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How to tell the Difference Between Hand-Scraped and Distressed Flooring

When shopping for hardwood flooring, the best thing to do is look at samples. By actually seeing and touching the product, a person can understand the difference between different types of flooring. If it is not possible to see the product in person, there are many differences between hand-scraped and distressed flooring that people should know about.


Those who want a truly unique looking floor should purchase hand-scraped. Hand-scraped floors are more expensive but will give any room a unique, warm, and elegant look. The way hand-scraped flooring gets its character is by hand. A flooring contractor uses hand tools to scuff, sand, gouge, and dent the surface of the wood. Wire brushes are typically used to texture the surface and awls and picks to create indentations. It is considered by many flooring contractors as an art, and they take pride in creating beautiful and original floor boards. The labor-intensive, unique nature of hand-scraped hardwood flooring is what makes it such an expensive choice.


Distressed flooring is created by machines and can be done before or after installation. With pre-distressed floors, the manufacturer will run each piece of flooring through a machine that scuffs the planks evenly and applies the scratches and dents. On an existing floor, distressing is done by running a machine such as a sander over the surface of the floor. Machine distressing is easier and quicker than hand scraped, making it a much cheaper alternative. However, machine distressed flooring does not have that unique and original look that hand scraped offers.

The reason people choose hand-scraped and distressed flooring is to make the surface look old and used. Many people use these types of flooring in older homes because they blend well and give the home character.