DISTRESSED HARDWOOD FLOORS

“Your valuable assistance at the front end of the project process is always followed up by a professional and very detail-oriented installation. I always feel assured that you will do whatever is required to achieve a successful hardwood floor installation.” --

-- Peter C., General Contractor

Distressed, or handscraped hardwood floors add warmth and a sense of “instant history” to a room. These techniques enhance the character of the wood, bringing the beauty of nature into the built environment. They are a specialty of ours at Through the Woods in Tampa and we carry a wide variety of woods in many different colors, from light, even white-washed to warm honey brown, rich reds, to almost black.

light to dark woods

CHOICES IN DISTRESSED HARDWOOD FLOORING

Distressed Wood FloorThe finishes on these products are durable and long lasting. Oil finishes, popular in Europe, penetrate the wood and have a natural looking matte finish. Polyurethane which coats the wood is available in low to semi-gloss sheens. Both types are formulated to bring out the natural colors and grain of the wood and to create a protective barrier.

Many types of distressed flooring are available in very wide widths, up to 10” and some are available in random widths, which mix boards of different widths in one floor.

We offer distressed flooring in a large variety of species and colors. Reclaimed woods can be treated to enhance their natural characteristics. Distressed parquet adds a timeless warmth to an elegant or rustic home. We love these woods and have gathered an impressive collection of them to give you the perfect choice for your Tampa Bay home.

Through years of searching, company owner, Chris has discovered the most beautiful and unique distressed flooring choices to be found in the world, and we display them in our showroom here in Tampa Bay. You can visit our showroom by appointment, or we can bring samples to your home. Call 813.232.3985 or complete the form to schedule an appointment.

How Wood is Distressed

distressed hardwood floorThere are many techniques used to distress a wood floor. When done by hand, these are all very time consuming and therefore the materials are more expensive than those treated by machine. Some of the commonly used techniques are to use scrapers, hand planers, adzes, chisels, and other tools to remove some of the wood and create a worn and antique look. This distressing can be done in varying degrees and is often offered in light, medium, and heavy versions.  

In another method, the softer wood is removed by scraping with stiff, metal brushes, causing a highlighted effect that accentuates the pattern of the grain. Because the softer part of the wood is removed in this process, the floor has increased scratch resistance.

Flooring can be treated to look like it has decades of wormholes. Saw marks can be created giving the floor a hand-hewn character. Special finishes can be applied to give the handsome patina of age that one might expect to see on a floor that has been around for over a century.

Distressing and aging can also be done with a variety of stain, paint, and finish techniques.   For example, the crackled paint finish of very old furniture is featured in prefinished products from several companies including Anderson and Antico Cadore. 

One of our favorite floors was of wide plank Walnut which we installed, but did not sand smooth before applying finish.  It was a bit uneven, from board to board and looked like it had been there for years the day it was completed!

Beveling and Pegging

beveling and peggingAnother way to distress a floor is to scrape or plane a beveled edge.   This gives the bevels a rougher and aged appearance. Often these bevels can be scraped to give a gentle rounding down from the face of the floor into the bevel. This is sometimes referred to as a “pillowed” edge. A less time consuming distressing can be done by tossing nails, screws, bolts, etc. on a wood floor and indenting these into the wood with a roller. When the wood is stained, these dents become highlighted and darker than the rest of the wood surface.  

Adding to the aged look one can choose pegged flooring. The pegs can be round or square and sit flat on the surface of the floor or be slightly raised. Pegs offer a decorative appearance, and do not offer any structural benefits. They are not fastened to subfloors like the older floors of the past.

Cost of Distressed Flooring

Distressed floors are available in a very large range of prices. Most moderately priced distressed floors are primarily done by machine, even though the manufacturer usually refers to them as “hand scraped“ or “hand sculpted“.  These lower priced floors can still be quite attractive and allow a distressed look for people on a budget.  

Parquet can be distressed, as well as strip and plank. Distressed parquet contributes an elegant, timeless ambiance, a perfect complement to a larger, more sophisticated home.

Truly hand done floors tend to be more expensive. There are many companies that specialize in producing custom hand distressed floors and will offer many styles and degree of distressing as well as different options for beveling and finishing. Given a sample, they can duplicate it, using the same techniques and finishes as the original.

To request a free estimate to install beautiful distressed wood floors in your home, call us at 813.232.3985 or fill in our free estimate form.

See some of the distressed floors we have installed.


Anderson-Offers an extremely comprehensive choice of domestic and exotic engineered and solid hardwood floors, running the gamut from moderately priced collections to more costly hand scraped ones. Two of Anderson’s lines are true, hand scraped lines made in the USA. The Olde Paint line reproduces the look of aged and worn painted floors and furniture.  

Antico Cadore - Reclaimed and newly harvested European woods in strip and parquet, with a smooth, hand-planed or wire-brushed surface are the beautiful products of Antico Cadore.  

Appalachian - One of Anderson’s main brands and features 9 different lines, each with many species and styles of flooring.  Appalachian offers many hand distressed and wire brushed lines, in both solid and engineered.

Armstrong - Armstrong provides a full array of domestic and exotic engineered hardwood floors including a hand sculpted collection and a commercial line that is acrylic impregnated.   Armstrong has incorporated the previous Hartco products brand into its label.  Their Global Exotics line adds many woods from around the world.

BR 111 - A very popular brand offering solid and engineered exotic woods in strip, plank and accent strips, in plain, or hand-scraped with nail, glue, or floated installation. BR 111 uses woods from Brazil and focuses on sustainable forestry and has secured FSC Certification for many of its products.  

Bruce - Moderately priced line of primarily domestic woods in solid and engineered strip, plank and parquet for nail, glue, or floated installation.

Cala - Features African Cherry, African Mahogany, African Pearwood, Santos Mahogany, Hickory, Jatoba, Maple and Tigerwood in both smooth and hand scraped finishes.

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors- Traditional, custom-crafted solid wood flooring in a variety of pines, hardwoods and reclaimed antique woods.

Columbia-Offers a large variety of prefinished engineered domestic woods, smooth or hand scraped in both select and rustic grades.  

DuChateau- A high quality European line of prefinished, engineered domestic woods in hand scraped, wire brushed, or hand cut designs, offering an oil finish. DuChateau is available in widths up to 12” wide and lengths up to 12’ long. All DuChateau flooring is manufactured with a thick top hardwood wear layer that can be re-sanded several times.  Some are as thick as solid ¾” hardwood!

Forest Accent- Features 10 full lines of engineered wood flooring in smooth and hand sculpted prefinished plank, in both domestic and exotic species.

The Garrison Collection - Prefinished plank, hand-scraped in domestic woods and Brazilian Cherry in both solid and engineered.

Hallmark Hardwoods - Offers a nice variety of domestic species in a prefinished, hand scraped product, including one line with a thicker (4 mm) veneer. Hartco- Now sold under the Armstrong name

Homerwood -  Homerwood has recently introduced a line of engineered wood floors in Walnut, Cherry,Hickory, as well as Oak. Specializing in cuts that show the natural characteristics of wood, Homerwood produces both unfinished and prefinished lines, including their Amish Hand Scraped material which is made using Old World techniques.

Johnson Premium Hardwood Flooring- Johnson offers a full line of exotic, primarily South American, prefinished hardwoods, including some of the hardest and most unusual woods such as Patagonian Rosewood.    Most of these are available both in solid and engineered.  Johnson also produces hand scraped flooring in domestic and exotic woods.

Legend- An engineered line with smooth and hand sculpted finishes in domestic and exotic plank, including unusual woods from the Caribbean.

LM Flooring - LM offers a wide line of smooth and hand scraped floors in domestic and exotic species.

Mohawk - An engineered, prefinished brand which includes domestic and exotic lines with some distressing and hand scraping.

Mullican - Solid and engineered strip and plank in a variety of domestic and exotic species.   Mullican mills a very full line of woods and is now offering hand sculpted floors as well.

Owens Plank Floor - Owens, with its 3/16” wear layer, looks exactly like solid wood flooring and can be glued, nailed or floated. Recently Owens introduced a very high quality prefinished collection.

Patina Old World Flooring - Patina floors are custom created in the factory for each project. They offer many options in styles of distressing, grades of wood, types of bevels and shapes of pegs. All are available up to 10’ long and in extremely wide widths.

Preverco - Preverco offers two engineered lines, both prefinished, in many domestic woods as well as some imported species.   One line can be installed by nailing, stapling, gluing, or it can be floated and the other one has self-locking joints, for rapid installation.    Preverco floors have a very thick wear layer and come in longer lengths than many similar products.

Robbins - A popular brand offering solid and engineered domestic and some exotic woods in strip and plank, in plain, or hand-scraped with nail, glue, or floated installation. 

Shaw - Shaw sells a full line of engineered hardwood flooring through its carpet dealers.   It is similar to other common brands such as Bruce and Robbins.  

Somerset - A line primarily of prefinished domestic, with some exotic woods in smooth and scraped, strip and plank.