Grades of Brazilian and Peruvian Woods

Grades of woodEvery tropical hardwood species has its own look and feel. Even within a species, there is often a good deal of variety in color and texture. Furthermore, you can usually choose from several different grades of a species. Selecting a grade is largely a matter of personal taste. And, of course, most people have to take budget into consideration.

The grading system we use for exotic woods is not the same grade system used for domestic hardwoods such as Northern Red Oak, Maple and Walnut.

Grades used for South American hardwoods are based on color variations, as well as grain patterns and defects, such as knots. The grading system reflects more the European system, offering a first, second and third grade. However, not all wood species are offered in all grades.

First Grade
This grade does not permit defects and has an average minimum length of 3.0 to 3.5 feet. There is also some consistency in the appearance.

Second Grade
The second grade allows more color variation and minor defects. The averages length may be as low as 2.5 feet.

Character Grade
Character grade, also called third grade, allows minor defects and discoloration. The average length is 2.5 feet. Frequently, a combination of heartwood and sapwood is used, offering a highly unique look.