Distressed Flooring

Looking to create an aged, worn appearance for your floor? Add distressed flooring. Also called "hand-scraped flooring," distressed hardwood is available for all species, unfinished and prefinished, solid and engineered. While offered by several brands, not all distressed flooring is the same.

Before you start looking at distressed wood flooring, keep in mind the following techniques used for aging or altering the hardwood:


  • Time Worn Aged uses age to distress the hardwood. The aged appearance is further emphasized through darker staining, highlighting the grain, and contouring.
  • Wire brushed is a technique used to accent the grain and remove the sapwood.
  • Antique is similar to time worn aged but involves a lower grade of hardwood.
  • Hand Sculpted creates a smoother distressed appearance.
  • French Bleed is a term used to describe deeper beveled edges, which are accented additionally with a darker stain.
  • Pegged is a decorative type of distressed flooring. When installed, pegged hardwood should not be fastened to a subfloor.
  • Hand Hewn and Rough Sawn is the roughest distressed flooring available.
  • Custom Unfinished involves bringing in a professional to distress your floor. The hardwood may be bleached, pickeled, beaten with chains, or fastened with antique nails before a finish is applied.

At some point, the distressed floor may need to be refinished. To prevent diminishing the distressed appearance, you will need to use a floor abrader to remove the finish. Once the old finish is removed, add the new stain. Some, however, want to sand the distressed look away, and this is possible for solid and some types of engineered hardwoods. Engineered flooring may be distressed through the wear layer, and as a result, you may end up sanding down to the second ply. For changing the look of distressed engineered flooring, new hardwood may need to be installed, if sanding is not possible.


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