What Is Distressed Wood Flooring?

wood flooring

Distressed wood flooring is a design for styling hardwood to have an old, worn feeling. Distressed boards have a textured finish to enhance the wood grain. They also have a rustic grade; thus, the floors have cracks, blemishes, natural features, and knots exhibiting a charm and character that is desired by many. The best quality of wood to use for distressing is rustic grade wood. However, that does not mean all rustic floorings are distressed.

Intentions of Distressing Wooden Flooring

Distressed wooden flooring is often on designs that have an antique touch. It perfectly fits with authentic, and timeworn feel designs. It’s an excellent complement for traditional designed décor but can also be used as a contrast amid modern designs. Below we examine different methods of distressing wood flooring;

Art of Distressing

The process of distressing involves drawing out a natural variation in the wood. It is done using sandpaper, paint removers, and other materials. However, nowadays, most wood is distressed mechanically. The result should display art and not damage.


Antiquing is performed on furniture rather than on floors.  A layer of historic paint or varnish is applied to the wood. Glaze may be used to blend the colours to make them look aged.

Adding an Element of Nature to Distressed Wood

Another way wood can be distressed by combining elements considered natural. Such components include bleached-out spots or wormholes. A competent contractor hired to distress wood must have proper knowledge of finesse to pull off the right distress.

Distressing to Salvage Wood

A damaged floor can be redeemed by distressing. Proper covering of a damaged floor by evenly distributing distress restores the floor to be as good as new.

When to Distress

A floor can be distressed either before or after installation. The most important thing is to ensure a proper finish is laid down for protecting the floor.

Process of Distressing Wood

Start by Selecting Wood Carefully

Some woods are easier to distress; these are bamboos, oak, and pine. Woods such as maple will need more effort and may not give the desired final look.

Examine Wood Moisture Before Distressing

If the wood doesn’t have the equilibrated moisture content, it will likely disappoint you when distressing.

Be Sure of the Desired Outcome You Want to Pull Off

Most distressing techniques are irreversible. Therefore, you need to be sure and have a well-planned vision of what you want to accomplish. Also, proper precaution and care should always be observed when distressing wood; pieces of wood and tools can be thrown all over.

Keep Off Moisture and Humidity While Distressing Wood

Keep off excess moisture that could be contacting the wood while distressing. Dry up any moisture in the work station to ensure you don’t experience problems with the wood.

Dust the Distressed Floor

After designing, ensure to thoroughly dust the distressed floor of any splinters and burrs to prepare it for staining.

Finish, Polish and Relax

After finishing, polish and maintain the wood floor like any other wood. The wood displays a natural warmth.


Distressed wood is becoming quite popular in homes, entertainment joints, and businesses. For you to achieve the charm of creating a distressed wood, artistic skills are vital.

Read More:
Types of Wood Flooring

About the Author: Varun Rana

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