Prefinished Hardwood Flooring: The Pros and Cons

No matter what type of hardwood flooring you purchase, you are going to need it to be finished. It is the only way to protect your floors from the punishment you will put it through on a daily basis. The question you need to answer is whether to buy prefinished or unfinished hardwood flooring.

Prefinished floors are coated with a protective finish before they are shipped to your home. This is done in a setting that is perfectly acclimated for drying and curing. If you go the unfinished route your flooring will be sent to you with no protective coating. After your floors are installed either you or your flooring professional will have to sand, stain and finish the floors.  

No matter which finish you type you choose, you will have the option of sanding and refinishing should the need arise. Even prefinished floors can be refinished multiple times without damaging the floors.

Benefits of Prefinished Hardwood Floors

  1. The amount of time it takes to install is drastically reduced. You don’t need to worry about sanding or applying the finish. If you are installing yourself, it eliminates a huge hassle. If you are having a professional install your hardwood floors, it can save you money on labor costs.
  2. Your floors are installed ready to use. As soon as they are in, you are allowed to walk on them. There is no need to wait for the finish to dry and you won’t need to relocate your family because of harsh fumes.
  3. When you buy prefinished hardwood floors, they come with a warranty protecting against board defects.
  4. Factory finished floors have a harder surface then when you finish your floors on site. This added durability means your hardwood floors will withstand harsher treatment making it a great choice for busy households.

Benefits of Unfinished Hardwood Floors

  1. It can be easier to have a customized color to your floors. This in-turn makes it easier to match your flooring with the décor of your home. You can find a huge variety of prefinished colors and shades, but there is a little more flexibility with unfinished.
  2. You have more style options when you shop for unfinished floors. There are certain wood species and plank sizes that you can only purchase as unfinished.
  3. If you want your flooring professional to do inlays or other unique elements, you will most likely need to buy unfinished hardwood as it will make it a lot easier on the individuals doing the installation.