Pre-Finished vs. Unfinished Wood Flooring
Until the past year or two, unfinished hardwood flooring accounted for the majority of wood flooring sales, but the volume of pre-finished floors sold now is greater. This is party due to the fact that pre-finished wood flooring is less expensive because it requires less labor during installation. It is also due to the fact that pre-finished wood flooring has a more durable finish that can't be achieved on floors finished on the job site. However, unfinished wood flooring remains popular as well because it is available in more widths and wood species than pre-finished and can be matched to existing wood floors.
When to choose Pre-finished
- If you are installing the wood flooring in an existing home, pre-finished flooring is generally easier to install.
- Pre-finished wood works better in areas that receive high traffic and heavy wear and tear because it provides a more durable finish.
- If you are trying to avoid fumes and a big mess, pre-finished flooring is cleaner to install.
- If cost is a concern, pre-finished flooring is typically less expensive.
- If you are installing the floor in a room with high humidity, pre-finished flooring resists buckling and warping and is suitable for changes in climate.
- If you are looking for a fast and easy installation, pre-finished flooring is the choice to make.
- If you are looking to use engineered wood, most come pre-finished.
When to choose Unfinished
- When trying to match to an existing floor or trim, unfinished wood is generally easier to stain to match.
- If you are having the floors installed throughout your entire home, having the floor finished on site will provide a more uniform color and finish.
- If you are looking for an unusual wood species or specific plank width, unfinished wood flooring offers the most options.
- Unfinished flooring would be most appropriate if your home has historical significance or if you are trying to maintain the architectural integrity of it.
- If your floor is not precisely level, you may opt for unfinished flooring because it doesn’t depend on a precisely level subfloor the way a pre-finished floor does.
If you are still unsure as to which type of wood flooring to choose, try consulting with your wood installation professional. Ask about the different types of wood flooring. Perhaps he/she can bring samples of the different finishes and wood types so that you can see them. Samples would allow you to visualize the flooring with the lighting in your home and with your furnishings.
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