Prefinished hardwood flooring installation has been a growing trend among both residential and commercial customers in recent years.
Prefinished hardwood flooring, or factory-finished flooring, have a coating of aluminum-oxide-infused polyurethane which is then cured under UV lights. This provides a durable surface without sanding and coating the boards on site. Having been treated in a factory means there is no dust from sanding or fumes from staining and sealant inside your home. They arrive at your home ready to install. This also eliminates the need to wait for drying, making installation quicker and easier than when using unfinished boards.
Prefinished hardwood flooring offers other significant advantages:
Long Lasting: Good quality pre-finished hardwood flooring has a durable finish that lasts up to 30% longer than any protective coating applied to traditional unfinished boards. The durability of the boards makes them a good choice for high-traffic areas.
Cost Effective: Lower installation fees and reduced maintenance equate to significant long-term savings.
However, even with the many advantages, there are some downsides to consider before settling on prefinished hardwood flooring:
Fewer Customization Options: The major downside with prefinished hardwood flooring is the limitation of widths, lengths, colors, grain, and other customer preferences. So, achieving the exact look you want might not be possible. Also, the durability of the finish on prefinished flooring can make it more challenging to remove these surface layers should you want to refinish or resand your floor in the future.
Higher Purchase Price: Because of the initial work involved in making prefinished boards, they are generally more expensive per square foot than unfinished boards. Some people want to do the installation themselves to save money, but if you want peace of mind knowing the job is done right you should contact a professional to do the job for you.
Cleaning: Not all hardwood floor cleaners are suitable for boards with a polyurethane finish. You’ll need to be sure to review your cleaner’s instructions carefully before use.
The decision between “pre-finished” and “unfinished” for a hardwood flooring shopper is not one to take lightly. Both options can have some pros and cons worth considering. Some appreciate the natural imperfections in unfinished flooring and the ability to easily refinish it. While others appreciate the convenience of choosing perfectly prepared, ready-to-install flooring.