Shannon & Waterman Blog
About Plank Wood Floors, Flooring, Wood Tips & Trends

Choosing a Hardwood Floor Finish – Texture

Installing hardwood flooring in your home is a wise decision, both for endurance and the distinct appearance it adds to a space. However, many times we don’t give much thought to how the floors will be finished past stain and varnish. Customizing floors with texture is a technique that grew out of old-world methods. To help you decide if a textured finish is right for you, we’ve put together some helpful tips.

What is Texture?

Texture is the visual and, especially, tactile quality of a surface. It’s how the surface feels when you touch it. Texture also adds a visual element by creating depth and interest. There is a diverse assortment of surfaces you can use in your home to create sensory impressions. Think about the textures that appeal to you:

  • Do you prefer something that is smooth or rough to the touch?
  • Are flat surfaces more appealing to you, or are you more interested in something with diversity in its form?
  • Do you like wood to have a visible grain or do you prefer a more subtle, consistent look?

Different appearances and tactile qualities create unique looks that can enhance any home’s style, whether classic, modern, or rustic.

Hickory, Dark Stain, Hand Scraped

Choosing a Texture for your Floors

Different textures create different looks, giving you plenty of options to make your floors unique.  Generally, textured finishes on floors fall into three categories: smooth, brushing and hand scraping. Hand scraping can be done on the surface or the edges of the wood. Each application offers a different finished look, depending on your preference or your home’s style.


For the ultimate in elegance, nothing compares to a wood floor that has been polished to gleaming, lustrous perfection. Smooth-finished wood is a timeless style that will never go out of fashion and blends with any décor. Equally at home in a modern, traditional or cottage home, it’s also low-maintenance. A polished wood floor is easy to clean and can be sanded and refinished when it starts to look worn.

Walnut, No Stain, Satin

Wire Brushing

Wire brushing adds a subtle texture to a floor while still maintaining a smooth appearance. It pulls the soft grain from the growth ring, leaving the heartwood exposed to the surface. This technique helps to create a more durable floor that can mask wear from everyday use.

Random Natural White Oak, Ultra-Matte, Brushed

Hand Scraping

In the days before sanding machinery, carpenters used hand scraping to even out bumps, lumps, and irregularities in wooden planks. Today, hand scraping is used to give the wood a distressed look. Hand-scraped wood is excellent at hiding scratches and dings to your floors, making them a good choice for homes with children or pets.

Hickory, Natural Amber, Matte, Hand Scraped

Hand scraping the surface is when the faces of the boards are individually scraped to create a rustic or redefined texture. The scraping process reveals the unique graining and natural character marks of each different wood species.

Hand-scraped edges are created when the edges of each board are gently scraped by hand. This look adds a vintage touch to the boards, making each plank totally unique.

Shannon and Waterman experts can custom-craft a textured finish on your floors to add character to any living space.

Every newly crafted Shannon & Waterman wide plank floor has its beginnings in our family-owned, old growth forests. For generations, we’ve masterfully managed our forests for true sustainability—ensuring that we always have the mature trees necessary to supply the densely grown, stable, and generously proportioned wood to create the floors of your dreams. In addition, many of our products are FSC® certified.

The Complete Shannon & Waterman line of custom finishes can be viewed on our website here: S&W Floors