Industry lingo is a valuable shorthand that makes it easier for those in a field to communicate quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, if you’re on the outside looking in, lumber lingo can make it hard to understand what your contractor or construction professional is talking about. If you’re in the market for some lumber for an upcoming project, knowing what the different grading terms means can help you to find the best wood available from your lumber retailer.

What Decides Grading

Before you can understand what the different lumber grading terms mean, you need to understand how grading is determined in the first place. On a basic level, the grade is used to represent the number and size of quality cuts you can get from a piece of lumber. A higher number means a piece of lumbar where the good section is wider and longer and can, in turn, provide you with more high-quality cuts.

Lumber Grade Types

If you find yourself facing some lumbar lingo while discussing your options when shopping for lumber, it’s important to know what the different ratings mean. Lumber can have any of the following grades, with the highest grades listed first:

  • FAS
  • F1F (FAS 1-Face)
  • No. 1 Common
  • No. 2A Common
  • No. 2B Common
  • Sound Wormy
  • No. 3A Common
  • No. 3B Common

What’s That Mean?

While much of the grading lingo above makes sense, as we are used to understanding No.1 is better than No. 2, or A is better than B, there are a few terms that may still confuse you. FAS stands for first and seconds and is the highest quality, while F1F lumbar has one face that meets FAS standards while the other is No. 1 Common. Sound wormy wood is, as the name implies, wood with wormholes that don’t fully compromise it but are present, and is most common in oak and chestnut.

Now that you’ve got your lumbar lingo down pat you’re ready to find the wood you need. Visit a lumber provider and see what they have to offer for your project.