NHLA Grading Rules; the Hardwood Industry Standard

It's difficult to imagine a world without industry standards. Standards are published documents that establish specifications and procedures designed to ensure the reliability of the materials, products, methods, and services people use every day.

They ensure that different computer products interact seamlessly, that we can make calls and access information on our mobile phones, and that our televisions are able to receive and interpret broadcast signals. And that's only scratching the surface.

Industry standards for the hardwood lumber industry were created in 1898 by the establishment of the National Hardwood Lumber Association and its subsequent “Rules for the Measurement & Inspection of Hardwood & Cypress.”

The rules for the inspector of lumber are uniform in construction and application but also carry with them the element of stability – the stability of life and not the rigidity of death. The rules as they exist today are the product of the process of evolutionary development and that process is still in operation. It is a process of growth and expansion to meet the necessities of varying conditions and markets and will continue as long as the trade endures. Click the images below to view the Rules book in English, Mandarin, Spanish or French.


Rules Change Process

Every four years, NHLA reviews the hardwood lumber grading rules and accepts rules change proposals for consideration.

In the final step of the process, ballots containing new rules change proposals are sent to all Active Members. Each Active Member may vote for or against the proposed rules change provided such ballot is returned to and received by NHLA within 30 days from the date on the ballot. Rules change proposals that receive a favorable vote on a two-thirds majority of the votes properly cast by the Active Members will be adopted and become effective January 1 of the proceeding year.

NHLA will begin the next rules change process in 2017.

For questions about the rules change process, please contact Chief Inspector Dana Spessert.