For most hardwood floors, the surface texture is a distinct lack of texture. They’re sanded with a fine grit sandpaper until they’re completely smooth. Then, they’re finished with oil or polyurethane so that the entire floor is flawless. Textured hardwoods, however, have begun to grow in popularity. There are several different kinds of textured hardwoods that you might encounter.
Open grain hardwoods are woods in which the grain is raised relative to the wood around it. The grain of a hardwood is typically harder than the wood around it. So, a manufacturer will use sandpaper or a wire brush to scrape away a layer of the softer wood to allow the grain to stand up. This creates a textured look that’s common with older, weathered pieces of wood.
Brushed hardwood floors are created by running a stiff-bristled wire brush over the surface of the wood. The brush will scrape away layers of the wood, leaving tiny gouges all over the wood. The different textures of wood will then react differently to stain and to finish to create a brilliantly textured floor. This look mimics handcrafted hardwood floors of older buildings and works very well if you want to achieve a rustic look.
Before machines did most of the work of milling wood, it needed to be smoothed with a draw knife. A crafter would use a knife with a handle on each end and drag it over the wood to smooth out the surface. This left shallow scrapes throughout the wood. The look of undulating waves throughout the wood is very popular once again.
Rough-hewn woods such as shiplap have become very popular again. These are woods that are sanded so that there are no splinters or cracks, but they’re not sanded so smooth that they lack texture. If you run your hand over a rough-hewn plank, you’ll feel the grain of the wood. The look is very rustic; it’s perfect for cabins and areas that are designed to look like cabins.
Distressed hardwood is typically a combination of many different texturing methods. The wood is often hand-scraped and wire-brushed. Any cracks, knots, or machining marks are left on the wood. This wood often has some burn marks from processing facilities as well as skip marks where an errant saw might have run across the wood. It’s a very antique and weathered look.
Ask a Hardwood Flooring Contractor
If this article has caused more confusion than questions it’s answered, never fear…call your local hardwood flooring experts at Natural Beauty Wood Floors today and we’ll walk you through all of your concerns!