When deciding on what kind of wood flooring to buy, many people don’t consider the cut of the wood. Most just think about what kind of wood they want. However, the cut of the wood is an important consideration.

There are four different cuts of wood that have their own distinct look: Live Sawn, Plain Sawn, Quarter Sawn and Rift Sawn.

Live Sawn

This cut of wood is the most common, cost-efficient and produces the least amount of waste when cut into planks. Each plank is cut straight off the log in one direction, without changing the orientation. This cut is best suited for those who want a more rustic look as you can see more of the log’s characteristics.

Live Sawn cut

Live Sawn

Plain Sawn

This cut of wood is also common and is distinguished by it’s sawing method.The board is cut, turned 90 degrees, then cut again. This cut also produces a minimal amount of waste, and produces a cathedral grain pattern.

plain sawn cut

Quarter Sawn

This cut of wood is distinguished by its grain pattern that runs vertically and has a straight, striped appearance. Planks are cut by first dividing the log into quarters, then live sawing the wood. This cut has a higher cost due to the manufacturing process and the lower yield of wood per plank.

quarter sawn cut

Quarter Sawn Cut

Rift Sawn

This cut of wood is the most expensive and least common.The planks are cut perpendicular to the tree’s growth rings. This cut can provide a more modern look through the very linear grain pattern and is popular with oak and maple species. However, it is difficult to get these types of planks wider than four inches across.


rift sawn cut

rift sawn

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