5 Types of Hardwood Floor Texture

Homeowners interested in hardwood flooring have no shortage of options to choose from whether they prefer domestic species or something a little more exotic. The type of wood you choose has the most significant impact on style, but the texture can completely change its appearance as well. In this guide, we’re going to talk about the number of techniques manufacturers use today and how they can impact the overall price.

What is hardwood flooring texture?

The term hardwood texture can be somewhat misleading to consumers. The wood itself has a bit of a texture until it’s been sanded down, and finishes are used to protect the floor. They don’t provide texture, however, as that comes from a variety of techniques.

Hardwood flooring texture refers to how the surface not only looks but how it feels under your feet. The visual impact is the biggest factor, and while you won’t get splinters, you will feel a difference between smooth and distressed flooring beneath your feet.


Smooth hardwood flooring is also known as “traditional” hardwood. Despite its name, these floor boards do not mimic the wooden floors from a century ago. Smooth hardwood flooring, has been sanded to an even thickness and provides a clean, uniform look.

This type of hardwood is considered a modern style and is the most affordable of the floor textures on our list. The smooth surface makes it easier to sweep and keep clean, but it does not hide scratches as well as the next option on our list.

Wire Brushed

Wire brushes are used to clean a variety of materials with their coarse, firm bristles. They are also used to add detail to items, including hardwood flooring, laminate, and even LVP. Wire brushed flooring still retains its natural look, and the process is handled in one of two ways.

Wire brushed hardwood flooring can be texture by hand or machine. The former is more expensive because of the labor involved but will have a higher degree of variance. This type of texture adds a new dimension to hardwood flooring and can hide light to medium scratches well.


While hardwood flooring can be sanded smooth or wire brushed by machine, hand-scraped wood flooring is unique. Skilled artisans use scrapers and drawn knives on wood flooring which adds character and depth.

Flooring in this category is considered premium, which means it will come at a higher price. It can also be referred to as hand-sculpted flooring by some manufacturers. It’s ideal for high-traffic areas and is excellent at hiding dings and scratches.


Distressed flooring is unique and stands apart from even hand-scraped, sculpted, or wire-brushed flooring. How much it’s actually distressed varies by brand and collection as well. The important thing to keep in mind is distressed flooring is designed to appear worn.

Numerous techniques are used to produce distressed flooring. That can include boards that have been both wire-brushed and scraped. Distressed hardwood is different from reclaimed hardwood flooring, however, as these planks are new and intentionally altered to appear worn.


Occasionally, you’ll come across hardwood flooring listed as rustic. It can be close in appearance to weathered or distressed hardwood flooring, but there can also be significant differences between these two styles.

Rustic hardwood can be of a lower grade. That means it can have more prominent knot holes, tool marks, or even marks left behind from band saws. Rustic flooring is the best choice when you’re worried about scratches or damage, but it’s only suitable for certain types of décor. Reclaimed flooring can also fall into this category with similar wear and tear that gives it a rustic appearance.

KahrsCarobHard MapleHand-scraped7.5”W x ½”T$8.49
BruceDark BrownOakWire-brushed5”W x ¾” T$7.10
BellawoodThames TavernOakDistressed5”W x ¾” T$6.29
MullicanSt. Andrews CaramelOakSmooth2 ¼”W x ¾”T$5.60
Bella CeraSawgrassFrench OakWire-brushed6.5”W x 3/8”T$8.24
SmartCoreBoulder CreekHickoryHand-scraped5”W x ¼”T$3.79
Green LeafLeather BrownHickoryHand-Sculpted4”W x ¾”T$8.75

The Cost of Textured Hardwood Flooring

As mentioned, all of the styles in our guide cost more than smooth or traditional hardwood flooring. The one exception would be hardwood flooring that’s wider or thicker than the standard size. The brand and thickness of hardwood play a part in the price whether it’s engineered or solid, but so does the width and length.

Engineered flooring is “usually” cheaper than solid hardwood, but premium textured engineered planks come with a premium price tag. Solid hardwood can come with a price tag of $3.50 to $5.00 per square foot. Wire-brushed flooring is the cheapest form of texturing, followed by distressed and hand-scraped hardwood flooring.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing hardwood flooring with added texture is a great way to change things up, but remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Keep the overall style of the hardwood in mind along with any future plans as something too unique could be a turn-off to potential buyers down the road.

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