What Are the Different Classes of Hardwood Lumber?

Depending on your home improvement project, hardwood may be the best choice. While it tends to be stronger than softwood lumber, it’s found in a much smaller supply, making it more expensive. There are, however, different classes of hardwood that may make your project more affordable. Oswald Wholesale Lumber sells lumber near you at our building supply in Columbia, SC. Here are a few facts about the different classes of hardwood lumber.

Understanding How the Classes Are Determined

First, let’s find out how the different classes of hardwood are determined. Unlike softwood, the largest factor in grading a piece of hardwood comes down to its appearance. One side of the wood will always look finer than the other. The bigger the difference between the two sides, the higher the number grade and the lower the quality.

Number 3 Select

This is the lowest classification for hardwood lumber. This means that your hardwood lumber is 33% free of imperfections.

Number 2

If your hardwood has this classification, it means that it is 50% of free of flaws.

Number 1

This is the second-highest grade of quality, with 66% of the wood being clear of impairments.


This brings us to the last, and finest, grade of hardwood: FAS. FAS stands for First And Second. The wood must be 83.3% free of imperfections on a larger board than the other three classifications require.

How Do I Know Which Class of Lumber I Need?

If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! You don’t have to make this decision on your own. Your best bet is to find a locally owned building supply in Columbia, SC like Oswald Wholesale Lumber. We sell lumber near you and our employees are friendly, knowledgeable, and have probably undertaken a few building projects themselves. They’ll talk to you about your plans and help you select just the right lumber for your needs. Call or stop by today!

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To find out how we can help provide you with premium lumber and building materials for your next project, give us a visit.

6707 Augusta Hwy.
Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29070-7604

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