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Selecting Hardwoods

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Rino's Woodworking Hardwood Selections

Rino's Woodworking has a reputation for quality in both our workmanship and the materials we use. Learn more about the wood species and grades we offer for architectural molding and millwork. Learn about:

Hardwood Basics

What Are Hardwoods?

Hardwoods are deciduous trees that have broad leaves, produce a fruit or nut and generally go dormant in the winter. America's forests grow hundreds of varieties of hardwood trees that thrive in this country's temperate climates. These varieties, or species, include oak, ash, cherry, maple and poplar.

How Hardwood is Rated

There are 3 grades of hardwood; FAS, #1 Common & #2 Common. We use only FAS rated wood also called "1 & 2 Upper".

  • FAS: Grade yielding long, wide clear cuttings. Suitable for highly visible, top quality hardwood applications such as moldings and furniture.
  • #1 Common: Grade yielding clear cuttings of medium length & width.
  • #2 Common: Economical, grade yielding short, narrow clear cuttings.

Natural Variations in Appearance

Why doesn't what you bought look like the sample in the showroom? Unlike factory-made, artificial materials, each hardwood board has a unique life story. During the approximately 60 years it takes for a hardwood to mature, each tree develops a one-of-a-kind grain pattern and texture.

Natural hardwood products are never as uniform as plastic laminate or wallpaper from a catalog. Solid hardwood products, like silks, leather and precious stones, are shaped by natural forces and may display a variety of character markings. Knots are character marks, telling the story of tree limbs that grew and fell to the forest floor as the tree matured.

Even boards from the same hardwood tree will show significant variation in color. For instance, "younger" wood, closer to the bark (sapwood), will be lighter than that which comes from the central portion. You also can see the effects of the minerals and other essential elements that the trees absorbed as they grew.

Character Markings Glossary

  • Knots: Hard, cylindrical regions marking locations of branches that have been encased by later growth of the tree.
  • Mineral streaks: Olive or grayish markings caused by such environmental factors as trace elements in water or soil.
  • Sapwood: The paler-colored wood closer to the bark of the tree.
  • Grain: The directions, size, appearance and quality of wood fibers.
  • Growth ring: Layer of wood added to a tree during a single growing season made up of earlywood and latewood.

No two pieces of hardwood are alike. Because of this, your particular item looks like no other in the world, including those in the showroom. However, rest assured that none of the natural markings that characterize hardwood floors, furniture, woodwork and cabinetry affect their durability or structural integrity.

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Hardwood In Your Home

Expansion and contraction of wood is perfectly normal during changes in the weather. Wood is a natural material that seeks to be in balance with its surroundings. Hardwoods destined for use in home furnishings are carefully kiln-dried for that purpose, and they will take on or give off moisture with extreme changes in relative humidity. When the air is exceptionally warm and humid, solid hardwoods will absorb moisture and expand. Likewise, with much cooler, drier air, the wood will give off moisture and contract. This is completely natural, and craftsmen design fine solid hardwood products to accommodate these changes.

Remember that hardwoods are natural materials and they will expand and contract with extreme changes in your home's relative humidity.

Preparing Your Home For Hardwood Installation

  • Your house should be closed in, with all the outside windows and doors in place, before hardwood lumber, millwork or flooring are delivered.
  • The temperature and relative humidity should be maintained at occupancy levels for at least five days.
  • Excess moisture anywhere in the house should be allowed to evaporate.
  • Sheet rock should be allowed to dry for at least two days, and plaster for a week or more, depending on weather conditions.
  • When it's delivered, the lumber, flooring or millwork should be divided into small lots and stored for at least a week in the rooms where they will be installed.
  • Unprotected hardwood products should never be trucked, unloaded or stored in rain, snow or other wet conditions.
  • A contractor who receives a shipment of hardwood paneling, flooring, millwork or cabinetry should pull out several sample boards and use a hand-held moisture meter to measure their moisture content. The figure should closely match the one recommended for your part of the country. If it doesn't, the contractor should let the hardwood adjust to the site before installation.

Free Shipping!

Free shipping on orders over $3,000 in 48 states.
Local delivery or pick-up in the Cleveland, Ohio region.

Offering top-grade hardwoods

We use only FAS grade hardwood, also known as 1 & 2 Upper, yielding long, wide, clear cuttings. Our woods are suitable for highly visible, top quality hardwood applications such as moldings and furniture. Learn more about the types of wood we offer.