Hand Scraped vs Smooth Hardwood Floors (5 Major Difference)

hand scraped vs smooth hardwood floors

If you decide to install new hardwood flooring in your home, there are certain choices you would need to make like choosing between smooth or hand-scraped hardwood floors.

The best option for you depends on the general décor of the room and a couple of other factors that will be discussed in this article.

There are a handful of differences that sets smooth and hand-scraped floors apart, these differences determine the maintenance routine the floor requires and also affect some qualities of the hardwood and even add some benefits to the hardwood floor.

One of such differences is their appearance, a smooth hardwood floor has a beautifully smooth and attractively shiny appearance unlike a hand-scraped hardwood floor, which is intentionally made to look a bit worn and aged.

Both flooring types are beautiful but using a comparison scale; hand scraped vs smooth hardwood floors will enable you to make an informed decision and choose the right flooring for your home.

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Hand Scraped Vs Smooth Hardwood Floors

Before we proceed into the common difference between hand-scraped and smooth hardwood floors, let’s start with the basics.

What Are Hand-Scraped Hardwood Floors?

A hand-scraped hardwood starts out as a smooth wood floor before it is hand-scraped lightly to give the floor a rustic, worn-out, and aged look.

Hand-scraped floors give your home a unique look that is visually appealing and fits in with different decors.

Hand-scraping was originally used to make hardwood look more even and regular, but it serves an ironic purpose now as it is used to make the wood more irregular and uneven. In recent times, the process of hand-scraping hardwood is now done by machines instead of hands. 

Many homeowners also opt for hand-scraped hardwood floors because of their ability to hide scratches nicely. But they are quite expensive and many manufacturers are turning to machines to distress and make hand-scraped planks.    

However, planks that are distressed using a machine tend to have repetitive patterns in every plank this alters the unique look most crave for when opting for a hand-scraped hardwood floor.

What Are Smooth Hardwood Floors?

As you probably already know, smooth hardwood floors have a smooth surface that is refined, beautiful, lustrous, and visually pleasing. These floors are generally made from smooth woods like birch, maple, and oak. 

There are four grades of lumbered wood; prime, select, natural, and rustic, and smooth hardwood floors are made from the prime grade.

It is the highest grade for wood flooring and generally has a uniform look with very few knots, lesser color variations, and low sap content. This gives the floor surface a uniform and completely smooth outlook.

Smooth hardwood floors can be made from solid wood or engineered wood and are available in both dark and light shades.   

Differences Between Hand Scraped And Smooth Hardwood Floors

1. Resale Value

Hand-scraped hardwood floors tend to have a higher resale value compared to a smooth hardwood floor, but having a high resale value does not mean it is easy to sell hand-scraped hardwood flooring as there aren’t many willing buyers.

This is different for smooth hardwood floors that are easier to sell on the market.

Hand-scraped floors tend to have a unique look that has no equal in terms of beauty and vintage styling; so finding a homeowner that shares similar values in terms of home décor may not be easy.

So if you ever have to sell your home, there may not be many people interested in buying your hand-scraped hardwood flooring. 

2. Durability

Hand-scraped hardwood has higher durability compared to smooth varieties. This is partly due to the worn-out and aged look the floors originally have, so when new scratches occur on the floor, it blends in better with the intentional irregularities already on the floor. 

This makes them perfect for homes with kids, pets, and areas with a high amount of day-to-day activities, as the created wear and tear is masked perfectly on your hand-scraped hardwood floor.

Hand-scraped hardwood floors are also coated with a lasting anti-scratch finish for further protection. You can skip placing a rug in your space if you don’t want to when you have hand-scraped floors because although rugs help to extend the lifespan of your floor, occasional accidents will not ruin your floor.

Read: What is the most durable hardwood floor

3. Refinishing

Smooth hardwood floors can be refinished when they begin to look worn out or have lots of scratches, this is an impossible thing to do with hand-scraped hardwood floors. 

After years of use and your hardwood floor begins to look worn out, you may seek out restoration methods; one of which is sanding.

This process is however not recommended for hand-scraped floors as it removes the floor’s irregularities and smoothens the surface. At most, you can refurbish the old wood by screening and re-coating the floor without sanding it down. 

However, you can only screen and re-coat your hand-scraped a few times, and after a while, your floor might need complete can be done many times refinish. 

4. Maintenance

The slickness of smooth hardwood floors makes it very easy to sweep the dirt off the floor surface. This doesn’t necessarily mean smooth floors require any less maintenance than hand-scraped variety

Hand-scraped floors require basic cleaning periodically to maintain them. They do not require extensive cleaning and are able to disguise scratches and other damages that occur better. Their grooves however hide pet hair, dirt, and debris which means you may have to spend more time cleaning them.

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5. Cost

Hand-scraped hardwood costs up to 20% than a smooth hardwood floor. This is due to their cost and time-consuming manufacturing process. A hand-scraped flooring with the same specification as a smooth flooring except for the surface texture is more expensive per square foot.  

Hardwood floors are produced using different techniques but hand-scraped hardwood uses a unique and specialized technique leading to higher manufacturing costs.

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The comparison of hand-scraped vs smooth hardwood floors pinpoints the highs and lows of both types of hardwood flooring to give you a better insight and enable you to make the right choice.

There are a handful of differences between hand-scraped and smooth floors, one of which is the cost. Hand-scraped hardwood floor costs a whole lot more than smooth varieties, the type of maintenance needed and durability also set both types of hardwood floors apart.

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