A great disservice to flooring artisans…
My customers often ask me what the most popular floor I sell is. They are generally surprised when I answer a Hand Scraped floor.
I had a couple who are building a 9,500 sq. ft. Nantucket style home fly in to visit our showroom and pick out a floor recently. When they arrived, they showed me their house plan, including details for their stairs and their 3/4 wrap around deck for which we are supplying an exotic Tigerwood deck. Their initial thought was to use a wide plank, random width hardwood, pre-finished with our Signature Finish. They started talking about the concerns they had with their current floor which was existing hardwood when they purchased the home. Those concerns included the wood showing wear, dust, dents and dings, scratches, and the wood expanding and contracting and showing the variation from board to board.
I briefly asked, “Have you considered a Hand Scraped floor?” Their immediate response was, “We don’t like the rustic look,” which is the general response I get any time I suggest a Hand Scraped floor to someone looking for a smooth floor. I then began to lay out samples and explain the technique behind a hand scraped floor. Truthfully, a Period Re-creation Hand Scraped Floor is meant to be true to form, to give the look of a finished floor prior to electric sanding equipment.
This look is not what you see on most “major brand” flooring manufacturers samples. Unfortunately, these “major brands” whose product is mass manufactured generally use techniques of electric planers and molders which leave a “machined” and “contrived” look which is what most homeowners associate with a hand scraped floor. These floors are generally always misrepresented as “hand scraped” floors. I know this because they are my competition, for one, but primarily because I receive calls on a semi-regular basis from customers who purchased such product and have a huge case of buyer’s remorse. Furthermore, there are several “custom manufacturers” who use the same methods. This is a great disservice to the flooring artisans of the past, as well as to those of us who sweat and work to create the look that is reminiscent of the early 1900’s.
As most of my customers do after looking and feeling over the samples, my customers from earlier chose our Estate Scrape Texture. In a wide plank floor, a subtle or moderate scrape will disguise the expansion and contraction of the wood, as well as make the imperfections that arrive with kids and life less noticeable.
Hand scraping is not our only method for creating Period Recreations. We have several techniques for creating a floor that looks and feels as majestic as the homes they go in.
Remember, there is only one perfect floor for every home. Our job is to help identify, build, and deliver each floor per customer, per order.
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