What is Rift Cut Flooring and what are the benefits?

Rod Lorenz

There are three ways of cutting lumber from logs -- plain cut, quarter cut, or rift cut. Of these three, the rift cut is the most detailed and most popular in homes that want to achieve an English country appeal or a late 19th-century Victorian theme. 

Rift cut flooring starts with higher quality and straighter logs with the rings on both sides of the log's center. The log is split into four distinctive quarters. This process causes a higher loss of wood during manufacturing as compared to the other cut types to achieve the perfect rift cut.


Logs are then cut in a spiral pattern, allowing an all sides pattern appearance. With the growth rings running in a longitude pattern, they create what is referred to as “tiger stripe” appearances. The wood's grain creates a straight and uniform appearance, unlike the common wavy fleck active types.

Another reason why rift cut flooring is considered premium is because creating it requires special machinery used by trained experts. It takes longer to complete, with logs having to pass through the saw several times.

Rift cut flooring is ideal for areas where the humidity changes dramatically. Since the lumber is perpendicularly cut, the wood shrinks in its thickness rather than in its width. This dimensional stability means a lower probability of warping or cupping when absorbing moisture from the air.

Not sure what cut is right for you project? We're here to help. Contact us at 920-984-3383, 800-354-9902 or info@ralphshardwood.com. Showroom appointments are available.

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