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Bathroom Renovations

Installing Hickory Hardwood: Considering Hand-Scraped Flooring

Its attractive appearance of reddish heartwood and cream-colored sapwood captures your eye and grabs your attention. Yet, beneath that beautiful appearance, hickory hardwood is durable – one of the most durable domestic species, in fact. With a Janka scale rating of 1820, hickory offers excellent density, but its strength can be a detriment. Why? Coupled with closed, rough grain, hickory hardwood is difficult to machine, sand, and finish. For adding this product, what options do you have?
Prefinished is extremely practical across all species. When it comes to adding a full floor of hardwood, the planks just need to be added without finishing. In a day, you can place all of your furniture back into the space. On the other hand, prefinished products, hickory and other species, come with a limited set of stains, and if you have a particular look in mind, the existing options may not reflect your vision. Additionally, adding a stain or finish tends to make newer flooring blend in better with existing materials.
Unfinished with an alternative approach. If you have a specific look in mind, you’re willing to go through the rigors and unconventional techniques to installing hickory. What does this entail? For sanding, go with a belt sander. As you sand with the grain of the wood, change from an 80-grit belt to 120-grit for smoothing out the surface and 220-grit for any finishing touches.
For staining, the pores must be opened or closed. In its natural state, hickory produces a blotchy patina. A wood conditioner fully closes off the grain, after which a stain can be added on top, while water-popping opens it, making the wood more receptive.
Hand-scraped flooring. A textured surface of natural character marks and manual distressing makes hand-scraped flooring the perfect choice for a rustic look. Added to this, the texture camouflages any blotching resulting from an applied finish. This way, hand-scraped hickory flooring allows you to add the distinct red and white look and include a stain of your choosing.
Yet, keep in mind that not all hand-scraped flooring is identical. Products tend to be divided between classic and rustic hardwoods. Classic is considerably smoother, with texture carved into the surface. Rustic, as the name implies, is characterized by knots, mineral streaks, and graining. Beyond these two basic classifications, hand-scraped hardwood is distressed through a combination of scraping, aging, or a darker stain. Floors, after an unfinished hardwood is added, can even be custom distressed before a finish is applied.…