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Our parent company, The Hickman Lumber Company, made its reputation on producing rift and quarter sawn lumber back in the 1970s. This reputation developed from relationships with the renowned Stickley Furniture Company and also the Japanese furniture market. Today, Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring has brought this premium grade wood to the flooring industry. Rift & quarter sawn flooring is available in White Oak, Red Oak, Black Walnut, and Beech.
The advantages for wanting rift & quarter sawn flooring lies in the dimensional stability over flat or plain sawn. Wood naturally expands and contracts with moisture relative to the surrounding humidity. Wood floors expanding across the width can buckle, cup, raise off the subfloor, even push out walls. Early builders knew this and used quartered sawn material to solve the problem.
Today, most sawmills are not able to produce rift & quarter sawn lumber. Allegheny Mountain on the other hand can give you the 100% rift & quartered flooring you’ve been looking for. In fact, you can order 100% all rift sawn or 100% all quarter sawn. Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring takes pride in offering you the perfect wood for the perfect floor.
Rift & Quarter Sawn boards are created by initially cutting a log into quarters and cutting boards from alternate faces of that wedge. Quarter sawn boards are formed when the growth rings are at 90° to the face of the board. A pure rift sawn board will have growth rings are from 35° – 65° and flat sawn boards maintain rings aligned more to the surface or between 0-15°.
By its nature, wood can shrink and expand relative to the surrounding humidity. The way the annual rings run through the board determines the direction of movement. Plain Sawn will move across the width of the board creating gaps and other problems. Rift and Quarter sawn movement is restricted to the thickness of the board and movement is vertical so the boards are not moving against each other and stay tight. This dimensional stability of each board makes it the best option for radiant heated floors & wide plank flooring.
The direction of expansion and contraction in the various board configurations is shown below. Note the end grain patterns and how movement corresponds to the grain direction.
CLICK HERE – to see the article Jessica Hickman wrote for Hardwood Floors Magazine to help understand the cuts in even more detail.
The diagram below shows the cutting technique for producing rift & quarter sawn boards. The shaded area is an example of the part of the log where quartered boards are from and the remaining outside boards being rift sawn.
The images below display the appearance of the board faces. Note the vertical grain direction in the bottom images showing the boards end edge.
This process is more time consuming and therefore more expensive to manufacture and that’s also why larger mills cannot or will not produce it. At AMHF we believe the resulting premium grade floors are worth the extra effort for our valued customers.