Maples And Birch

What’s The Difference between Distressed and Hand Scraped Wood Flooring?

Often we are asked for our recommendation and opinion as to what type of floor is best as the answer is not as easy as black or white.

When choosing a hardwood floor it is a personal reaction to your style, influences and taste and basically, it comes down to what suits your living environment and lifestyle from a practical point of view.

Here is a simple quick guide to help you select what finish is best for you

Hand Scraped Wood

For centuries wood has been used as a solid surface to walk on with the greatest advantage being that wood is naturally warmer to all other solid coverings yet naturally attractive.

Full close image of hand scraped wooden floor

So what is hand scraped hardwood flooring?

Today a hand scraped texture is created on unfinished smooth cut hardwood board to recreate the appearance of boards that were used over 200 years ago. 
When a plank of hardwood was milled boards were smoothed using hand tools to scrape unwanted textures and blemishes by hand, leaving the surface uneven with smooth wave type texture lines made by the hand tools.

With the desire to create the antique aged look of days gone today’s modern mills apply the skills of artisan craftsmen who use traditional hand tools to replicate boards from that bygone era where boards were hand scraped for practical reasons as opposed to aesthetical reasons.

Artisans create subtle hand scraped hardwood floors of quality that are then tastefully coloured to create the correct mood tones to suit a valiant quest for choice and finished with the boards in an Oiled (natural or UV) lacquered final finish.

When the surface of the board has been scraped manually by hand every plank is different giving you a unique look for your floor, please be aware that cheaper hand scraped hardwoods found online may proclaim to hand-scraped but these are imitation as boards are scraped by machines and can look very processed.

Handscraped hardwood flooring is most commonly made using Oak which allows for more design finished, engineered structured boards offer more options dimensionally.

Maples & Birch hand scraped hardwood floors are unique and offer a vast range including trending colour options and widths. So don’t consider the second best and look at the COTSWOLD COLLECTION which offers the UK’s biggest range of hand scraped hardwood floor that has been in situ for many years which is aged.

Distressed Wood Flooring

Distressed Hardwood Flooring is the ideal choice if you want to create an aged/reclaimed feel.

Full close image of distressed wooden floor

Each board will start off by being subtly hand scraped by master craftsmen that are artisans who use traditional hand tools, to add more details then an application of various types of distressing is applied to create a board that can look old and worn or used and reclaimed.

It cannot be underrated the detail that the craftsmen who apply different applications use when creating a distressed looking hardwood floor. 

To enable the finest detail and create authentic distressed surface areas the plank is subjected to impact damage using general metal objects by hand or in a bag which is then beaten, dropped and dragged creating true detail which also ensures the bevelled edge is subtly distressed. 

Distressed Filled Knots

Close up of a Distressed Filled Knot

Distressed Filled Knots

Here a craftsman manually scrapes the knot using hand tools and then apply a dark filler that secures the knot or completely fill the void left creating a distinctive rustic old look


Close up of a Distressed Crack Fill

Distressed Crack Fill

Here the artesian applies their skills by manually scraping the long cracks using hand tools and then would use dark filler to create a distinctive rustic old look


Close up of a Wooden Butterfly-Wing Knots Insert

Wooden Butterfly-Wing Knots Inserts

Butterfly-Wing Knots were traditionally used by skilled craftsmen to repair planks of wood had or began to split.

Today A true skill is applied by the artisans when inserting hand cut pieces of oak, butterfly-wing shaped pieces of oak are sized and inserted to recreate that look of a repair where the board appears to have split.


Close up of a Square Peg Insert

Square Peg Inserts

Peg Inserts were traditionally used by skilled craftsmen to fill planks of wood where knots drop with age or imperfections.

Great skill is applied by artisans by inserting hand sized square peg shaped pieces of oak that are inserted to recreate the look of a repair after the artisan will carve out a square shape and insert the square piece of oak


Hand distressing give the hardwood flooring more character and a unique look where no two boards are ever the same and a great and safe alternative using old reclaimed boards to which can have hidden perils and require special treatments and finishing.

Of the Distressed hardwood floors available in the UK 98% is Oak in species and will now be engineered in structure ensuring a stable board in various widths.

Maples & Birch Distressed hardwood floors are unique and offer a vast range including trending colour options and widths. So don’t consider a second-best look at the COTSWOLD COLLECTION which offers the UK’s biggest range of feature character hardwood floor other more uniform looking hardwood floors that have been in situ for many years which is aged and battered.

Wood flooring style with barn in the background

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Maples and Birch are a trading division of Kirklees Group companies, 181 to 183 Summer Road Erdington, Birmingham, B23 6DX
0333 533 3330 | [email protected]

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