Prefinished hardwood floors versus unfinished hardwood floors.

By Chad Garner


Many people ask us which is better.  Prefinished hardwood flooring or unfinished (site finished) hardwood.  The answer is the one you like best.  There are many differences between the two systems of hardwood.  There are many pros and cons that should be considered.  One of the advantages to the unfinished hardwood is that the whole floor gets coated with one smooth coating of finish.  This look is sometimes preferable to some people.  As well another advantage to the unfinished hardwood flooring is that you have more choices of stains to choose from.  Prefinished hardwood flooring has grown other the last 15 years.  There are many reasons that more people are choosing the prefinished hardwood floors over the unfinished hardwood floors.  The prefinished hardwood flooring has made many advancements over the last 15 years.  Most prefinished hardwood floors now have the fifth hardest surfaces known to man added to its finish.  This element is called aluminum oxide.  It helps make the finish last much longer than the traditional finishes used for some of the unfinished hardwood jobs.  The prefinished hardwood manufacturers have also achieved the smooth finished look with some very nice square edge products.  Many people simply choose the prefinished hardwood due to the ease of getting their project done.  Prefinished hardwood flooring can be installed and lived on shortly after it is installed.  The unfinished hardwood takes days or even weeks to be completed.  This process can sometimes hold up other trades if you are building a new home.  If you are redoing your current home the prefinished hardwood is not only quicker but it is a cleaner and more simple process.  When redoing an existing home the unfinished process will have more dust and some pretty harsh smells to deal with.  With the prefinished hardwood manufacturers continuing to improve we lean more toward this process over the on the job process with unfinished hardwood floors.  We have found with the prefinished hardwood that there is less that can go wrong.  The prefinished hardwood product is manufactured in a controlled environment.  This prevents the finish from getting foreign particles, hair, dust,etc. in the finish.  They also put on many more layers of finish than we normally put on a unfinished hardwood floor.  We believe the prefinished process is easier and the finish quality is much better.  The prefinished hardwood manufacturers also offer a warranty on the finish that carries value for the consumer


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