Distressed flooring is a growing trend for hardwoods, and at this point, several brands carry such product lines. Distressed hardwoods, as well, encompass many species and are available for solid and engineered types, unfinished or prefinished. Yet, if you are looking to add distressed wood flooring to your home, understand that the techniques used to age, wear, or scrape the hardwood are not identical.
Several techniques are used to distress hardwood. If you're looking at such flooring, one of the following may be used:
• Time Worn Aged. Hardwood can be distressed with age, and Time Worn Aged is the technique used. The appearance of the wood may be exaggerated to look older or more worn through dark-colored staining, highlighting the grain, or contouring.
• Wire Brushed. For creating a rougher texture, Wire Brushed is used to accent the grain and remove the sapwood.
• Antique. Another aging technique, Antique is similar to Time Worn Aged, only used for a lower grade of hardwood.
• Hand Sculpted. For a smoother distressed appearance, Hand Sculpted is used.
• French Bleed. Accenting the edges, French Bleed hardwood has deeper bevels, and joints are highlighted with darker stain.
• Pegged. A decorative distressed look, Pegged flooring should not be installed onto a subfloor.
• Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn. For the roughest texture possible, Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn is used to distress the hardwood.
• Custom Unfinished. Rather than have a uniform distressed look for your floors, have a professional come in to alter it through bleaching, pickeling, beating with chains, or fastening with antique nails.
A distressed floor may need to be refinished at some point, and to keep up the appearance, remove the old finish with a floor abrader. The distressed look will remain unchanged, with the exception of the new finish added.
Some, however, wonder if the distressed wood can be sanded off completed. This is possible for solid hardwoods; for engineered, however, the flooring may need to be replaced. Some thinner engineered flooring may be distressed through the wear layer, and if you sand, you may end up exposing the plys below.