Hardwood Flooring: Prefinished Hardwood vs On-Site Finished Hardwood

hardwood flooring types Hardwood Flooring: Prefinished Hardwood vs On Site Finished HardwoodHardwood floors have a strong appeal. Warm and inviting, there is something noble about the way they gleam against the sunlight from an open window, giving a touch of nature to a home’s interior.

The versatility, elegance, and timeless look of hardwood floors makes them a popular choice for many homeowners when considering a flooring upgrade.

Advantages of Hardwood Floors

Upgrading to hardwood floors adds to your home’s overall value and can make it easier to resell in the future. Because hardwood floors are a very desirable feature, real estate agents often go out of their way to mention wood floors in their listings.

People also love the versatility of hardwood floors in home design. This flooring pairs perfectly with a high-quality Persian rug and matches with virtually any style of furniture, from traditional to contemporary.

In addition, hardwood floors are beneficial if you have allergies. They are easy to clean and don’t trap any dust or food particles, reducing the occurrence of indoor allergies. This attribute also makes them excellent for dining rooms and high-traffic areas where people are more likely to spill drinks or accidentally drop food.

Which installation method do you choose?

Though you may be aware of the benefits of hardwood floors, it can still be difficult to decide how you want to install them. Right now, you have two options. You can either purchase prefinished hardwoods or have the hardwoods finished on-site.

“Finished” means that the wood is sanded and sealed with a glossy coating that protects it from damage. Prefinished hardwoods arrive at your door already finished and just need a quick installation. If you choose to have flooring finished on-site, contractors will install raw planks of wood which need to be sanded and finished inside your home.

Both installation methods have their advantages and ideal situations for usage. Factors to consider are desired installation time, convenience, and if you desire any custom colors or inlays. To help you in this decision, we would like to break down the main attributes of prefinished vs. on-site finishing.

On-Site Finished Hardwood

If you need versatility and custom work, then this is the choice that likely suits you.

This kind of hardwood comes straight from the factory without any sanding or protective coating. It is ideal for homes that need unique flooring that is not available in a prefinished form. For example, if you desire custom inlays or you need the new flooring to match hardwoods already in the home, finishing on-site will better meet your needs.

Many people choose this method because some species of wood and plank widths are not available in a prefinished form. Selecting the raw flooring and finishing it on-site allows you to let your creativity come to life. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to the type of wood, its dimensions, and the type of finish.

The only drawback is that if this type of installation is taking place in an occupied home, residents need to temporarily relocate during the finishing process to avoid dust and fumes. For this reason, on-site finished hardwood flooring is ideal for new constructions because no one needs to stay in a hotel for a stretch of days while contractors finish the work.

Regarding cost, the factory wood planks are generally less expensive. However, the project’s price increases when contractors spend more time to finish the planks in your home.

Prefinished Hardwood

If you want convenience and a quick installation, this is likely to be your choice.

Prefinished hardwoods are also called “factory finished” because they are finished during the manufacturing process. This option involves a shorter installation time because the wood arrives “move-in ready”. Once it is installed, there is no need to wait for any finishing to dry and you can immediately return to your normal life.

This option is ideal for families who do not want to relocate to avoid the fumes and dust from finishing the floors on-site. Prefinished Hardwoods don’t leave any dust or unpleasant odors because the finishing process was already done before they arrived at your door.

Due to its higher durability with respect to on-site finished hardwoods, we recommend installing this type of flooring in areas that are popular in the home. Kitchens and family rooms are great places to have more durable flooring to withstand the spills, scuffs, and the high level of activity that occurs in these areas.

Though prefinished hardwoods are initially more expensive than unfinished planks, you spend less on labor due to the quicker installation process.

Bring in the Experts.

Once you start exploring these options, it can be tough to make a decision. However, you don’t have to make this important decision alone. My brother Todd and I have been in the flooring business together for over ten years and know what hardwood floors are right for your needs and preferences. We are your friendly neighborhood flooring store with the experience and expertise to lead you toward the best hardwood floors that fit your price point.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. Let our experience work for you and guide you to the best choice that fits your budget and personal preferences.

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