March 3, 2023

A Quick Guide to Rustic Hardwood Flooring

living room with fireplace in rustic style with sofa and dining table

Hardwood floorings are one of the most versatile and worthwhile investments you can add to your home. While many hardwood flooring trends this year focus on light, natural tones, polished, and modern, rustic hardwood floors are still a classic option for many homeowners. Interior design trends come and go, but rustic hardwood floorings can serve you well for decades without lowering your home’s value. This quick guide will help you better understand the beauty of rustic hardwood floors.

Defining Rustic Grade Hardwood Flooring

In the flooring industry, timber grades help homeowners to know how much character and feature hardwood planks have, like graining, knots, hues, and flaws. Most of the time, remodelers go for wood strips with uniform tones, smooth grains, and smaller knots.

The term rustic refers to something being rural or rugged. For hardwood flooring, rustic hardwood is often synonymous with country barns, farmhouses, and forest cabins. Unlike other hardwood lumber, rustic-grade hardwoods are natural wood planks having more knots and sap, sharper color variations, and minor defects.

Unlike higher-grade planks, rustic hardwood boards stay popular because of their unique look and the value they add to your property if installed and used properly. Top-grade wooden panels are more costly and require bigger renovation budgets from homeowners. But if you’re a remodeler on a budget and looking for solid hardwood planks for your home, rustic-grade hardwoods can be your saving grace.  

Hardwood Grades

Hardwood flooring grades focus primarily on the appearance of each hardwood plank. The US and Canadian flooring industries used the wood grading rules to establish a clear division between different wood boards and make hardwood floor shopping more convenient for remodelers and homeowners.

FAS Grade

FAS-grade hardwoods are top-tier hardwood boards coming in long pieces free of most defects. They also have a clear appearance and are best used for trim work. In addition, they’re the ideal material for creating wood furnishings like cabinets and chairs.


FAS One Face and Select hardwoods or SAB boards come from the best face of the hardwood. They have clear appearances and good color consistency. Woodworkers often use them for doors and cabinet face frames, but remodelers also use them for floorboards.

No. 1 Common Grade

No. 1 common-grade hardwoods are the most versatile among all hardwood grades. Hardwood planks in this category are ideal flooring materials. They have an average of three inches by four feet, and two-thirds of their faces are clean.

No. 2A Common/ Rustic Grade

Rustic grade hardwood isn’t a marketing term but an actual grade called No.2A Common. These planks have poor surface quality, lower than the regular commodity flooring. Unlike other high-grade boards, rustic-grade boards have random lengths. In addition, only half of the cutting comes out clear.

The Quality of Rustic Grade Hardwood Floorings

The key feature that separates rustic-grade hardwood planks from other graded hardwoods is their notable surface defects. Unlike other wood grades, rustic-grade boards have numerous knots, holes, open spaces, and uneven tone variations. In addition, rustic hardwood floorings have grease pencils or sharpie-looking marks, deeply engrained dirt, and other watermarks that you can remove with heavy sanding.

In terms of structure, the planks used for rustic hardwood floorings all have imperfections like broken tongues, damaged grooves, warped boards, and split ends. While they’re more affordable, not every part of the rustic hardwood strip is suitable for installation. Because a good size of the plank is unusable, many hardwood installers recommend homeowners buy at least 20% more wood to cover their preferred room.

In addition, all rustic hardwood planks go through a patina. Patina is the natural aging process of solid hardwood floors. It creates a luster from aging, wear and tear, sun exposure, and oxidation. Unlike other hardwood floorings, rustic hardwood floors perfectly encapsulate the phenomenon, with most rustic floorings boasting a timeworn patina.

Choosing the Best Rustic Hardwood Flooring for You

Rustic hardwood floors are the best addition to any cottage or farmhouse-style home. Their natural beauty and lived-in appearance bring cozy, homey comfort to any room. But choosing which rustic hardwood flooring is the one for your space is tricky. To ensure you purchase the one that suits you best, here are some things you need to consider.

  • Type
  • Characteristics
  • Color/Hue
  • Cost

Like any hardwood flooring option, rustic hardwood floors come in several types and use different wood species. Hickory, maple, and walnut are the most popular timbers for rustic floorings due to their notable graining and variety. 

Details are everything with rustic hardwood floorings which means the more marks and imperfections your planks have, the better and more appealing your floors will look. Colors and tone variety are also essential considerations. Homeowners prefer their rustic hardwood to have rich and aged hues.

Installing Rustic Wood Floors in Austin

Rustic hardwood floorings may not be everyone’s current favorite flooring option, but they’re still high up on today’s popular hardwood flooring list. Their rich hues, imperfections, and uniqueness give homeowners a timeless, homey appeal that makes spaces more comfortable. Not everyone knows the best way to define rustic hardwood floors, and having a quick guide to help you is critical.

Find the best hardwood flooring services in Austin, TX, with Kelly Hardwood Floors today!