Hand Scraped Flooring
Have you ever wanted to give your floors an aged, worn appearance? Install hand-scraped flooring. A growing trend in hardwoods, hand-scraped flooring involves wearing, aging, or changing the appearance of the wood and is offered by several manufacturers. Because of its popularity, hand-scraped hardwood is sold for solid and engineered varieties and unfinished or prefinished. Even some laminate products have a hand-scraped hardwood look.
At the same time, hand-scraped flooring is not uniform, and in fact, several techniques are used to alter the appearance of the hardwood. If you are looking at hand-scraped flooring for your space, one of the following distressing approaches may be used:
• Time Worn Aged involves distressing the hardwood with age. To emphasize the aged appearance, a darker stain may be used or highlighting the grain or contouring may be involved.
• Wire Brushed accents the hardwood's grain and removes the sapwood at the same time.
• Antique is similar to Time Worn Aged, but a lower grade of hardwood is used.
• Hand Sculpted creates a smoother distressed appearance.
• French Bleed involves creating a deeper beveled appearance. The joints are further emphasized with darker stain.
• Pegged is decorative distressing. This type of hand-scraped flooring should not be fastened to a subfloor in installation.
• Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn create the roughest distressed appearance.
• Custom Unfinished involves installing standard hardwood first and then having a professional to come in and distress it through bleaching, pickeling, beating with chains, or fastening with antique nails. He or she will then finish the hardwood.
Like most hardwood floors, hand-scraped hardwood may need to be refinished at some point. Is sanding and refinishing hand-scraped flooring possible without diminishing the appearance? Yes, but a different approach needs to be taken. Use a floor abrader to remove the existing finish only, and then apply your stain on top.
If, however, you want to refinish to get rid of the distressed look, understand that doing this is not possible for all hand-scraped flooring. Although the distressed portion can be sanded away with solid hardwoods, engineered flooring may have the distressing through the wear layer; sanding down, as result, exposes the lower plys. If this is the case with your hand-scraped engineered flooring, be prepared to remove it and install standard hardwood instead.