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Grades & Properties of Wood Flooring —
Betula alleghaniensis (more than one species of birch can be included)
Other Common Names and Related Species:
- Black Birch
- Cherry Birch
- Paper Birch
- Sweet Birch
Popular Grades of Red Birch Wood Flooring:
The United States and Canada.
Janka Hardness: 1260
Red Birch is about the same hardness as White Oak.
Grades of Red Birch Flooring Available:
When Birch lumber is graded, the majority of the red heartwood and the yellow sapwood are separated. The sapwood is referred to as Yellow Birch and the heartwood as Red Birch. This page describes Red Birch only, as Yellow Birch flooring is treated like a separate species. Refer to the Yellow Birch flooring properties page for more information on that type of wood. Curly Birch, a figured grade of Birch, is also treated like a separate species. Refer to the Curly Birch flooring properties page for information on that grade.
Flooring is normally made from one grade lower of lumber. Thus, #1 Common lumber will make Select and Better flooring and so on. Lumber is graded worst side, while flooring is graded best side of the board. The lumber is defected to yield a higher grade of flooring, except when Clear grade flooring is made.
Clear Red Birch flooring comprises only red heartwood. The Birch lumber is sorted exclusively for pink heartwood and the lack of knots, mineral streaks, and color variation. The flooring appearance is almost as dark as that of Cherry.
#1 Common Red Birch flooring contains some character, such as dime-sized knots and small amounts of color variation, as well as mineral streaks.
#2 Common Red Birch flooring is mostly pink heartwood; however, it includes all the character found in the wood. Large knots, light yellow sapwood, dark heartwood, worm holes, and other surface defects are included in this grade. Other common names are Rustic Red Birch, Mill Run Red Birch, and Tavern and Cabin Grade Red Birch.