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In most situations, when we hear the word “distressed,” it has a negative stigma to it. When people are distressed, they’re disturbed and unhappy. When a ship is in distress, it’s being tossed in the sea and is in danger of sinking. You get the idea. But when it comes to hardwood floors, “distressed” is not really a bad term. It simply refers to floors that have been deliberately scraped and textured as an alternative to a fine or polished finish. In fact, in recent years, distressed hardwood flooring has become quite popular as much for its versatility as its character.

Is the distressed look right for your home? Let’s look at four reasons why you might want to consider it.

1. It adds a look of timeless character.

The beauty of hardwood floors isn’t just about smooth, shiny surfaces. It’s also about texture and grain. That’s why older homes with aging wood floors are often so desirable—the floor’s imperfections become warmer and more beautiful with time. With distressed hardwood flooring, we essentially turn the clock forward, purposely bringing out some of that rich texture, so you don’t have to wait 100 years to experience it. We can even apply techniques to give the floor a more “antiqued” look so the floor appears to be much older than it really is. Many people feel this aged, distressed look adds a lot of character even to newer homes.

2. It’s great for families with pets and/or children.

With smooth finished floors, scratches and scuffs show up quite easily, which can make homeowners quite anxious when pets or children are around. By contrast, with distressed flooring, scratches naturally blend in and become part of the texture. This makes it an excellent, worry-free choice for families with children and pets.

3. It’s excellent for floors with lots of foot traffic and activity.

Perhaps you’re the kind of person who likes to entertain lots of guests. Or maybe you use a specific room for arts, crafts, dance practice or working out, or for one reason or another you’re moving furniture around frequently. If so, distressed wood flooring might be a great fit for your needs because it’s great for hiding wear-and-tear.

4. It’s low maintenance.

Fine or polished wood floors can be quite beautiful, but it takes a lot of work to keep them clean because dirt shows up on them so easily. On the other hand, distressed wood floors tend to hide dirt and dust. You’ll still want to sweep regularly for best care and maintenance, but you won’t be constantly worried about how the floor looks. For this reason, distressed hardwood flooring is a great choice for casual living and low-maintenance lifestyles.

Some flooring companies use machines to mechanically distress the wood, but this process often reveals predictable patterns and doesn’t always look authentic. At Renaissance, we employ hand scraping to create a truly unique look for every distressed wood floor we install. To learn more about whether distressed wood flooring is right for your home, give Renaissance a call today at 918-298-4477.