Hand Scraped Oak Flooring
Oak hardwood is sold in two species: red and white. The former is distinguished by a light red or pink color pervading the heartwood and sapwood. White oak, on the other hand, is a consistent white, cream, or light brown shade. While similarities, such as open, slightly coarse grain, abound between these two, red and white oak species have different physical characteristics. With a Janka scale rating of 1360, white oak is more durable and is better for machining. As an additional asset, this species has a higher concentration of tannic acid, making it more insect- and fungi-resistant. Red oak, with a Janka rating of 1290, is slightly less dense but sands well and is ideal for bleaching floors. Both species are additionally available in hand-scraped varieties through several brands.
Hand-scraped hardwoods, regardless of species, have experienced increased preference in recent years. Texture, it seems, is a definitive factor, adding a tactile element to the floor through contouring, a rougher surface, character marks, or even the illusion of depth with well-placed dark staining. But, although brands offer distressed and hand-scraped options for practically all species in the present, oak is one of the more popular options, as customers tend to choose domestic species, including walnut, hickory, or cherry, over exotic ones.
Hand-scraped oak and other species have either a rustic or classic style. Rustic leans more toward a greater presence of character marks, including knots, mineral streaks, and color variance, while classic is descriptive of professional hand-scraping, such as contouring done by an Amish woodworker.
Multiple techniques are involved in creating hand-scraped oak flooring. Aging – going by name "Time Worn Aged" or "Antique" – is one. Along with being aged, the hardwood may have grain highlighting, dark-colored staining, or contouring. Other hand-scraped oak flooring has texture added by hand. "Wire Brushed" describes the process used to remove sapwood and accent the grain, while "Hand Sculpted" indicates the surface of the floor will have a smoother distressed appearance. "Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn" is used for the roughest flooring, which may even have saw marks visible. "French Bleed" relies primarily on finish for a distressed appearance but is characterized by deeper beveled edges.
Not all hand-scraped oak flooring has to be purchased. In fact, custom distressing is another option. An unfinished solid or engineered oak product can be purchased from The Discount Flooring Co. and installed into your home. After, a professional can come in to manually distress the floor through a combination of beating with chains, fastening with antique nails, pickeling, or bleaching, before adding a finish on top.