Prefinished vs Unfinished Wood Floors

Prefinished wood flooring products come out of the box with the stain and protective clear coat in place.  The installer can leave the drum sander at home.  All that’s required to transform the living space is to remove any flooring whether it be carpet, tile, vinyl, etc from the space and install the wood.  Depending on what kind of floor you select, the product is either glued down or nailed down.

Unfinished wood flooring comes out of the box with no stain, no finish, no sealer, no color; its bare wood.  This presents the homeowner with lots of options.  After the installation is complete, the installer will usually fill and sand the floors, stain or condition the wood to the desired color, and apply 2 to 4 coats of polyurethane.  If an authentic hand scraped texture is desired, the installer needs to select a solid unfinished wood or an unfinished engineered product with a thick (3/16”) wear layer.  If you’re looking at a very thin wear layer product, sand and finish is all you will be able to do.  Scraping will likely go right through to the plywood core and look very undesirable.

The upside to the prefinished product is that it’s consistent.  Color variations are usually very minimal and the texture is consistent too.  The downside is this may be very limiting if trying to match other wood features in the home.  But consistency isn’t always desirable.  One of the features of real wood is character and variation.  But sanding isn’t.  And prefinished floors eliminate the need to sand, stain, and apply sealer.  Convenience is a big plus with prefinished floors.

Unfinished wood or site-finished floors allows the homeowner or designer greater flexibility in selecting the color, provides more character and variation, and offers options in the sheen of the final coat.  It’s been my experience that touch-ups are easier with site-finished floors as well as spot repairs.  As prefinished woods go out of production, unfinished solid wood doesn’t so supplies will likely be available in 10, 20, or even 50 years from now if they’re needed.

And one final note… the ability to refinish a floor in the future will mean that your wood floors are a long-term investment; future-proofing if you will.  Your floors see more use everyday than any other part of your home and they will wear down.  The ability to refinish keeps you from having to replace a worn out floor.  Just refinish and your back to square one.

If you’re looking for hardwood floors in Dallas or the surrounding cities such as Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Coppell, or Flower Mound, HSW Floors would love to have an opportunity to earn your business.  We provide complete turn-key services which means you don’t have to find any other contractors to complete the job.  Getting the wood floors that you want couldn’t be easier with HSW Floors.

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