Hardwood flooring comes in many different varieties. When it comes to finishes, there are unfinished and prefinished hardwood floors. An unfinished hardwood floor consists of bare wood that is likely not stained or finished. Sometimes, the wood is stained but not finished. The wood is then installed in your house and finished with a layer of polyurethane, wax, or oil. This is a common procedure but one that takes a lot of time and needs to be reapplied every few years. A prefinished hardwood floor is quicker to install and more durable. Here is how it works.
An unfinished floor is finished with something that protects it from damage. A prefinished floor is finished in a factory. The factory machines will apply a UV-treated urethane coating that is treated with aluminum oxide. The aluminum and the urethane are applied and baked onto the wood. That makes it much harder and more durable than an on-site finish. In fact, prefinished hardwood floors can last for 25 years in some cases.
Cleaning the Floors
One of the biggest benefits of prefinished hardwood floors is that they are easier to clean than many types of other floors. The prefinished floors tend to be harder and more resistant to stains or scratches. That means you can be a little more aggressive with your cleaning; also, dirt and stains will not seep into the wood. Most people choose to sweep their floors regularly. Then, they choose to mop the floor.
While a prefinished floor is more durable and fairly water-resistant, you should make sure not to overly saturate the floor when mopping. Also, make sure to dry it quickly.
Another major benefit of a prefinished floor is the ease of installation. An unfinished hardwood floor has to be installed, sanded smooth, stained, and then finished. Laying the flooring, sanding it, and then applying all of the different layers could take you more than 72 hours. You then have to wait for it to dry. All of that could take a week or more. A prefinished hardwood floor can be applied in one step and instantly be ready to use.
Repairing Prefinished Hardwood
Prefinished hardwood can be slightly more difficult to repair because the layer of finish on top is so much thicker and harder than other types of finish. You can sand it and repair it, but it will take a little more effort. However, since they’re produced in factories, it will be much easier to find the exact plank you need in the exact color and wood.