Face (or Flat) Grain, Edge Grain & End Grain – the Differences

Trees are typically cut into planks, which are oftentimes cut into smaller strips (or rails) of wood. In constructing a butcher block, the woodworker must decide which grain of these wood strips will face upward: its face, edge or end grain.

FACE GRAIN – The two broad sides of the wood plank are referred to as its faces. Face grain is also known as flat grain. Butcher Block Co. plank-style countertops showcase wood’s face grain.

EDGE GRAIN – The two narrow, vertical sides of the plank – its edges – show the wood’s edge grain.

END GRAIN – And finally, both ends of the plank reveal the wood’s end-grain. End-grain wood is the most distinctive, largely because it shows a slice of the tree across its growth rings.