Native hardwoods are graded for strength - when used in timber framing - and for appearance - when used in flooring or furniture. Appearance Grades in Dressed BoardWhat Are Natural Features? They are the typical markings of a unique group of native hardwoods - the eucalypts. The types of feature associated with native species include knot, kino - often called fire streak or gum lines, burls, hobnail and black speck. The extent and limits of natural features are defined by the appearance grades. In solid timber flooring products, native hardwoods are commonly graded into three distinct grades - Select, Standard and Natural Feature grades. In practice, grading is advisory - not strictly regulated. Suppliers are allowed scope to describe their product by expanding grade categories and creating new ones. The categories that provide a national standard to appearance are described in brief below. For a more detailed explanation, please follow this link to ATFA - Australian Timber Flooring Association. Select GradeBoards are selected for clear grain. Some boards are docked to remove tonal blemishes and all but minor marks of natural feature. Supporters of this grade claim they are paying more for a bland and manufactured-looking product and are thus entitled to a supply. Detractors claim that all the visual interest and benign features of a eucalypt are eliminated in this manner and that the docking process involves significant waste of timber. Standard GradeNatural features are included in this grade and are not rigorously docked out. Low to medium levels of black gum feather (kino) present in dressed boards is retained but voids and excessive veining are not included in grade. Standard and BetterAn expanded grade encompassing both Select & Standard. In practice, boards may be graded less by docking and more by selection - to reduce waste. Natural Feature GradeMedium to high visibility of natural feature in dressed board is allowed. Features such as hobnail, knot, black speck and minor surface drying checks are included. There is a defined limit on the size of voids and penetration features due to knot fracture and loose gum lines which require filling. Other grade categories such as Cover Gradeor Very High Feature Grade (VHF) include voids and high visibility gumlines. Expect to hear the odd grade name that differs from the terms used above. You will need to rely on inquiry to determine exactly what level and type of visible feature it describes. Recycled Timber SpeciesFor a broad explanation of species commonly available for appearance grade uses, see the ATFA - Australian Timber Flooring Association web site and follow this link.In Victoria, demolition of buildings will yield local southern species of timber such as Messmate and other Stringybarks, Mountain Ash and some Red Gum. Jarrah is found - but not in structural abundance. In floorboards, Tasmanian Oak is common.Northern coastal species such as Ironbark, Blackbutt, Brushbox, Spotted Gum and Tallowwood - though found in smaller volumes locally - are usually salvaged from NSW and Queensland demolition sites. They invariably have a transportation loading in their cost. Minor species such as Blackwood and Myrtle are not used structurally - and are found only in smaller joinery sizes.Exotic species such as Douglas fir, Kauri Pine and Baltic Pine are common due to the importation of these timbers in significant volumes between 1850 and 1930. They are found in flooring and structural timber sourced from demolition and available as reclaimed or remilled recycled board.