What’s the Difference? Prefinished vs. Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Pre-finished flooring is solid hardwood flooring that comes already sanded, sealed, and ready to nail into place. After the flooring installers have completed their job, literally the only thing you need to do is sweep up, and you're ready to go. Unfinished and pre-finished flooring is installed the same way, give or take a few minor differences. 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 of the entire floor or remove and replace the broken section.
By Joe Provey. So, prerinished it comes to installing solid or engineered wood planks for new floors, I choose prefinished hardwood floors to simplify the installation, color application, and sealing into one step among numerous other reasons.
Some pros may disagree. To decide what will work best in your home, first get to know what separates the two options with these key points in the case of prefinished how to cook lobster meat out of the shell. With flooring that is finished on-site using oil-based polyurethane, the homeowner must wait days, sometimes even weeks, before moving furniture back into the room.
Even though the floor may be dry to the touch, it will be vulnerable to scraping until the waiting time has elapsed and the whst has fully cured. I once had to shuffle around in socks and remain furniture-less for four weeks after applying three coats of poly to a floor. Waterborne polyurethane finishes dry to touch quickly but can have varying cure times—some quite long.
For days after applying an oil-based polyurethane, you will smell and breathe in vapors from polyurethane resins and solvents. Volatile organic compounds VOCs have been shown to be carcinogenic, and some waterborne polyurethanes produce them, too. Why not buy prefinished so that the curing takes place in a factory, not in your living room?
Dust and errant hairs are the enemy of on-site floor finishing, often caught as the stain dos down. You willhowever, need to take bardwood to protect prefinished floors if you have contractors tromping around with tools and equipment en route to other jobs around the house. A crew of two had our square-foot solid wood floor installed, with underlayment, in only about two hours.
Not only are they better than what homeowners or contractors can jardwood on-site, but these factory-applied finishes are also incredibly durable and often come with a lifetime warranty. The Mullican red oak flooring, shown above, will stay new-looking for longer. It came with a PPG UV-cured hardqood and nanoparticle coating nean is highly scratch- and abrasion-resistant.
But once you factor in finishing costs, prefinished ends up being less expensive. But some homeowners and many contractors disagree with me and prefer site-finishing wood floors for the following reasons. Many contractors prefer to wait until the end of the job to finish the floor.
There is no question that the site-finished route opens up a greater variety of choices with respect to color and shade. Prefinished products, however, come in uardwood species and stains how to get pretty hair without heat ever before. Prefinished floorboards usually have micro-bevels on all edges.
These bevels hide slight discrepancies between board depths and widths. Inevitably, some homeowners will prefer the flush look of site-sanded floors, as they feature no such grooves and can be finished to a dles surface.
Perhaps the hassles of site-finishing will be worth it to you—for one or all of the reasons above. But for homeowners like me, prefinished floors are the future. Disclosure: BobVila. You agree that BobVila. All rights reserved. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Prefinished vs. Unfinished Hardwood Flooring If you're deciding between prefinished hardwood whaf or unfinished wood floors, consider these how to extract zip file online key differences to make an informed choice.
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Benefits of Pre-finished hardwood flooring
Jan 17, · Prefinished floors come at a lower cost. Prefinished solid wood floors initially cost more than unfinished wood flooring—about $2 per square foot for a Author: Joe Provey. Jul 11, · The installation for unfinished and prefinished hardwood flooring is the same. The subfloor or concrete slab will require the same preparation for each. Depending on the method of installation that you or your contractor choose, the floorboards will either be nailed or glued into place. History of Prefinished Flooring. Oct 21, · The main downside with prefinished hardwood flooring is the limitation of widths, lengths, colors, grain, and other common customer preferences. Also, the durability of the finish on prefinished flooring can make it difficult to remove these surface layers should you want to refinish or re-sand your floor in the future.
Many of my Westchester customers ask me whether pre-finished hardwood or unfinished hardwood is better and which costs less. We install both types of hardwood, and the truth is, it depends on which of below factors are most important to you. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page. Pre-finished hardwood is x more scratch resistant than unfinished hardwood. Oh, and did I forget to mention the smell?
By the way, to combat the dust, we do offer a dustless system which costs a bit more but definitely cuts back on the mess.
Faster — Of course this depends on the space, but usually most of our pr-efinished jobs can be done in days. With pre-finished hardwood, you can walk on it the same day. Smooth edges — Most pre-finished hardwood has a slight bevel at the edges. Some customers prefer this because they think it looks more real; but more customers like the smoothed out look when you sand the floors. No right or wrong answer here; just a preference.
Also, I will point out that for pre-finished hardwood, a bit more dirt tends to get trapped in the microbeveled edges. One issue with pre-finished hardwoods, especially darker colors, is that you will see the underside or lighter color of the wood along the edges when you view the wood from far away.
This is less apparent in lighter woods and more apparent in darker woods. When the wood is fully sanded and refinished on site, the wood is smooth and uniform and stain and polyurethane is applied to all areas.
Matching color of existing hardwood — If you have hardwood in other parts of the home, using unfinished hardwood will be the easiest way to match it.
For our customers, we will often test stain colors so they can see them on their flooring. Not only is it important to see in your own lighting but because hardwood differs based on species, grade and age the stain can look different in different homes.
Unfinished hardwood usually costs a bit less. With prefinished hardwood, you are paying more for the wood and less for the labor; for unfinished hardwood, you are spending less on the wood and more on the labor. The wider you go in the planks, the wider the difference in price for prefinished vs. If you live in Westchester County NY, I offer color consultations to advise customers on paint colors and stain choices.
My designer discount at the paint stores usually more than offsets the cost for the hour consultation. Read more here. I wrote this e-book to help new home buyers make smart decisions when looking for homes with hardwood floors…or looking to buy a home and then add hardwood. Did you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog. What about water resistance? But, generally, unfinished hardwood that is sanded on site, holds up better to water.
Lori — Yes, prefinished wood can be resanded…if it is solid hardwood. And, some prefinished engineered hardwood can be refinished as long as the wear layer is thick enough and the floors are secured well to the subfloor. Can you have prefinished installed and then apply essentially a sealer coat to cover the edges.
I really want it in the kitchen but am concerned. Robin — Theoretically, I suppose you could do that. This will definitely cost you more vs either just doing site finished or prefinished wood, as you are paying for both parts.
And, most likely, during the buffing process, you would degrade the strength of aluminum oxide in the prefinished floors.
This would not be my first choice for new floors. We have definitely done this for new home buyers where the previous owners put in prefinished wood and the new owners did not like the sheen. Also, bear in mind that if you do this, you will still have the bevels in the wood. Hi there! We are renovating an historic townhouse in Brooklyn, NYC and I am tearing what is left of my hair out over the flooring. I like it with a very tiny bit of satin finish, not a gloss.
Not grey, really, and not totally limed. We are working with an architect and designer and we are closing in on a final number with a GC who has a flooring guy do the floor work.
We are budget conscious but have a little room to work with and are giving priority to, for example the parlor floor.
To add to those two choices, there are high end pre-finished vendors like Hudson and LV and others like Cochran that my architect says are well priced. I guess my questions are, first and most important, can i get the look i like from pre-finished wood i think my husband and architects are leaning toward this? Which is more expensive.
I assume our GCs flooring subcontractor will be doing the work for either as it seems inadvisable to bring in another contractor if we have a GC.
Here are some examples of what I like. Hi Michelle. I really appreciate it. There are a lot of thoughts here, and a lot of this opinion in terms of what you like. And, herringbone is more expensive — both the wood and the labor. In general, I prefer unfinished floors to prefinished floors. They tend to look better, especially in our area of the country and they are easier to clean. And they will be flatter, so it will probably give you a better look for the type of floor you are going for.
If you do herringbone, I would highly highly recommend going unfinished as it will look and feel much much better. Believe me. I think you really need to start getting some estimates to see what the costs will be. I do actually know a flooring expert in Brooklyn, so call me on my cell if you want his info.
Thank you SO much, this is great advice. I will call you monday! Thanks again for your most helpful reply to my many-tangented plea for help! Your email address will not be published. Skip to content. Home » Flooring Blog » Blog » Unfinished hardwood vs. Prefinished hardwood flooring Westchester NY. Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.