Prefinished hardwood flooring may seem like a great alternative to traditional installation, however, there are many prefinished hardwood flooring problems you should be aware of before choosing to go that route.
Factory prefinished hardwood flooring usually has beveled, slightly rounded edges. This gives the wood plank a slightly manufactured look. Some don’t mind this style, but it may not look like standard classic hardwood planks with full, squared edges you’re likely envisioning.
Subfloor flaws may show
With a site-finished floor, the hardwood flooring material will be installed and then sanded flat. This allows your installer to remove any irregularities which may exist due to an uneven subfloor. With prefinished hardwood flooring materials, there is no sanding process, so the actual surface of the installation will reflect any below-surface flaws that may be present. A perfectly flat subfloor is essential to ensure a smooth surface.
Refinishing it is tougher
Although newly installed prefinished floors will not need to be refinished soon, eventually the surface seal will start to fade, scratch and discolor slightly. Because of the thick and pervasive nature of the prefinished topcoat, refinishing requires extensive sanding to reach the natural hardwood again. This cuts down on the thickness of the floor planks and limits how many times you can then refinish the floor in the future.
Repairs are more difficult
When a piece of site-finished wood flooring becomes damaged, you can usually repair it by sanding smooth the imperfection. On a prefinished floor, however, the thick seal layer means that when a section of flooring becomes damaged, the only way to repair it is to either sand the finish off the entire floor or remove and replace the broken section.
The classic beauty of a site-finished floor is difficult to match. While the best option depends on each individual situation, be sure to do the research yourself. You’ll find that the long-term benefits, value, and beauty of a finished on site floor out weights the perceived benefits of prefinished hardwood flooring.