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Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring: All You Need to Know Before You Buy

by Jeff Hosking – Hosking Hardwood Flooring
© 2004 - 2012, Copyright protected. All Rights Reserved

hand scraped hardwood flooring

Are Hand Scraped Wood Floors popular?

Prefinished Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring has become extremely popular over the last several years. The best we have seen are the Anderson Hand Scraped and the Vintage Solid Sawn Handscraped Collections.

Homeowners love the “Old Worn Look” that this wood flooring imitates and want this unique look in their homes. Hand scraped wood flooring offers a distinct appearance, similar to the old worn look of floors found in old farmhouses, rustic estates and European castles. Years ago homeowners had to hire skilled contractors to actually scrape the flooring themselves by hand to achieve this coveted look and it was very difficult to find a contractor talented enough to recreate this worn and handscraped appearance realistically.

Over the years, customers who were looking to replace their floors or extend the hardwood flooring in their homes, would ask us to duplicate the look of their old, distressed, hand scraped floor boards. In 1939, Hosking Hardwood Flooring developed our own system for antiquing and hand scraping new flooring to look like old flooring.

My father, Thomas Hosking, developed different metal base plates, each having a different set of unique metal imprints (protrusions), so that when positioned on sections of the installed floor and hit with a 10 lb. hammer they imprinted dents, simulated worm holes and produced character on the surface of a board. Then, long handled scrapers were moved along the hardwood flooring boards to put depressions and marks within the surface of the wood floors. This would simulate time worn wear. We would even give new flooring an aged look by exposing the surface of the wood to heat, followed by an ammonia based chemical to darken the wood floor. To finish, a coating of stain and shellac and wax finish would be applied. The whole process of antiquing wood floors is complex and time consuming, but the look and charm of a hand scraped wood floor simply cannot be beat.


In addition to handscraped hardwood flooring, homeowners also love the time worn look of reclaimed wood. To obtain authentic, old wide floor boards that have the natural patina, nail holes, worm holes, etc., you can seek out salvage yards who commonly offer the old 8"–20" wide wooden boards. This reclaimed flooring is usually salvaged from the demolition of 150+ year old buildings and warehouses and it is sold at between $10.00–$30.00 a square foot.

Manufactured Hand Scraped Wood Floors—How are they made?

handscraped hardwood

Due to the popularity of handscraped flooring, manufacturers nowadays are now using methods to re-create this antiqued look in their factories. One common method of creating factory produced, hand scraped wood flooring is to use automated machines. During the milling of the wood, machines skim the surface of the wood boards, creating rows of depressions within the wood’s surface. The machine’s gouging and/or sanding wheels vary in rotation, depth and size depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. The hand scraped wood flooring is then enhanced by the staining and finishing process – shown above.  

A back to basics method used by some hardwood flooring manufacturers to produce hand scraped wood flooring is simply skilled workers. These hardwood flooring artisans actually hand scrape the flooring by hand at the manufacturing plant. Artisans use tools like metal gouges, chisels, hand planes etc. to create the appearance of the hand scraped wood flooring correctly. Consequently, each floor is distinct because of the individual technique of the craftsmen. The wood flooring is then completed when the hand scraped wood flooring is enhanced by the staining and finishing process. This method of hand scraped wood flooring has a more natural appearance, but consumers should be prepared to pay a much higher cost for the more custom authentic look  

handscraped hardwood flooring

Remember that each manufacturer will have its own unique antiquing process for hand scraped wood. As a result, one manufacturer’s hand scraped flooring will look different when compared to a second manufacturer’s style. Consumers should NOT expect their delivered flooring to look exactly like the small sample they saw at a flooring retail showroom. The beauty of real hand scraped flooring is that it's meant to look antiqued and no two pieces are going to look exactly the same.

Hand scraped hardwood flooring is available in 3/4" thick solid wood floor styles for installations over wood sub floors as well as engineered wood flooring styles in various thicknesses for installations over wood sub floors or concrete slabs. Approved installation methods for handscraped wood flooring are based on the particular manufacturer's recommendations, but most allow their flooring to be either nailed/stapled down, direct glued down or floated - either click locked or glued together.


Some engineered hand scraped wood floors have a thick wear layer that can be fully sanded and refinished 3-5 times if ever needed and last well over 80 years. Some manufacturers produce a thin wear layer and may not be able to be sanded and refinished in the future. How many times an engineered handscraped floor can be sanded and refinished solely depends on the thickness of the wear layer of that particular floor. Keep in mind that if sanding and refinishing is ever needed, commercial sanding machines will remove most of the handscraped character applied at the factory. Therefore, if the flooring should ever need to be renewed later, we would recommend just a light sanding and recoating the hand scraped floors by hand in order to retain the look and charm for many years.

Cleaning a handscraped floor is just the same as with any other hardwood floor. We recommend Bona Kemi hardwood cleaning products for regular cleaning and, of course, vacuum dirt and dust regularly. Handscraped flooring does a good job at hiding a lot of use because of the handscraped texture, but touch up kits can typically fix small scratches.

Frequently asked questions about

Hardwood Flooring
Laminate Flooring

Before you purchase your flooring read our other articles:

All About Solid Wood Flooring
All About Floating Engineered Wood Floors
All About Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Radiant Heat
Need Help Finding The Right Flooring?
All About Wear Layers 

Browse our best handscraped hardwood flooring products here:

Top Handscraped Collections

See JEFF HOSKING'S BRAND RATINGS: wood floor rating next to each product style within this site.

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Web Page: Handscraped Hardwood Flooring
Overall Rating: 4.1 stars - 9 reviews

Date: August 9, 2018
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
When you install hand scraped oak flooring do you have to put a liquid clear coat finish to protect the stain or can you use a wax on this type of flooring
Reply by HoskingHardwood : Hand scraped flooring usually comes prefinished so there is no need to apply any other type of finish. 
Date: November 9, 2016
Page Rating: (1.0/5)
We are manufacturer of HF vacuum wood dryer from China . The dyer is used to dry hardwood quickly, and as usually only need 3-5 days . We have exported to Indonesia , Thailand , Vietnam , USA , UK , Australia and so on and got a good feedback . We looking forward to cooperate with you . My whatsapp: 0086 137 2298 0382 Sincerely Ellen
Date: August 19, 2016
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
It doesnt tell you the best way to CLEAN these handscraped engineered hardwood floors
Date: April 22, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
How light can a hanscaped hickory be made when refinished? It is cocoa now
Date: February 20, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Thank you for the information. It is the best description I have found online. And I have been looking for a few weeks now. I wish you were in Michigan.
Date: February 14, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
I have been reading reviews for days on many different sites. Your has had the most complete information by far. I wish I would have found yours sooner. Thank you for all the information!
Date: February 8, 2015
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
We are about to put into our home about 800 sq of wood flooring.
Date: February 20, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Good Information!
Date: March 18, 2013
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Thank you for answering my questions. This article has helped greatly.

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