Finding the Right Flooring Surface Texture

The surface texture of your hardwood flooring not only affects how it feels to the touch; it also affects the overall ambiance of the room surrounding it. Choosing a surface texture that meshes well with its surroundings can elevate the overall look of a room or an entire home.

Types of Hardwood Flooring Surface Textures

There are a variety of hardwood flooring surface textures to choose from and we’re going to focus on four of the most popular choices.


Smooth hardwood flooring is the most popular surface texture. With this option, each of the wooden floorboards are carefully sanded prior to receiving the finishing treatment. And smooth hardwood flooring can come prefinished and ready to install, or unfinished in which case the flooring is finished during the installation process in order to achieve a radiant, sleek look.

Hand Scraped

For this flooring surface texture, grooves and marks are added to the floorboards by hand to give it a worn, classic look. Hand scraped hardwood flooring is a popular choice for rustic cabins and older, potentially historic homes. Since this surface texture is achieved by hand, the flooring provides an antique look without losing any of the wood’s durability.

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

With prefinished hardwood flooring, the floorboards are sanded, stained, and coated at the factory prior to installation.


  • Usable immediately after installation
  • Avoids the smell of treatment that may permeate your home when flooring is treated onsite
  • Cleaner installation process since the wood is pre-sanded

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

The unfinished hardwood flooring treatment process takes place during the installation.


  • Makes for a flatter, smoother flooring surface
  • Gives you additional staining options to compare and choose from
  • The color of the staining maintains greater uniformity throughout the entire flooring installation
  • It can be “spot” repaired if a section of the flooring gets scratched
Hardwood Flooring Surface Textures

Wire Brushed

Wire brushed hardwood flooring is a nice option when looking for a surface texture that’s not perfectly smooth, yet not as worn as hand scraped flooring. Once the flooring has been treated and finished, wire brushes are used to scrape the floor’s surface revealing the natural soft grain of the the floorboard was cut from. This surface texture is perfect for rooms requiring a little something to make them stand out from the norm.


The surface texture of distressed hardwood flooring is created using a variety of techniques that make the wood look as if it were older than it truly is. These can include the techniques used to create both hand-scraped and wire-brushed surface textures. Distressed hardwood flooring is a great surface texture choice when going for an antique or vintage look. This flooring texture also works nicely in rooms with a lot of foot traffic since accidental nicks and scratches tend to blend in with the ones created in the factory.

With so many options available, choosing a surface texture for your hardwood flooring can be a tedious undertaking. With over 75 years of experience, the experts at E_M Custom Flooring & Installations can simplify this process and help you find the perfect hardwood flooring surface texture for your home.

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