Wire Brushed Hemlock

Wire brushed floors have gained popularity in recent years.  Wire brushing a hardwood floor gives it a unique texture and look.  The process digs out some of the soft grain of the wood and leaves the hard grain untouched.  This gives the floor a special appearance as each board has differing amounts of soft grain.

These are from a house we refinished in Olympia:

It was a log home built in the 1970’s.  The previous owners had felled hemlock trees to build the house and used some of the hemlock for flooring. The new owners wanted us to refinish the floors since they were worn down and a lot of the finish was gone.  Because hemlock is a soft wood and the floor hadn’t been properly maintained since it was originally done, the soft grain of the wood was dug out.  The new owners really liked the texture of the worn out floor but not how it looked dirty.  So, we mimicked the worn look by wire brushing the floor.  We then stained the floor a custom gray color and applied Glitsa Max, a commercial grade waterbased finish.  The floor came out beautifully and they were thrilled with it.

Different species of wood will be more textured than others based upon how hard or soft they are and the structure of the grain. Maple, for instance, being a very tight grained wood won’t show as much texture as this hemlock did.

Here is a slow motion video of the wire brushing action. (The dust containment was removed for the purpose of the video.):