Surface Texture in Hardwood Floors

Surface texture of a hardwood floor can add a lot to the atmosphere for a particular room. It can accentuate the elegance or add to the warmth of a more casual setting. There are a few different surface textures available when it comes to prefinished hardwood flooring. Featured in this post are the top four: smooth, handscraped, distressed and wirebrushed.



The most popular surface texture we see in prefinished hardwood flooring is a smooth surface. Floor boards are sanded flat and then finished at the factory. Read about the advantages of factory prefinished flooring here: Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Flooring. Hardwood flooring with a smooth surface can definitely enhance the elegance of a room, especially when used in a darker finish. Keep in mind that smooth hardwood floors will show scratches and dents more readily than a more textured hardwood floor.

There are countless examples of beautiful smooth surfaced hardwood flooring, but here are a few of our favorites:

Maple Clear Prefinished Hardwood and Red Oak Collection



Handscraped surface textures can be anywhere from subtle to extreme. Pictured above is an example of a somewhat moderate handscraped hardwood floor. You can see that there are several indentations and, overall, the board surfaces have a wave like appearance created with the wood scrapers. Handscraped hardwood flooring definitely brings a more casual look to a room, adding warmth, comfort and a lived-in ambiance. The more handscraped texture a hardwood floor has, the more it will hide scratches and dents. Lots of homeowners with larger dogs in their households opt for a handscraped texture in their hardwood floors simply because wear and tear is more easily concealed.

There are some brands that just “do handscraped” better than others. Here are some of our top handscraped hardwood options: Hickory Handscraped Click Olden English Engineered and  Hickory Handscraped Click Warm Sunset Floors Hand Sculpted.



When a hardwood floor is listed as distressed, it is typically antiqued, but in a different way than with the handscraped texture. Distress marks could include dents, burn marks or blackening of edges. The goal is to make the hardwood floor look lived on and beaten up. Distressed flooring is perfect for heavy trafficked households or homes with lots of pets, as the polished distressing helps to camouflage any actual dents and scratches that may occur. From lightly distressed to totally destroyed (but in a good way), here are our best distressed looks: Jatoba Distressed Coffee, Jatoba Distressed Java Distressed.



A hardwood floor which is wirebrushed offers a middle ground texture — between smooth and handscraped. The wirebrushing process is just as it sounds; the finish is lightly scraped with a wirebrush, creating long and linear strokes. This wirebrushed texture really accentuates linear grain patterns, like that of oak flooring and it makes a hardwood floor a little bit more interesting than if it had just a smooth surface. A little texture never hurt anybody. Here are some beautifully subtle wirebrushed hardwood options: Red Oak Wire Brushed Collection by HardWood Planet.

There are many instances where a specific collection will feature more than one of the textures described above. It’s not unheard of to see a hardwood floor with a handscraped AND distressed look, or a distressed AND wirebrushed style. Just another way of showing homeowners the endless options available; the only limit is (corny, but true) your imagination! Whether completely smooth or featuring a bit of rough texture, the surface feel of a hardwood floor in addition to color and width can definitely add to the milieu of your home.