Southern Yellow Pine Grading

The vast majority of Southern Yellow Pine decking is sold in the North American market where it is the most popular pressure treated wood species.  The grading of Southern Yellow Pine is rather complicated due to fact that it has such a wide variety of end uses, ranging from structural applications to internal flooring and mouldings. 

The most common grades of Southern Yellow Pine decking are called ‘Premium’ and ‘Standard.’  It could be reasonably assumed from its name that ‘Premium’ is the highest grade of decking; however C & Better grade is of a higher quality as it contains considerably fewer knots and other natural characteristics.   

C & Better (C&Btr) grade Southern Yellow Pine decking offers a virtually knot free appearance at a very reasonable price.  Only occasional small tight knots and very limited natural characteristics are permitted, therefore the overall appearance is of a high quality.  The term ‘C & Better’ means just that; you will receive a product that is ‘C’ grade or better.

The following grade descriptions are based on SPIB (Southern Pine Inspection Bureau) grading rules: 


Highest recognized grade of Finish. Generally clear, although a
limited number of pin knots are permitted. Finest quality for natural
or stain finish.


Excellent for painting or natural finish where requirements are less exacting. Reasonably clear, but permits limited number of surface checks and small tight knots.


Combination for B&B and C grades; satisfies requirements for
high-quality finish.


Economical, serviceable grade for natural or painted finish.