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Cherry Wood Flooring
Quarter-sawn Cherry is very different in appearance from Plain-sawn. It is usually found in a Select and Better grade without knots, sapwood, and surface defects. It is very stable and used on radiant heat applications because of its vertical grain. Quarter-sawn is the most expensive Cherry option, but it is unique in appearance compared to many other species.
Other Grades of Cherry Wood Flooring:
Quarter-sawn Cherry Flooring Dimension Specifications:
Standard pre-milled Quarter-sawn American Cherry is rarely available. Most flooring is in 7-foot bundles from 2¼″ to 5″. With Quarter-sawn Cherry, the lengths and widths are custom-made specifically to each project’s specifications. The longest lengths can be from 10 to 14 feet, and the widths can vary from 2¼″ up to 6″ or so. Moisture content is between 6% and 8% for quick acclimation. Quarter-sawn Cherry is found unfinished ¾″ solid or can be custom-prefinished or engineered with a veneer top layer.
Quarter-sawn American Cherry flooring is available but rarely seen. Most Quartered Cherry lumber is used in cabinetry and fine woodworking shops. All flooring orders are custom orders and usually demand 3–4 weeks for production, depending on lumber availability.
Finished Floor Appearance:
Quarter-sawn American Cherry will have a uniform light reddish appearance. The vertical grain produces a muted but striped appearance. Sapwood, knots, and surface defects are removed in this grade. A custom-made long plank will have longer lengths than a typical floor. Cherry is extremely sensitive to sunlight and will darken considerably with an oil-based finish. A de-waxed shellac or lacquer should be first applied to protect the natural color of the wood. Also, water-based finishes can be applied to slow color change.
Flooring Durability and Stability:
Quarter-sawn Cherry is moderately durable but resists denting and traffic wear much better than pine. Cherry is relatively stable in comparison to other species like Yellow Pine.
Workability of Quarter-sawn American Cherry Flooring:
Although a hardwood, Quarter-sawn Cherry flooring works with little difficulty with both hand and power tools. When installing the flooring, it is best to use a manual nailer, but staples and pneumatic nailers work well. Quarter-sawn Cherry flooring installation is faster than lower grades of flooring because the lengths are typically longer. Cherry holds screws well, and it glues, stains, and polishes to a very attractive finish. It can be somewhat difficult to sand with flooring equipment because of its tight grain. Professional sanding and finishing is recommended.
Principal Uses of Quarter-sawn American Cherry Flooring:
Because of its higher price than lesser grades, Quarter-sawn Cherry flooring is used frequently in high-end projects. It is most popular in formal applications as well as in contemporary structures and most particularly when radiant heating is used.