7'. Select offers a cost effective alternative when only one good face is required.
No. 1 Common (Cabinet grade)
No. 1, Also known as “Cabinet” grade due to its use for kitchen cabinets. Boards are 3" and wider, 4ft and longer. Yields 66-2/3 percent clear face cuttings with minimum sizes of 4" x 2', or 3" x 3'. Provides great value if relatively small pieces can be used.
No. 2A Common (cabinets, millwork or other uses for medium to short lengths)
No. 2A. Also known as Economy grade. Boards are 3" and wider, 4ft and longer. Yields 50 percent clear face cuttings 3" and wider by 2ft and longer. Grade of choice for US hardwood flooring
No. 2B Common (stains and other defects) excellent paint grade
Same as No. 2A Common above except that stain and other defects are admitted in the clear cuttings. Normally used for painting as its a excellent paint grade lumber
No. 3A Common (rustic flooring and pallets)
3A common lumber are 3" and wider, 4ft and longer. Yields 33-1/3 percent clear face cuttings 3" and wider by 2ft and longer. The most economical choice for rough utility applications like crates, palettes and fencing.
No. 3B Common (pallets and crating)
No. 3B boards are 3" and wider, 4ft and longer. Yields 25 percent clear face cuttings 1-1/2? and wider by 2' and longer. Applications same as No. 3A Common but usually reserved for the roughest lumber applications