Rift and quartered are a special type of cut for hardwood floors. Most flooring in hardwood is plainsawn. Plainsawn is characterized as a cathedral arch look or a flame type grain look. Rift and quartered give special looks or features that plainsawn can never give you.
- Plainsawn – Flame grain or cathedral arch grain
- Rift – The grains are mostly straight with the board and very uniform. There are no arches or flames like plain sawn.
- Quartered – There is Medullary ray or Ray flecking in the wood and is very pronounced.
How do we get these types of cuts?
- Plainsawn – Parallel cuts on the log
- Rift – Milled linear tot he growth rings of the log.
- Quartered – Each log is sawed radial into 4 quarters then each quarter is plainsawn.
In the picture below you can get a better idea for how the cuts are done.
Characteristics of each type of cut
- Plainsawn – Cheapest option, most popular, least stable, cathedral arches
- Rift – straight grain, dimensionally stable, very uniform
- Quartered – Very stable, special flecking, moisture resistant, very smooth
Each cut is different and none are better then the other as each have different qualities. Plainsawn is cheaper while rift and quartered are more expensive due to more waste in the log. Rift and quartered however are more dimensionally stable as they move up and down and not left and right. It all comes down to your preference and application. most homes do not need the wood to be as stable as rift and quartered and plainsawn will do so it comes down to the “look”.