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Choosing Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

By Jill

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:00 AM

Choosing Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

choosing-hardwood-floors Today’s prefinished hardwood flooring has come a long way from the old days when waxy-coated floors quickly showed scuffs, scratches, and white blotchy water spots. With advances in technology, hardwood flooring manufactures have perfected their finishing techniques, now producing floors that are not only more durable than ever before but also more beautiful. While unfinished woods will always be an available option, the increased durability and flawless appearance of prefinished woods has pretty much made prefinished hardwood flooring the norm in the flooring marketplace. So does this mean prefinished hardwoods are better than unfinished woods? Not necessarily. Deciding whether to go with prefinished or unfinished hardwood is largely an individual preference. Here’s some information to help you decide which finish option is right for you.

Prefinished Hardwoods

Prefinished hardwoods are available in varying gloss levels, ranging from high-gloss to matte. While gloss level will affect the overall look of the floor, it will not impact the finish’s durability.

Prefinished hardwood flooringReasons to Choose Prefinished Woods

  • Increased durability: Six layers or more of urethane combined with the superior curing ability of UV technology make factory-finished woods far more durable than woods that are finished on the job site.
  • Less mess: Prefinished flooring is all done at the factory, so no need to stain, sand, and apply several coats of urethane.
  • Less time consuming: Install the wood flooring and move furniture right back in the room. You won’t have to wait days (or weeks) for floors to dry.
  • No odor: The finish is completely dry, so there are no strong odors in your home.
  • Better finish warranties: Since the wood manufacturer does the finishing at the factory they give extended finish warranties that the installer doing a job-site finish can’t offer.

Unfinished Hardwoods

While on-site finish techniques and products have improved over the years, finishing a wood floor yourself is a messy, time-consuming process. But for some, the level of customization it can produce is far worth the added time and effort

Unfinished hardwood flooringReasons to Choose Unfinished Woods

  • Wider color range: Finishing the wood flooring at the job-site means you can select any stain color you want. Whereas, with a pre-finished floor, you are limited to the manufacturer’s available colors.
  • Increased moisture protection: When floors are finished on-site, the seams between the planks are also sealed, allowing for more moisture protection. Whereas with prefinished woods, only the individual planks are sealed.
  • Closer-matching wood trim: Unfinished woods can be stained to match the trims and moldings.



Find Out More

To find the hardwood flooring that best meets your needs, contact us. We’d be happy to answer all of your hardwood flooring questions and show you the latest trend in hardwood flooring.