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Shop Smarter: Grain

When boards are cut from a log, they may be flatsawn, or plainsawn, so that the growth rings are roughly parallel with the face, creating a wavy grain pattern, or quartersawn, with growth rings perpendicular to the face and a straight grain. Most wood grades include a mixture of both, or you can opt for all quartersawn boards, which are less prone to shrinking, swelling, and cupping. But expect to pay a premium price for this cleaner-looking flooring.

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