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Distressed Hardwood Flooring: The Hand Scraping Process

Posted by: San Jose Hardwood Floors

Do you have your eye on distressed or hand scraped hardwood flooring for your home? This style has become a popular choice for homeowners that want the look of an old, reclaimed hardwood floor that will last a long time and show minimum wear.

What Exactly are Hand Scraped or Distressed Floors?


This hardwood flooring is intentionally scraped to provide a warm, natural look to a room. Before today’s modern sanding methods, floors were hand scraped on site to make the floors flat. Today’s hand scraping is done to add texture, richness and uniqueness.

There are two prominent methods used to give distressed floors this look:

  1. In an effort to reduce labor costs, manufacturers created machine-made scraped floors. Although it’s cheaper for the consumer, it’s easy to see a pattern repeating across the floor, which lacks a natural feel.
  2. Hand scraped wood floors are actually done by hand, giving the homeowner a truly unique floor. Although this method can have a very natural look, it is extremely dependent on the skill of the person scraping the floor.

There are a few different methods used when it comes to hand scraping a floor, including denting, scooping, sanding or creating a reclaimed look with wormholes, splits and other naturally occurring character markings. Some product lines also allow the homeowner to choose between heavy, medium and light scraping.

Although machine-scraped floors are more cost-effective, this is one area where you get what you pay for; hand scraping and beveling done by an artisan is a truly one-of-a-kind floor that will give your home unique beauty, which is why we think it’s worth the extra cost.

About Hand Scraping & Beveling Hardwood Floors


Although there are plenty of DIY hand scraping articles out there, this is one service you definitely want to hire a company like San Jose Hardwood Floors to complete. Real custom, rustic distressed hardwood flooring takes more than simply denting, scooping, roughing or sanding the floor unevenly. As you consider who you want to hand scrape or bevel your hardwood floors, ask where the work is done, who will be doing the work and if you can get a custom sample.

The process begins with creating a custom sample for the customer, which they signed off on before we start. Then our artisans use 3" blades to scrape the boards right on the floor. Once the journeymen are done with the scraping and beveling, they'll apply two coats of a custom stain to the wood and then a final coat on-site following the hardwood floors' installation.

Additional choices to consider:

  • Hand scraped hickory is the most popular choice of wood as it is currently more cost-effective than walnut, the second most popular choice of wood.
  • It’s also important to consider what type of stain and varnish you’d like for your hardwood floors, as those with a darker finish tend to show the scraping more than naturally-finished floors (the finish finds its way into the cracks, making it appear even darker).

Want to know more about distressed hardwood flooring? Our high-end hand scraped and beveled floors are available in a wide variety of species like hickory, spotted gum, jarrah, beech, maple, black walnut and more. Come visit our showroom to see it in person for yourself. Remember to contact usfor a free in-home estimate too, whether you're interested in hardwood floors or another type of flooring!

 

 Photo credit: San Jose Hardwood Floors project photo