When choosing a wood floor for your home, an often overlooked feature that should be considered is the floor's texture.
Color and shape are usually the first attributes we are drawn to because texture is more subtle. Though we often don’t think about texture, it is something we subconsciously notice, simply because it can be dramatic and dynamic, elegant and smooth or even rich and rugged with character.
Texture contributes to the essential design and decor of your home, and this article takes a look at 5 popular and attractive textures of both solid and engineered floors, so you can make the right choice when it comes to choosing flooring for your home.
1. Smooth Finish
Smooth floors continue to be a very popular choice. This has been the primary tradition for solid floors for hundreds of years—solid unfinished flooring that is installed in your home then sanded and finished.
This is a good option for you if you have a certain lifestyle and want certain results. A smooth floor will provide a classy, traditional look and works well in most rooms such as dining rooms and entryways, but it is versatile, too. For instance, a smooth white oak, given its tight grain, looks great in contemporary spaces.
The smooth flooring option works best if you can incorporate appropriate furniture and rugs because a smooth floor tends to show scratches and dings.
2. Beveled Edges
One of the earliest ways of intentional texturing was the beveling of the sides and ends of each piece of flooring. Because it creates a classy look that can be incorporated with traditional or modern design styles, beveled edges have stood the test of time and are offered in both solid wood and prefinished flooring.
As in this image above, the board’s edge is cut slightly at a forty-five degree angle around the top, creating a v-shaped groove. Bevels range in size, and the popular choice of micro-bevels are only a couple of millimeters thick.
At Real Wood Floors we also offer a chiseled bevel, which provides rough character. The beveled edge is not necessarily consistent or smooth, but it is also not scratchy to the touch. It creates a distinctive look that we offer in some of our collections such as Longhouse Plank and Storehouse Plank.
A great benefit is that if you have some inconsistency in your subfloor, beveled edges can diminish any up-and-down variation and provide the look of a smooth floor.
One way to highlight a hardwood floor’s makeup is to allow the natural wood grain textures to show through. This is achieved by wire-brushing, and there is a broad spectrum of how light or severe that brushing can be.
Regarding the technique, a floor is brushed with a metal wire wheel used by the manufacturer to pull out the soft grain in the wood on prefinished flooring, which in turn makes the grain more visible. The same can be done by hand on custom, jobsite sand and finished floors.
You can actually see the texture of the wood grain and feel it with your hands, and every piece is unique and individual.
At Real Wood Floors, we sell both light and severe wire-brushed wood grain. We know that a lot of our customers love a certain wood species, and some wood species are better suited to show wood grain, so keep that in mind. Oak and hickory make up the majority of wire-brushed floors, while walnut is also used. However, for instance, maple and cherry don’t have the same kind of grain patterns and are poorly suited for wire-brushing because of tearing that can occur in the brushing process.
4. Saw marks
If you are interested in a heavy-character floor with a rustic look, then the popular trend of flooring with saw marks may be a fit for you.
They evoke the feeling that the flooring was milled roughly; their texture shows off marks from the manufacturer or the lumber mill.
Note: For heavy textures, engineered floors with thin veneers will not be a good option, so look at solid wood or engineered with a thick veneer.
Saw marks come in two main flavors: circular saw or bandsaw.
Envision the typical lumber mill with a giant circular blade cutting wood boards that aren’t perfectly lined up and then leaving saw marks across the plank. Today, these are intentionally put onto veneers or onto solid wood.
Bandsaw marks are usually more subtle in their appearance compared to circular saw marks. They run perpendicular to the length of the board and go straight across, and they too reflect the manufacturing process as these pieces of hardwood are cut to have a purposeful unevenness or roughness.
For fans of a rustic or character floor, we offer our Longhouse Plank, Storehouse Plank, and Vintage Loft collections, which have flooring which appears to have been made from rough lumber used in storehouses, farm or utility buildings and warehouses, not finely crafted living spaces.
Hand-scraping is a special process to make a floor look worn-in and old, even though it is a brand-new floor. You will discover many texture varieties since hand-scraping is done with different tools, but typically a metal blade with a handle is pulled across the wood to scrape it. Some scraping occurs in manufacturing and others at the local level, where custom installers use hand scrapers across the entire floor to give it texture.
Several of our collections have the hand-scraped feature, including Ponderosa which is sanded smooth but still contains the texture of scraping done by hand in our factory. As well, both Longhouse Plank and Saltbox have some light scraping textures.
Some of our floors, especially those made of maple and hickory, can be purchased with a weathered texture. This is chiefly a combination of very light wire-brushed and very light hand-scraping, but with a smooth finish.
Texture is an often-overlooked feature when many consider wood flooring. We hope that’s no longer the case for you.
Order samples from our website or visit one of our showrooms to see and feel the quality and uniqueness of the varied textures we have to offer.