First, let’s define the term finish. Finish is the top coat that is applied to wood flooring to protect it from daily wear and tear. Finish affects the appearance of wood based on its sheen and other characteristics.
Prefinished wood flooring is sanded and finished during the manufacturing process. These products are ready to be used once the installation process is complete. The amount of prefinished wood flooring products being used makes up 31 percent of the wood flooring market in the US and is growing.
Unfinished hardwood flooring has to be sanded and finished on site but a skilled contractor. Solid site-finished floor makes up 13 percent of the US market for wood flooring. Many people find prefinished wood to be a more convenient option but there are some advantages to site finished wood.
We all know 31 and 13 do not add up to 100% and you may be wondering what holds the rest of the wood flooring market. Engineered wood floors are the biggest seller in the wood flooring market in the United States. Engineered wood is not a solid plank of wood and is made with a wood veneer and other wood products to create the plank.
Now that you know the three main categories of wood we will go over the pros and cons of finished versus unfinished wood flooring.
Pros of Prefinished Wood Flooring-
One of the biggest pros for prefinished is the convenience. When installing new flooring your entire space needs to be cleared out to allow for the installation process. Appliances even need to be moved out if the kitchen flooring is being installed. When using prefinished wood the process is generally faster which means your home will be disrupted for less time.
Prefinished wood can help with design selection. When doing a remodel you may need to pick out a variety of elements like cabinet colors, paint, or other elements. Having the ability to bring a small plank of your new flooring when choosing these elements can help you to create a cohesive look with less guess work.
Generally speaking prefinished flooring can be installed faster than site finished. Once the flooring is installed you can begin using it which means you can put the furniture and appliances back much quicker than a site finished product.
There is also lss dust and odor with prefinished wood. The sanding of site finished flooring can create a lot of dust which can be a big mess for homeowners. Prefinished flooring does not need to be sanded in place so the only dust and mess comes from the removal of the old flooring and the cutting of the wood for installation. Also because no finish is put down there is no odor.
Durability is a big concern for most homeowners. Factory finished products are generally very durable. There is a drawback to the factor finishes though. Factory finished wood generally includes aluminum oxide which can make resanding or refinishing the food in the future a challenging process.
Now you know more about what makes prefinished hardwood so appealing to many customers and can make your own decision on what wood product is right for your home and needs.