Choosing the type of hardwood flooring which will be perfect for your home can seem straightforward yet it’s an important decision any homeowner will have to make when committing to any and every renovation they plan. Many of our customers wonder if prefinished or unfinished wood is a better fit for their home project, but honestly both have their advantages!
Advantages of Prefinished Flooring
Prefinished flooring is almost ready for your room to be installed by our professional staff. It is pre-sanded, stained and coated with varnish done right at the factory. The installation is the only thing that the homeowner needs to think about. Whereas, the unfinished hardwood flooring comes raw, so it does need to be finished on site after the installation is done. There is no denying that prefinished flooring is a much faster process that doesn’t involve any sanding or coating. Once prefinished flooring is installed, furniture can be moved back in its place almost immediately, and the floor is ready to be walked over and enjoyed by you and your family in almost no time. On the flip side unfinished hardwood floors do need to be sanded, stained and coated, which can take a bit more time but with other advantages you will need to take into consideration before making your final choice. With all of this in mind, planning ahead is crucial!
Less Mess /No Smell
Prefinished flooring is almost dustless and there are no added chemical smells brought into your home during installation. The material has already been treated in the factory and once the stain is sealed at the factory, ventilation is not an important aspect needed to consider for the installation process. Before the need for staining and sealing, sanding unfinished floors does create dust even though there are vacuums hooked to the machines.
Prefinished hardwood flooring labor cost is cheaper than installing/refinishing unfinished wood. Although prefinished flooring material may cost more than unfinished, the labor costs are reduced.
Advantages of Unfinished Flooring
Unfinished flooring happens to have more grain patterns, even though prefinished flooring is usually real wood. Prefinished wood comes with a protective surface layer that makes it look less like the real thing. The beauty of unfinished wood is that it can be personalized to your preference. Our qualified professional craftsman rather than the factory will create unusual textures on different types of wood to your liking. In addition, the stains can be mixed (must be from the same manufacturer), varnished with oil-based or water-based finish and styled with sheen level: matte, satin, semi-gloss or glossy. All of this is done by hand to make the floor exactly as you always wished for.
Matching Made Easy
Many of our customers decide to get their floors done for each room separately at different times. This is usually preferred either to have a space to store the furniture (during refinishing) or a particular material is more cost-effective at a given time of the year. The beauty of unfinished hardwood is that it can be added to your room to be matched with existing hardwood flooring at any time; even if a previously purchased option is no longer available.
The grooves of a prefinished floor create gaps that trap dirt easily, which makes it harder to clean. Rather than cleaning a finished onsite floor which is mostly flat.
A finished hardwood onsite can be refinished to remove any dents or scratches, while prefinished damaged planks would need to be replaced by the factory making it hard to match on site. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to store the extra boxes of flooring, since the prefinished products are often custom ordered and can get discontinued. The daily use of flooring will result in normal wear and tear and also with anything; scratches. Un-finished wood can be fixed/restored onsite multiple times before the damaged material is actually seen as a problem. Prefinished floors can only be sanded once or twice over the span of their lifetime due to thicker polyurethane layers applied by the factory. This results in deep sanding, especially to match stain from the edges as well as doubled labor costs.
Our company works with both types of flooring, and it usually boils down to you to decide which option suits your situation best during renovation. We’re always here to help with that decision!