Gone are the days when all hardwood flooring was installed as unfinished planks. Today, a lot of hardwood flooring is prefinished at the factory. For homeowners and business owners alike, questions arise about whether unfinished or prefinished wood is the best option. The answer to this quandary depends on your circumstances and preferences.

finishing hardwood flooring, southlake, tx

Installation of prefinished floors is fast, and there is no wait time between installation and use. You can walk on the floors and move furniture back into place immediately. However, many people prefer the greater customization and smoother surface of flooring finished on-site. And, if your flooring job is part of a larger remodeling project, your contractor may prefer finishing the wood at the end to minimize damage that could occur during construction.

Learn more about the pros and cons of prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring here before making the choice for your Southlake home.

Prefinished: Factory Finishing

With prefinished flooring, the stain and topcoat are applied at the factory. This saves time. It also allows homeowners to avoid the fumes and dust that are generated with onsite finishing.

Color-wise, what you choose is exactly what you get with a prefinished product. This is an interior decorators dream. Before installation, you can use a sample to aid in selecting other room finishes, including paint and upholstery.

Another characteristic of prefinished boards is that the edges are micro-beveled. The beveling hides small variations in board sizing and makes sanding unnecessary. This can speed-up installation and make the total cost of the flooring cheaper overall.

Unfinished: Onsite Finishing

Unfinished hardwood offers greater control over stain color and finish. However, onsite finishing requires sanding and coating with products that can take days to cure, during which the vapors are airborne.

Homeowners typically need to vacate the property while the floors are curing. You can’t walk on the floor or allow pets in the area, and you may need to find a new place to store your furniture for the duration of the project. When the project is done, however, you’ll have the precise color and finish you desire.

For example, for those who want a matte look that is eco-friendly, onsite finishing with plant-based natural oils is the way to go. The popularity of this method is spreading from Europe to the U.S. Floors treated with natural oils like this do require more frequent maintenance and recoating. However, you can spot treat boards that were finished onsite, versus prefinished boards that typically need to be removed or replaced.

Finally, if matching an existing floor with your new hardwoods, unfinished planks are the best option by far. Finishing onsite is the only way to get a uniform stain and finish that will blend perfectly with your existing wood.

Get Started

Whether you want prefinished or unfinished hardwoods for your next flooring project, the professionals at Floor Coverings International Southlake can help. Get in touch today for your free in-home consultation.

Photo by Carlos andre Santos