Unfinished or prefinished hardwood flooring? Which is better and how much do they cost? The answer will probably depend on a few factors. Prefinished hardwood is hardwood that has been finished in the factory and then is installed. Unfinished hardwood is raw wood that needs to be installed, sanded and refinished on site.
Pros of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
Scratch Resistant – Pre-finished hardwood floors are 7-10 times more resistant to scratches than unfinished hardwood. The reason for this is that is 6-7 coats of polyurethane and applied to it and then its oven baked with aluminum oxide which is considered the world’s second hardest substance. Unfinished hardwood will only receive 2-3 coats after it is installed in your home.
Less Messy to Install – It is also less messy. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors is a messy job. You’ll have sawdust everywhere and it smells bad too. The dust can be reduced with a dustless system, but it will cost more.
Faster Installation – Most projects with prefinished hardwood take about 1-2 days, but unfinished hardwood can take 4-5 plus drying time that you’ll have to stay off it. Prefinished hardwood can be walked on right after it’s installed.
Pros of Site Finished Hardwood Flooring
Smooth Hardwood Flooring Edges – This may come down to preference but with pre-finished hardwood you’ll have a slight bevel at the edges. Some people feel it makes the wood look more real while others like the smoothed out look once the floors are sanded. There will be more dirt buildup in the micro beveled edges of prefinished hardwood.
Suitable for Kitchens – Unfinished hardwood can be a better choice in kitchen because when it’s sealed onsite the edges will also get polyurethane. Prefinished hardwood sometimes lacks the polyurethane and can be prone to issues with water. You may also see the lighter color under darker colored prefinished because the stain doesn’t get all the way into the edges. This doesn’t happen with hardwood that is sanded and refinished on-site.
Best for Color Matching. If you’re looking to match hardwood from other areas of the house it will be much easier with unfinished hardwood because stain colors can be tested for a perfect match. Choosing a specific color is much easier with unfinished hardwood because colors can be mixed. Color options are limited with prefinished hardwood. Most customers will test 3-4 stain colors so they can see it in the light in your home and the space you want to have it installed. You can also test on different boards to get a better idea because some boards are lighter than others.
Cheaper – Unfinished hardwood typically costs less. Prefinished hardwood will have you paying more for the wood and less for the labor. Finished hardwood will have you spend less on the wood and more on the labor.
Hardwood Floor Installation Services in Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale, San Pedro, Torrance, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills & Greater Los Angeles, California
Deciding between prefinished or unfinished hardwood flooring can be difficult. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. You may feel overwhelmed but take the time to choose the best option for you and your home. Contact Sequoia Flooring for all the help you need!