Advantages and disadvantages of prefinished hardwood flooring
Another choice you have to make when having a new hardwood floor installed is whether you will use prefinished hardwood flooring (also known as factory-finished) or unfinished wood. There are compelling reasons to choose each of these options, depending on your needs and the look you desire. We will describe some of the advantages and disadvantages of using prefinished hardwood flooring, and you can go to our Unfinished Hardwood Flooring page for a discussion of that option.
Obviously all hardwood floors need to have a finish that seals and protects the floor against normal, everyday wear and tear, moisture and stains. The finish also serves the purpose of highlighting the natural character and beauty of the wood. Prefinished wood floors have their protective finish applied in the factory, where the conditions are ideal for the drying and curing process. Unfinished wood flooring comes from the factory in its natural state, so the sanding, staining and finishing are all done on-site after the floor is installed at your location.
Since our specialty is site-finished flooring, where we install unfinished wood and then sand it and finish, we believe it offers some clear advantages over factory-finished or prefinished flooring.
However, having said that, there are circumstances in which we do use prefinished hardwood. We use prefinished hardwood flooring, or “factory-finished” flooring when the customer is looking for something uniquely available in a factory finish. There are many fine hardwood products available with factory finishes. They are a great choice for those projects where the objective is to be completed the same day.
With factory-finished flooring we have had the best luck with solid hand-scraped products and with solid strand bamboo products. In general, we have had less satisfaction with engineered factory-finished products, as well as products that are installed using “floating” floor systems. We much prefer to install a nailed down floor that is a permanent part of the structure once it is installed.