We describe a scanning system developed for the classification and grading of surfaces of wooden tiles. The system uses color imaging sensors to analyse the surfaces of either hard- or softwood material in terms of the texture formed by grain lines (orientation, spatial frequency, and color), various types of colorization, and other defects like knots, heart wood, cracks, holes, etc. The analysis requires two major tracks: the assignment of a tile to its texture class (like A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, Waste), and the detection of defects that decrease the commercial value of the tile (heart wood, knots, etc.). The system was initially developed under the international IMS program (Intelligent Manufacturing Systems) by an industry consortium. During the last two years it has been further developed, and several industrial systems have been installed, and are presently used in production of hardwood flooring. The methods implemented reflect some of the latest developments in the field of pattern recognition: genetic feature selection, two-dimensional second order statistics, special color space transforms, and classification by neural networks. In the industrial scenario we describe, many of the features defining a class cannot be described mathematically. Consequently a focus was the design of a learning architecture, where prototype texture samples are presented to the system, which then automatically finds the internal representation necessary for classification. The methods used in this approach have a wide applicability to problems of inspection, sorting, and optimization of high-value material typically used in the furniture, flooring, and related wood manufacturing industries.