Hand Scraped vs Smooth Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition that blends with any home style. It has gained popularity over the years and can be used both indoors and outdoors. After installation, the appearance of a hardwood floor matters a lot and largely depends on its finishing. Among the numerous finishing options, we want to talk about the Handscraped and the Smooth hardwood floors. 

Before the invention of woodworking tools, hand-scraped wood flooring was used to remove irregularities from hand-sawn wood floors so that they look perfect. Ironically, today it is used to make a wood look worn and antiqued, both of which add to its charm.

As the name implies, smooth hardwood floors are refined, beautiful, smooth, luster lively, and visually pleasing.

The texture is the major difference between both floors. Handscraped floors typically look hand-scraped, while smooth floors look smooth. However, they are both hardwood floors that will serve.

Hand Scraped vs Smooth Hardwood Floors

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The comparison between Hand Scraped and Smooth hardwood floors.

TextureWorn and agedSmooth and refined
DurabilityExtended durabilityLess durable
Lifespan20 yearsOver 20 years
Scratch resistanceHighLow
RefinishingCannot be refinishedCan be refinished

Differences between hand-scraped and smooth hardwood floors

The major difference between these two floors can be seen in their species, durability, maintenance, refinishing, lifespan, cost, and resale value.


It is possible to hand scrape or smooth all major types of hardwoods, but there are species of hardwoods that are more favorable to each of the finishing.

Typically, hardwoods like hickory, walnut, and pine are best for hand-scraped flooring. Other hardwoods like teak and maple are too hard to scrape and therefore difficult to work with.

For smooth flooring, hardwoods like maple, ash, red, or white oak are best suited for it.


If you have chosen a hardwood floor, durability is one of the important factors you must consider because the floor is often faced with stern tests from shoe heels, pet claws, cleaning brushes, children dropping their toys, and more. In that case, you must also consider the finishing of the hardwood floor because it plays a crucial role when it comes to durability.

The hand-scraped hardwood floor has extended durability and is ideal for high-traffic areas and homes with kids and pets. This is because it already has a rough texture that will effortlessly hide unintentional dents and scratches. Scratches and dents will blend and enhance the intentional roughness of the floor.

On the other hand, the smooth hardwood floor shows dents and scratches in full profile, especially the ones with a gloss finish. If it is used in the same condition mentioned in the hand-scraped floor above, it might lose its beauty in less than a year.


Low maintenance is another advantage of hand-scraped hardwood floor over the smooth hardwood floor. Because of its texture, dust and small debris are not very visible to the human eye, which implies less cleaning. But this is not the case for smooth hardwood floors. Because they are smooth, you will see every single dirt on them. This means you need to clean them at least once a day. You might also need to refinish the floor every three or four years, especially when the dents on it are no longer bearable. 


No matter how durable your hardwood floor is, a time will come when you have to refinish it. If not for anything, but for the sake of giving it a new look. However, this is impossible with hand-scraped hardwood floors because any attempt to refinish it will turn them into smooth wood floors. And even if you opt-out to refurbish it, you can only do that a few times and will end up needing to refinish it. In contrast, the smooth hardwood floor can be refinished as many times as possible when needed, and this gives it an edge over the hand-scraped wood floor.


The hand-scraped hardwood floor can stay up to 20 years before needing to refinish, and from what is mentioned above, that might be the end of having a hand-scraped wood floor, but the smooth hardwood floor can stay up to 50 to 70 years all you have to do is refinish it each time it gets old.


There are lots of floor types in the market, and hardwood is one of the most expensive. The hand-scraped hardwood floor even takes it to another, and this is because of its stressful and time-consuming manufacturing process. Apart from texture, a hand-scraped wood floor with the same details as a smooth wood floor will cost 20 percent more. 

Resale value

It is true that the hand-scraped wood floor is of high value and should increase the resale value of your house, but there is always an issue of finding a buyer because not many people are still interested in an old-fashioned house. For this reason, you might end up selling your house lower than it costs. On the contrary, it is easier to sell smooth hardwood floors on the market because buyers are readily available, which increases the chances of recovering your investment.


The above comparison of hand-scraped versus smooth hardwood floors highlights the pros and cons of both floors to give you a deep understanding and help you make the right choice.

Whether hand-scraped or smooth, both floors are worth it and will meet expectations as long as you buy what you want, so you need to carefully study the details discussed earlier.  If your choice is to have an antiqued and aesthetic floor that looks like it has a story to tell and complements the style of your historic home, then you should consider the hand-scraped hardwood floor. Also, keep in mind its cost and lifespan while making your decision. But if you prefer having a beautiful, refined, and luster floor that matches the style of your modern home, the smooth hardwood floor is the best option for you. However, you also need to consider its maintenance and durability.

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