Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hard-Scraped Hardwood Flooring: Restoration of History

Throughout History hardwood flooring has undergone dramatic changes from the meticulous hard-scraped hardwood polished floors of majestic plantations of the Deep South, to modern day technology providing maintenance free wood flooring designed for comfort and appearance. The hand-scraped hardwood floors of the South, depicted charm with old rustic nature and character that was often associated with this time era. To date, hand-scraped hardwood flooring is being revitalized and used in up-scale homes and places of businesses to restore the old country charm that once faded into oblivion.

As the name implies, hand-scraped flooring involves the retexturing the top layer of flooring material by various methods in an attempts to mimic the rustic appearance of flooring in yesteryears. Depending on the degree of texture required, hand scraping hardwood material is often accomplished by highly skilled craftsmen with specialized tools and years of experience perfecting this procedure. When properly done, hand-scraped hardwood floors add texture, richness and uniqueness not offered in any similar hardwood flooring product.

Rooted with history, these types of floors are available in finished or unfinished surfaces. The majority of the individuals selecting hand-scraped hardwood flooring elect a prefinished floor to reduce costs per square foot in installation and finishing labor charges, allowing for budget guidelines to bend, not break. As expected, hand-scraped flooring is expensive and depending on the grade and finish selected, can range from $15-40$ per square foot and beyond for material only. Preparation of the material is labor intensive adding to the overall cost per square foot dramatically. Recommended professional installation can and often does increase the cost per square foot as well, placing this method of hardwood flooring well out of reach of the average hardwood floor purchaser.

With numerous selections of hard-scraped finishes available, each finish is designed to bring out a different appearance making it a one-of-a-kind work of art. These numerous finish selections include:

Time worn aged, dark coloring stain application bringing out grain characteristics
Wire brushed, providing a highlighted "grainy" effect with obvious rough texture
Hand sculpted, smoother distressed uniform appearance
French Bleed, staining of edges and side joints with a much darker stain to give a bleeding effect to the wood
Hand Hewn or Rough Sawn, with visible and noticeable saw marks

Regardless of the selection made, scraped flooring cannot be compared to any other available flooring material based on durability, strength and visual appearance. Limited by only the imagination and creativity, several wood species can be used to create unusual floor patterns, highlighting main focal points of personal libraries and art collections.

The precise process utilized in the creation of scraped floors projects a custom look with deep color and subtle warm highlights. With radiant natural light reflecting off this type of floor, the effect of beauty and depth is radiated in a fashion that fills the room with solitude and serenity encompassing all that enter. hand-scraped hardwood floors speak of the past, a time of decent, a time or war and ambiguity towards other races and the blood- shed so that all men could be treated as equals. More than exquisite flooring, hand-scraped hardwood flooring is the restoration of History.