What are Hand Scraped Wood Floors?

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Hand scraped wood floors are similar to distressed wood floors in the way they look. Both methods age wood so it appears older than it really is; however, distressing is usually done by a machine, and hand scraping is done strictly by hand. Hand-scraped floors are often mistaken for other types of distressed or aged woods, but if you look closely you can tell whether a floor has been truly hand-scraped or whether a machine has created patterns in its surface.

Low Maintenance Charm

Hand-scraped floors have become more popular as people seek to create an atmosphere of rustic charm and low maintenance. Wood can be hand-scraped at home without a professional, making it an attractive enhancement without the cost. Further, if the wood is already worn-looking, there is no need to worry about most scuffles, stains, or marks.

Versatile and Unique

You can hand scrape just about any type of wood out there, although darker woods reflect hand scraping more than others. If you want to protect your wood from further distressing from feet, kids, or animals, you can choose to have a protective stain added over the finished product. The advantage to having hand scraped wood floors instead of distressed or machine scraped floors is that machines will create a series of patterns over the wood, whereas hand scraping is unique to every length of wood.

Several Ways to Apply

Hand scraping can be done at home by you, by professionals after the flooring has been installed, or pre-ordered and hand-scraped at a manufacturer before installation. In all three scenarios, you get to choose how the wood looks. Among others, you can pick how noticeable you want the textures to be, whether you want natural defects such as holes and cracks added and if you want the wood height to be uneven or level across.

Different Techniques

There are a variety of effects you can create using hand scraping tools. You can mimic the swerving patterns that years of high foot traffic causes, hard chisel oblong shapes into the wood, and add stains in varying tones so that some wood appears very dark and some appear light. No matter if you are doing it yourself or pre-ordering, it is up to the customer to decide how to personalize the finish.


Due to the unique and personalized finish that hand scraping brings to your wood, the cost can add up quickly. Machine distressed wood is cheaper because it is made faster and is not as unique as hand-scraped wood. If you choose to have a professional attend to your wood, the price will vary according to the method used.

Certain designs or accents take considerably more time than others and will therefore be costlier. Per square foot, true hand-scraped wood floors generally start at around $5 for the quickest and easiest methods and reach $15 and higher for the more intricate designs.

No matter what wood you choose or the style of hand scraping, you can guarantee that your floors will be unique and personalized to your taste.