Characterized by a distressed appearance, handscraped flooring is increasing in popularity. Several brands now carry it, and the product is available for not just solid and engineered types but also for laminate flooring. At the same time, many species, including nearly all domestic and some exotic, are available as handscraped flooring.
If you are considering handscraped flooring for your home, realize that, while no two boards have the same appearance, several techniques are used to distress the hardwood. Handscraped flooring falls under one of the following types.
Hardwood may be handscraped through age. Called Time Worn Aged or Antique, such handscraped flooring is aged, and its appearance then accented through dark color staining, highlighting the grain, or contouring. Antique handscraped flooring, however, uses a lower grade.
Handscraped hardwood is often altered physically. Wire Brushed hardwood has the grain accented and the sapwood removed, while Hand Sculpted flooring is distressed but smoother than other varieties. Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn, on the other hand, has the roughest appearance texture possible for handscraped hardwood, with even saw lines visible.
French Bleed and Pegged are two other types of handscraped flooring. French Bleed is characterized by deeper beveled edges, with joints highlighted by darker stain. Pegged handscraped flooring, on the other hand, is decorative only. If you decide on this type, realize that it cannot be installed onto a subfloor.
For an even less uniform appearance, Custom Unfinished involves distressing the hardwood after installation. Once standard unfinished hardwood is added, a professional comes in to beat it with chains, bleach, pickel, or fasten it with antique nails. Once all distressing is done, a finish is added to the hardwood.
Refinishing is often a concern for handscraped flooring. For keeping up the appearance for several years, use a floor abrader to remove the paint without diminishing the distressed character. After this, a new stain can be applied.
Some, however, want to sand over the distressed part. While this is viable for solid handscraped flooring, sanding away the distressed portion is not always possible for engineered, particularly if the planks are thin. Because the distressing can go through the wear layer, sanding exposes the plys underneath. Instead, if the engineered handscraped flooring in your home is too thin, it will need to be removed and replaced with another type of hardwood.