What is Handscraped Flooring?
Handscraped flooring is a kind of flooring that leaves distinct grooves and marks on the flooring surface. The texture can be used on hardwood flooring or engineered flooring. It has a long history: when American immigrants first built their homes on the New Lands, the only flooring option available to them was nothing but wood. The skilled carpenters had to mill and sand the boards by hand. In this way, they left subtle marks and stains with their saws and hand planes.
Today, people who like rustic, casual, and lived-in style choose handscraped flooring to give rooms a traditional, vintage look.
Reasons for Choosing Handscraped Flooring
- Unique Look
The handscraped technique can make the new flooring planks look distressed and antiqued. It is perfect for the whole house, including the dining room, bedroom, kitchen, and even commercial space. The antiqued flooring gives the space a warm and lived-in look.
For example, handscraped oak engineered flooring in the living room takes you back to the hall of a castle in the nineteenth century. Many household stores like MUJI choose handscraped flooring to create a cozy atmosphere.
- Low Maintenance
There is no additional or unique care for handscraped flooring: maintenance for the flooring is the same as if it was not hand scraped.
Even though the flooring boards are scraped and stained, their strength and durability are still maintained. Handscraped flooring is ideal for high-traffic areas because the imperfect surface style can hide dents, scratches and dings. If you have kids, pets, or maybe even careless roommates who often drag chairs and move furniture, you don’t have to worry about the scratches and damage left on the handscraped flooring surface that everything seems to blend in more with the already rough finish.
How is the Handscraped Flooring Made?
Once upon a time, handscraping was only performed by skilled flooring craftsmen. While there are no standard tools for the workers, the most common tools are ready-made knives, hand planes, hammers, handmade gouges, metal scraps, and chisels. Different tools can make various marks on the flooring surface.
Individual artisans have developed their techniques over the years. The flooring they scrape always has a unique look, and no two flooring planks look the same. As this process is finished by hand, it takes more time and labor to complete.
Nowadays, some manufacturers also use machinery to create the scraped texture. In the scraping process, a machine with sanding wheels and blades skims the flooring surface and creates rows of indentations. The operators can set the equipment to change the size and depth of the indentations, then stain and finish the flooring to enhance its antiqued looks. However, this process cannot create a unique character like the manually scraped flooring.
Skilled workers can make different antiqued textures on the flooring surface with their tools. Here are some examples of handscraped textures:
Chatter mark. Chatter marks, usually regarded as manufactured a defect, occur when the tools vibrate in processing the pieces. However, many people like its raw look on the flooring surface. With flexible tools and blades perpendicular to the flooring surface, skilled workers can make irregular chatter marks manually.
Manual brushed. A brushed finish is produced by working a wire rotary brush over the board’s surface. This removes the softer grains and leaves the upper surface with a textured finish. With handheld brush equipment, continuous brushed grooves are made on the surface, making the flooring look more aged.
Other handscraped textures, such as screw scratch, irregular bevel, and indentation, can make your flooring more pronounced and antique. Now you have various choices to design your flooring project.
- Wood Species, Grade and Finishes
The handscraping technique can be used for many wood species. There are some popular species choices: wood with rich texture variety and moderate hardness like oak, acacia, and birch are quite suitable for handscraping. While the texture of some wood species is straight and uniform, floorings like teak, kasai, merbau, bamboo and jatoba are rarely scraped, as they often don’t look good when distressed. Another reason for not choosing those tropical wood species is that they are too hard to be scraped.
The lamella grade for handscraped engineered flooring is not as strict as those for flat finishes. Knots, stains, coarse texture and disordered grains can subtly contribute to the rustic look. This can help the manufacturers make full use of the low-grade lamella.
The top coating process for handscraped flooring differs from that for flat flooring. Typically, the viscosity of the lacquer applied on handscraped flooring is lower than that of flat flooring. Otherwise, the top coat is likely to wrinkle.
How Much is the Handscraped Flooring?
While handscraping is time-consuming and labor-intensive, it is only moderately more expensive. On average, handscraped flooring tends to be around 10%-20% more expensive than its flat counterparts. It has been a great investment for decades to add warmth and personality to a space.
Time to Make Your Choice
There are many reasons why you might choose handscraped flooring for your home. Whether you want a unique look in your home, a floor that can hide wear and tear from kids and pets, or a floor that matches the style of a historic home, handscraped flooring might be the perfect option for you.