Parquet classification

Parquet classification: appearance and origin, types of wood and characteristics

Origin and denomination of the wood species for the production of wooden floors at the best price.

In classification of parquet and wooden floors on a scientific level, reference is made to their botanical name, which however is very often difficult to understand (or even to express); in fact in all cases this is replaced with commercial names that the manufacturer uses to give a specific connotation and also of originality to his product.

In order to operate correctly, however, reference can be made to the technical standard UNI EN 13556 Round and sawn wood Nomenclature of timber used in Europe, which replaces the UNI 3917 Commercial Nomenclature of imported exotic woods, and reports a list of hardwood woods and conifers marketed in our continent. Table 8 shows an excerpt of the UNI EN 13556 standard with the commercial and botanical names of the main wood species used in wooden floors. For the sake of clarity and completeness of information, the standard in question indicates the commercial name of the wood species in Italian, English, French and German and also indicates the prohibited species, according to the provisions of Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in of extinction.
Finally, the standard reports the regions of origin, using a code where the acronym EU indicates Europe, AF Africa, AM (N) North America, AM (C) Central America, AM (S) South America, AS Asia and AP Australia and Pacific Islands.

However, this standard is not exhaustive of all wooden parquet on the market, therefore for those not contemplated at the moment it is possible to use the two national standards:

Solid wood floors with tongue and / or groove UNI EN 13226

  • UNI 2853 Nomenclature of wood species that grow spontaneously in Italy
  • UNI 2854 Nomenclature of exotic wood species grown in Italy

Although these standards are quite dated and subject to shortly to be updated and revised, at the moment they can represent a useful reference for operators, also because they report, together with the commercial names, the most used synonyms.

For the species that are not found in any of the aforementioned standards, the suggestion may be to refer to the fundamental text on the subject entitled “Wood technology”, author prof. G. Giordano.

For example, the Jordan gives the botanical name Myrocarpus frondosus m to “cabreuva”, a wood widely used in wooden floors, not included in any technical standard. fastigiatus, which allows you to uniquely trace the type of wood.

Here are some of the most important components that will make up the price of the wooden floor:
Types, formats, installation methods, appearance and humidity classes must be considered in relation to the type of product used, whether solid with or without joints, multilayer, mosaic or other.

Also in this case, the specific product standards developed in Europe can be taken as a reference which, starting from 2004, have also been implemented at national level.

The UNI EN 13226 standard defines the general and dimensional characteristics, with the relative tolerances, of solid wood elements with female and / or male interlocking for internal use such as wooden floors.

The standard concerns elements with or without surface treatment.

Classification of wooden parquet and respective prices based on appearance

The standard, like the other product standards illustrated below, introduces the new concept of “appearance class”, depending on the wood species considered, which exceeds that of “quality or choice”, reported in the previous Italian standard U40. 05.258.0: 1997 “Hardwood elements for floor coverings Classification based on defects”. The old classification I (first quality or first choice), Il (alburnata or zebra) and 111 (nodata or natural or rustic), widely spread on the national market, is replaced by the new classification designated with the symbols of CIRCLE, TRIANGLE and SQUARE, as well as an “open class” representing a particular selection offered by the manufacturer or requested by the buyer.

By way of example, Table 9 shows an example of classification for oak and other hardwoods.

Tab. 9 – Appearance classification for Quercus spp. (Oak tree) excerpt of the norm
UNI EN 13226

Features Circle class Triangle class Square class
Healthy sapwood Not allowed Allowed Allowed to read traces
Nodes (a) sound and adherent Allowed if: diameter< = 8 mm Allowed if: diameter< = 10 mm
Knots (a) rotten Allowed if: diameter< = 1 mm Allowed if: diameter< = 5 mm
Cretti (bristles) Not allowed Up to 15mm length allowed per list All features are allowed with no size or quantity limits if they don’t compromise
the strength or wear resistance quality of wooden floors
of bark
Do not allow Do not allow
Lightning strike Not allowed Not allowed
of the grain
Allowed, no limits Allowed, no limits
Parenchymal rays (mirrors) Allowed Allowed
Biological alteration Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed, except for blueing and forineri from insects (mottling)
All features are allowed without limits of size or quantity if they do not compromise the strength or quality of wear resistance of wooden floors.
Healthy sapwood is allowed from the counterface to the upper part of the tongue without considering the limits defined for the face.


Tab. 8 – Name of the main wood species excerpt of the UNI EN 13556 standard

Botanical species Origin Italian English French German
Acer saccharum Marsh.
AM (N) American maple rock maple érable d’Amérique Zuckerahorn
Acer pseudoplatanus L.
EU mountain maple sycamore érable sycomore Bergahorn
Pericopsis elata (Harms) van Meewen AF afrormosia afrormosia afrormosia Afrormosia
Aningeria spp. AF aniegré aningeria aningré Aningré
Guarea cedrata PelI. G. laurentii (De Wild) AF bossè guarea bossé clair Bossé
Castanea sativa Mill. EU chestnut sweet chestnut chataignier Edelkastanie
Prunus serotina Ehrh. AM (N) American cherry American cherry merisier d’Amérique Amerkanischer Kirschbaum
Prunus avium L. EU Cherry tree European cherry merisier Kirschbaum
Afzelia spp. AF doussiè afzelia doussiè Afzelia
Fagus sylvatica L. EU Beech tree European beech hetre Holes
Fraxinus excelsior L. EU ash tree European ash brakes commun Lures

Milicia excelsa (Welw.) CC Berg

AF iroko iroko iroko Iroko
M. direction (A. Chev.) CC Berg. AF iroko iroko iroko iroko
Koompassia malaccensis Maing. ex Benth.
AS kempas kempas kempas Kempas
Nesogordonia papaverifera (A. Chev.) Capuron
AF kotibè danta kotibè Kotibè
Tabebuia spp. AM (S) ipè ipè ipè Ipe
Hymenea courbaril L. AM (C&S) courbaril courbaril courbaril Courbaril
Larix decidua Me”. EU larch European larch mélèze d’europe Larche
Intsia bijuga (Colebr.) O. Kotze. I. palembanic Miq. AS merbau merbau merbau Merbau
Khaya spp. AF mahogany of Africa African mahogany acajou d’Afrique Khaya Mahagoni
Brachylaena hutchinsii Hutch. AF muhuhu muhuhu muhuhu Muhuhu
Guibourtia arnoldiana (De Wild. & Th. Dur.) J. Léon.
AF mutenye mutényé mutényé Mutényé
Juglans regia L. EU wot European walnut noyer Nussbaum
Olea europaea L. EU olive tree European olive olivier Olives
Ulmus minor Mill. EU field elm smooth leaved elm footsteps Feldulme
Guibourtia ehie (A. Chev.) J. Léon. AF ovangkol ovangkol ovéngkol Ovengkol
Pterocarpus soyauxii Taub. P. osun Craib AF African padouk African padauk padouk d’Afrique Afrikanisches Padouk
Millettia stuhlmannii Taub.
AF panga panga panga panga panga panga panga panga
Robinia pseudoacacia L. EU black locust black locust robinier Robinie
Quercus petraea (Matt.) Lieb !. Q. robur L.
EU English oak European oak Chene blanc Européen Eiche
Erythrophleum ivorense A. Chev. E. suaveolens (Guill. & For R.) Brenan
AF such missanda such Such
Tectona grandis Lf AS teak teak teak Teak
Millettia laurentii DeWild. AF wenge wenge wenge Wenge