1st Grade - 1st Grade Hickory/Pecan contains Heartwood, Sapwood and possible light sticker stain. This grade is virtually knot free however, a small tight knot or bird peck not over 1/8" in diameter may appear provided it does not occur on edges or ends of strips. Dark streaks not over ¼" wide and 3" long are allowed. The color ranges from creamy white (sapwood) to rich brown (heartwood).The varying natural color of the wood shall not be considered a defect. Second Grade - A floor with varying wood characteristics and colors to include heavy streaks, stained sapwood, sound knots, checks and small splits. All defects must readily fill and be sound. The following characteristics are admitted: broken knots up to ½" in diameter; distinct color variations (predominantly dark, discolored pieces not allowed) sticker stain/shadow; numerous dark streaks or black spots. Second and Better - A combination of First Grade and Second Grade developing from the production run. Third Grade - the wood must be firm and may contain numerous defects of every character. This grade is intended to give a "rustic" appearance. Knot holes, bird pecks, worm holes, and the like which will readily fill are admitted.