When it comes to wood floors, there are a lot of terms that can be confusing – unfinished, prefinished, solid, engineered, handcrafted, distressed, reclaimed, luxury vinyl, the list goes on. So exactly what are prefinished hardwood floors? And why might you choose them?
Prefinished hardwood floors are either solid or engineered wood planks that come ready to install from the factory with a beautiful stain and finish. Because they are already finished, they offer some advantages to unfinished hardwood floors. Here are six reasons you may want to consider prefinished wood flooring:
1. Faster Installation
First and foremost, you can get your floors installed faster. With unfinished floors, they are installed, then sanded, stained, and sealed with a protective finish. All of these steps take time. With prefinished floors, once they are installed, you’re done. If you’re in a hurry to have your floors installed, prefinished is the way to go.
2. Lower Installation Costs
Because there is no staining, sanding, or finishing involved, the installation is not only faster but usually more economical. Depending on the prefinished floor you choose, it can be cheaper than a site-finished floor.
3. No Guesswork
Along with the beauty of your new floor comes the beauty of not worrying about what it will look like. Will the stain look darker once it’s on? Will I like the finish I chose? What if glossy is too shiny once it’s finished? With prefinished wood floors, what you see is what you get. That gives many customers great peace of mind knowing they won’t have any surprises. If you’re the super particular type, or if you stress over decision-making on big projects, prefinished floors are for you.
4. Less Mess
Because your floors don’t have to be sanded, stained, or finished, you avoid the dust, smell, and mess involved with finishing floors on site. TIP: If you do choose site-finished floors, make sure to choose a wood floor company like SVB Wood Floors who uses dustless refinishing.
5. More Durable Finish
Because prefinished hardwood is finished in a factory setting, under very controlled and ideal conditions, the finish is actually a bit more durable than site-finished floors. While both are extremely strong finishes that will protect your floors for years, we have to give the edge to the factory finished planks.
6. Still Refinishable
Speaking of finishes, some people think that prefinished wood floors cannot be refinished in the future. That is not true. Prefinished wood floors are made in both solid wood and engineered wood. (Engineered hardwood planks are made by stacking multiple layers of wood together in various directions and binding them into a solid form with heat and pressure. A thinner hardwood veneer is glued on top. Engineered hardwood floors – both unfinished and prefinished – are very popular in lower levels and areas where moisture or humidity might be a factor.) A lot of today’s engineered planks have a deep enough wear layer to allow them to be sanded and refinished many times like a solid hardwood floor. So by choosing prefinished wood floors you’re not losing any ability to refinish compared to installing unfinished wood floors.
Are There Any Differences between Unfinished and Prefinished Wood Floors?
Yes. Prefinished wood floors have a slight bevel on the outer edges of the planks. When placed side by side, you will notice a slightly larger gap between the planks than with unfinished hardwood planks. Most people don’t notice or care, but there are some who don’t prefer this look. If you are considering both, look closely at a sample that shows several planks together and compare that to an unfinished sample so you can see the difference and know exactly what it will look like once installed.
At SVB Wood Floors, we can show you the difference between unfinished and prefinished floors and much more. Come visit our showroom where you can see large, expansive samples of many different wood floors so you’ll know what they will look like in your home. Give our flooring experts a call with any questions or to set up a free, no-obligation design consultation today! Call us at (913) 396-6769 or (816) 944-3150 or schedule a free in-home estimate.