Tavern (Rustic / Cabin) grade is technically not a grade. It is pieces that are pulled out of higher grades. High occurrence of character marks, open knots, mineral streaking, and even some checks and splits are allowed. Unique characteristics designed for relaxed living at incredible value. By being selective with a few pieces you can have an exquisite floor for an unbelievable price. (prefinished or unfinished)
Country/Antique- The official economical grade according to industry standards, but the most natural representation of wood texture and character. All colour variations are allowed, including knots and mineral streaks. Open knots are filled before finish is applied. There is a huge demand for this product because of its individuality and value. (unfinished)
Similar to #1 Common. All color variation allowed, but knots and splits are not accepted. Some mills allow small, solid knots no more than 1/8”. Is very attractive, healthy color deviation and personality. (prefinished or unfinished)
Universal/Pacific/Extra Not officially a grade either. Most mills will generate a grade that is a mixture of #1 Common and Select & Better. Still pleasant color, some mineral streaking, in the longest board lengths. (prefinished)
Just below "clear". Some color deviation is allowed, no stains, checks or splits. Minimum board length is 10". (unfinished)
Select & Better
Clear/Prime/Smooth. Hand-picked boards, free of character marks, which give you the most uniform color per board. More rare. (prefinished or unfinished)
Keep in mind, the minor differences between a Select or Select & Better floor today, will be even less noticeable over time. Most wood darkens and the grain structure becomes less prominent as it ages.