Hand Scraped Hickory Flooring
Visually, hickory hardwood is characterized by tan to reddish heartwood and white or cream-colored sapwood. The hardwood, with a Janka scale rating of 1820, is one of the densest domestic species and has closed grain with some definition. Such qualities make hickory flooring difficult to install, particularly for sanding and finishing. Yet, because of its contrasting appearance, hickory is a highly sought after hardwood.
To give hickory a smooth surface, the hardwood should be sanded with a belt sander after installation. If you have decided to add unfinished hickory to your floor in order to choose your own stain, realize that the hardwood has a tendency to blotch unless the grain is sealed completely off or is opened. Adding wood conditioner does the former, while water popping is used for the latter.
Installing hand-scraped hickory flooring is a third option. The rough and aged character of hand-scraped hickory camouflages blotches and other imperfections and, at the same time, gives a space a rustic character. Both solid and engineered and unfinished and prefinished hickory flooring is available hand scraped.
Done manually, hand-scraping gives each board a unique appearance, but various techniques are used to distress the hardwood. These include:
• Time Worn Aged distresses the hardwood with age. The appearance is accented further with darker staining, highlighting the grain, and contouring.
• Wire Brushed accents the grain and removes the sapwood.
• Antique is another aged technique, similar to Time Worn Aged, used for a lower grade of hardwood.
• Hand Sculpted creates a smoother distressed appearance.
• French Bleed is characterized by deeper beveled edges. Joints are accented with darker stain.
• Pegged is a decorative type of handscraped flooring. Unlike the other types, pegged should not be installed over a subfloor.
• Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn create the roughest texture and appearance for hickory, so much that saw lines are visible.
• Custom Unfinished involves distressing the floor after the hardwood is installed. A professional comes in to distress the hardwood by beating with chains, bleaching, pickeling, or fastening with antique nails.