Soft pine and spruce floorings are made in two qualities, first and second, the first quality being free from knots, while the second quality contains small sound knots. Second quality pine flooring will answer for floors that are to be carpeted, but only the first quality of spruce should be used for a good residence, if used at all.
Hard pine stock flooring is sorted into three qualities, quarter-sawed, first and second clear, and star. First and second clear flooring would be furnished for "first quality " unless " quarter-sawed " is specified.
Even the quarter-sawed flooring commonly carried in stock is usually so poorly jointed and of uneven width, that it cannot be laid so as to make a perfectly tight floor. If one wishes a perfect hard pine floor, the specifications should require that the flooring shall be stuck from clear quarter-sawed boards, after they have been kiln-dried, and in uniform widths.
There are a few mills in the Northwest that make a speciality of finely matched and polished maple flooring, and if the architect desires a fine floor he will do well to specify flooring from one of these mills.
Especial pains are taken with the matching of this flooring, the tongues being wedge-shaped or rounded, and the boards of a perfectly uniform width. The boards are thoroughly kiln-dried and the surface polished.
A few mills also make end-matched flooring, as shown in Fig. 325, which makes a more even joint than the butt joint, and does not have to be nailed through the top. With end-matched flooring it is not necessary to have the joints come over a joist. End-matched flooring is made principally in 3-inch widths, showing 2¼ inches on top.