Check out this video explaining exactly what sets Plain/Flat Sawn, Quarter Sawn, and Rift Sawn Lumber apart. You''ll also discover why each type of sawn lumber has a different cost.
Plain Sawn Lumber
Plain sawn (aka Flat Sawn) wood is the most readily available type of wood to purchase. Milling this kind of material is faster as each log is sliced through the center. There is also very minimal waste involved. When you combine a larger yield of lumber with faster milling times, you also end up with a more affordable piece of lumber.
Plain sawn wood material does have some structural drawbacks. Due to the tangential grain, there is a higher chance of cupping and twisting with plain sawn lumber.
Quarter Sawn Lumber
Quarter sawn wood is more dimensionally stable than plain sawn lumber. More physical labor and time are required to make a piece of lumber, or flooring plank quarter sawn. By cutting a log into four quarters, then plain sawing each quarter, you end up with lumber that naturally resists cupping. This results in a material that has a more unique, linear grain pattern.
Keep in mind, the increased labor and benefits bring a higher cost per board foot. Quarter sawing produces more waste than typical plain sawn lumber.
Rift Sawn Lumber
Rift sawn wood is used for applications that require straight lined grain through and through. For instance, tables, chairs and other furniture legs benefit greatly from having all exposed sides with the same linear appearance. Rift sawn lumber milling is more labor intensive than both plain and quarter sawn lumber. Which produces more waste per log.
Rift sawn lumber is more expensive than quarter sawn wood due to the amount of labor involved in cutting each individual plank as well as the wasted wood.
Quarter Sawn vs Plain Sawn