Hand-Scraped Hardwood Flooring Adds Character to Rooms

March 11, 2024 | By Bruce Product Expert

One of the beauties of wood flooring is its character. Its colors. Its grains. Its mineral streaks. Those elements bring it a richness that few other flooring options can match.

You can embellish the wood’s richness even more by using different finishes. For example, different gloss levels can highlight graining. You can also use various finishes. Hand scraping is a popular technique to deliver added character to hardwood floors.

What is Hand-Scraped Hardwood Flooring?

Unlike traditional smooth hardwood floors, hand-scraped floors include machine-made, intentional imperfections. The grooves and marks it leaves behind give the flooring a rustic and aged appearance.

Equally important, hand scraping adds texture and dimension to each plank rather than a flat surface. The process brings a touch of history and craftsmanship into your home.

Hand-Scraped Floors Aren’t a Fad … They’re History

Hand scraping has become a popular trend with hardwood flooring. But the technique is hardly new. It goes back to our pioneer days when builders used it to remove irregular areas on planks.

Today, the manufacturing process takes harvested lumber and fashions into smooth planks with sanding machines. Back then, people had to saw trees by hand and do the same to create planks. The planks might include some noticeable flaws.

Artisans used hand scraping to remove them and create a more even plank. The effort substantially impacted each plank, adding character to the flooring, even if it wasn’t intentional. The effect highlighted the wood’s grain and texture. Each plank has its distinctive appearance.

Thankfully, many of today’s homeowners value that added character. As a result, manufacturers employ machining to create what individuals previously made by hand. But the result is similar — hardwood flooring with a worn look.

Hand-Scraped Hickory Flooring

Bruce®, for example, offers hickory hand-scraped engineered hardwoods. Its Next Frontier and Frontier collections include the time-worn technique. They also have a Dura-Luster finish for added wear and tear.
The flooring also capitalizes on the hickory’s inherent benefits.

First, hickory is the hardest domestic species, so you’ll enjoy top-notch durability.

Second, hickory flooring has an already unique, rustic quality. The hand-scraped hickory flooring takes that character to an entirely new level.

Third, hickory is one of the more water-resistant hardwoods. Plus, engineered hardwood means less worry about floors warping from humidity or water issues.

What’s Great About Hand-Scraped Wood Floors

Hand-scraped hardwood flooring offers a unique aesthetic and character. And that’s one of its chief pluses. But there’s a lot to like about the flooring.

Distinctive Appearance: Hand-scraped floors fit the bill if you’re after a distinct look. It creates a rustic and aged look that adds character and uniqueness to each plank. This distinctive appearance is a significant draw for many homeowners looking for a one-of-a-kind flooring option.

Durability: Homeowners have always favored hardwood for its durability. So hand-scraped flooring is no different. For example, Bruce warrants America’s Best Choice solid white oak hardwood for 50 years.

High Traffic: The imperfection in hand-scraped floors comes in handy. They help hide minor scratches, dents, and wear over time. This can make it a practical choice for households with pets or active children.

Versatility: You might think hand-scraped floors are only suitable for rustic design styles. But they complement various interior design styles, from rustic and traditional to contemporary and modern.

What’s Not Great About Hand-Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Like anything else, hand-scraped floors aren’t suitable for everyone. Some folks see these drawbacks:

Cost: Hand-scraped hardwood comes in two flavors. You can purchase custom floors by hand. The labor-intensive process can make the floors expensive. However, machine-made hand scraping makes the flooring way more affordable.

Species: Generally, not all wood species are available in hand-scraped styles. Often, only hickory, oak and some maple flooring include hand scraping, at least with machine-made flooring.

Surface: The uneven surface of hand-scraped flooring can turn some people off. Many homeowners prefer a smooth, uniform look in their flooring.

Installation: Matching plank can be somewhat more challenging than traditional flooring. So, professional installation is often your best bet. But the reward is a one-of-a-kind look that sets your flooring apart from your neighbors.

Maintenance Tips

As mentioned, hand-scraped floors help hide blemishes. So you’ll be less likely to see scratch marks and other dings. That’s especially true if you have a family that enjoys an active lifestyle. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for maintenance.

Like any hardwood floor, you need some routine maintenance to keep your floors looking good.

* Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and dust.
* Use a recommended hardwood floor cleaner for deeper cleaning.
* You can use a damp mop, mostly on engineered hardwood floors. It’s essential, however, to ensure you ring it out thoroughly. Wipe up spills promptly to prevent damage.
* Consider professional refinishing every few years to refresh your floors.

Can You Refinish Hand-Scraped Hardwood Floors?

Like other hardwood floorings, you can sand and refinish hand-scraped floors. With thicker 3/4″ inch solid hardwood floors, you can do so as many as five times.

However, the hand-scraped features may lose some dimension depending on their depth. As a result, the flooring could take on a more subtle hand-scraped look than its original state.

You can do the same with engineered hardwood floors, just fewer times. And with floors having thinner hardwood veneers, you may only be able to go through the process once, if at all.

America is Built on Bruce® Floors

Bruce has been a staple for American homeowners since 1884. You can still count on the brand for quality flooring made in the USA.

You can select from solid and engineered hardwoods in the most popular species. You get popular finishes like hand scraping, wire brushing, and other distressed options.

Find the floor that fits your room with our floor visualizer. You can take a picture of your room and see how it looks instantly. So you’ll know whether it’s a perfect match.

You can find Bruce Flooring at quality retailers throughout the U.S.

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