Hand Scraped Laminate Flooring
With their aged and worn patina and added dimension of texture, hand-scraped hardwoods have grown in popularity in recent years. As a result, brands of laminate flooring have developed their own interpretations of the distressed look. But, unlike standard hardwood, which, to be distressed, is naturally aged, has character marks, or is contoured by hand, laminate hand-scraped flooring involves a photographic image.
Laminate flooring, in general, contains no natural hardwood. Instead, each consists of a particleboard core with a photographic image on top. A melamine or cellulose resin coating is added for durability. Each plank has a wear layer, which guards against scratches, stains and fading; the "design" layer, or the image, is underneath. Below are inner core layers, which are supported by a backing layer that acts as a moisture barrier.
With these qualities, laminate, hand-scraped look or otherwise, generally has a 20-year warranty; this amount may be more or less depending upon the brand. But, if you decide to install laminate over genuine hardwood hand-scraped floors, the product can have some drawbacks. While durable, easy to maintain, and fade resistant, the floor may have a hollow sound and, over time, cannot be refinished. The photographic images, as well, create a repetitive pattern over the surface of the floor; standard hand-scraped floors, on the other hand, have the appearance of spontaneity and natural age, and in comparison, the laminate distressed product may seem too contrived.
Quick-Step, with its Country collection, offers multiple hand-scraped options. Replicating the style and techniques used for standard distressed hardwood, Quick-Step's hand-scraped laminate flooring has 10 patterns incorporating age, character marks, and staining. Additionally, Quick-Step, in choosing certain photographic images, strives for customer preference, sticking with the look of domestic hardwoods. Throughout the 10 patterns, the brand offers various hand-scraped laminate variations for oak, maple, walnut, and hickory.
Nevertheless, while hand-scraped products, laminate or hardwood, give a space an aged, rustic appearance, multiple techniques are used to create such style. These include aging the hardwood; wire-brushing to accent the grain and remove sapwood; hand-sculpting, and adding darker stain to exaggerate the aged or rough appearance.
Hand-scraped laminate is installed like any other similar flooring. A floating product, this flooring requires underlayment – which also cuts down on the potential hollow sound – and the planks are locked or glued together, depending upon brand.
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