If you're looking for new hard flooring for your home, there are a variety of options available from laminate and vinyl to solid hardwood. One of the tricks manufacturers have used to draw attention to certain lines involves the use of finishing techniques. Hand scraped flooring is one of the newer trends to catch homeowners’ attention, and in this guide, we’re going to discuss what to expect from this unique type of flooring.
Hand Scraped Flooring Explained
Depending on the type of flooring you’ve had in your home, you might be surprised to learn that all solid flooring does not have a smooth surface. At present, you can find over a half-dozen common finishing techniques that are used on everything from tile to vinyl and hardwood.
Hard scraping is one of the newer techniques on the market today although it’s something that’s been used for centuries. Before flooring machines came into existence, craftsmen would use tools to manually remove wood from the surface of each plank to level them. In the end, these hand sawn planks were often uneven, which gave them character and added a rustic charm.
Today, that term still lives up to its namesake. While flooring manufacturers can make boards perfectly smooth with machines, intentionally removing wood by hand has become a popular trend. Hand-scraped flooring isn’t smooth but has a textured surface that brings a new level of detail to a room.
This technique is most commonly used on solid hardwood flooring but can be found on engineered hardwood as well. The techniques used vary, but the surface texture of each plank or tile will be slightly uneven with a distressed appearance. How these changes get onto the surface can vary, however.
Hand scraped vs. Machine scraped flooring
The term “hand scraped” does imply that the flooring you’re looking at has a surface that’s been crafted by hand. Well, there are two ways this is done in the flooring world today, as some hand scraped boards are actually machine scraped.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between boards that have been scraped by hand or a machine, there are two major things to keep in mind. Flooring that has actually been hand scraped, is priced at a premium as each board is individually shaved with a series of tools.
This process requires considerably more time and a number of skilled artisans. Most of the work is handled at the factory, although it can be done on-site if you want to add character to any solid hardwood flooring.
Flooring that has been scraped by a machine, can be erroneously labeled as hand scraped. Manufacturers run planks through machines to add texture to the surface of each plank or tile, which means this type of flooring can be somewhat cheaper. It won’t have the same character, however, and budget-friendly boards in this class could have repetitive patterns.
How to Clean Hand Scraped Flooring
Cleaning hardwood flooring isn’t challenging as long as you have the right tools for the job. When that flooring is textured, it can present a few problems which can be the case with hand scraped solid hardwood and engineered flooring.
The best way to clean hand scraped wood flooring is the same way you deal with traditional hardwood flooring. That means you can use a high-quality broom with a dustpan, a dry mop, or even a vacuum cleaner if it meets certain requirements. As hardwood is usually finished with a protective layer, spray mops are often used as well.
With that in mind, water is bad for any type of wood flooring, which means steam cleaners and wet mops are not ideal. If you are considering either of these products, check the care sheet for the flooring or contact the manufacturer beforehand. The surface of the flooring itself could make it harder to sweep than smooth hardwood, but is a minor inconvenience for most.
Wood Trail Brown
Max Blanton Brown
Maison Oak Collection
Boulder Greek Brown
Harper Sepia Brown
Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring Price
While popular, finding high-quality hand scraped flooring can be challenging and it’s more expensive than wire-brushed or weathered flooring. You may need to largely rely on the brand available in your area unless you’re willing to shop online, and solid hardwood isn’t as prevalent at big box hardware stores as LVP.
Our table will give you an idea of what you can expect from some of the major brands found in hardware stores and online flooring shops. It’s only a small sample of what’s available to homeowners today, but you’ll pay $1.00 or more extra per square foot for thicker hand scraped flooring. Engineered flooring is cheaper but still higher than flooring with other finishing techniques.
The Pros and Cons of Hand Scraped Wood Flooring
We always feel it’s critical to weigh the pros and cons with any type of flooring given the cost of the material and the amount of labor involved. Even in a smaller room, this project will upend your household for the day, so here are some things to remember before settling on hand scraped wood flooring.
The first advantage to owning hand scraped wood flooring ties into the style. These floors are unique and can provide a rustic look in any room without being overstated. These planks won’t be full of knot holes and nail marks like “weathered” or repurposed wood flooring, but will certainly stand out in a room.
Every plank on a hand-scraped floor will be slightly different from the next. That's something you can’t replicate with a machine and it also helps hide light damage. The texture on the top of each board is excellent at hiding scrapes and scratches in comparison to smooth hardwood flooring or even wire-brushed planks.
Due to the unique nature of this flooring, you’ll often find they come with longer warranties where the finish is involved. It’s not uncommon to find thick wear layers on hand scraped wood flooring, and when they do need to be refinished, you can completely change the look. Unfortunately, there are also a few disadvantages to hand scraped hardwood.
The installation cost of hand scraped hardwood tends to be higher than with traditional flooring. While hardwood is more labor-intensive than click-lock laminate or vinyl, it can be more challenging to get the look you want because of the texturing on each plank or tile. This can slow the installation process down to a degree, and you have to take the price of the flooring itself into account as well.
Hand scraped wood flooring can add an interesting vibe to any home, although the style itself will not be for every type of décor. If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of finishing techniques used on hardwood flooring today, check out our ultimate hardwood guide.