Prefinished vs Unfinished Wood Flooring

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Both prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring have their advantages when compared to one another. Both of these types of flooring can be beneficial depending on your situation. Here are a few things to consider about both prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring.

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Prefinished hardwood flooring is quickly becoming the most popular option for hardwood flooring today. This type of hardwood is going to be finished in a manufacturer setting. It comes pre-stained and prefinished for your convenience. You simply have to take it out of the box and install it onto the floor.

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

This is the classic style of hardwood flooring. This has been around for many years and it is still popular today. With this type of hardwood, you are basically just going to be buying raw hardwood that is milled into flooring boards. When you use this type of flooring, you are going to install it and then finish it on site.


With today's technology, prefinished hardwood flooring is going to be more durable than unfinished in most cases. With a prefinished product, you are going to get aluminum oxide in the finish. Aluminum oxide is a lot harder and more durable than putting polyurethane on top of a hardwood floor, which is what they use for site finish flooring. Aluminum oxide makes the hardwood less susceptible to scratches and dents. When you finish something in a controlled factory environment, you are going to be able to remove all of the dust and put on a much better finish. When you finish a product on site, there is always a good chance that something is going to be left on top of one of the boards when you add the finish. This is why you will commonly see pieces of dirt and dust under the finish on a site finished wood.


Another big difference between these two products is the time that it takes to install them. With a prefinished hardwood floor, you are simply going to have to nail it or glue it down and you will be done. This means that you are not going to have to move out of your house and many jobs can be completed in one or two days. With an unfinished hardwood floor, this is not going to be the case. With unfinished wood, you are going to have to completely be out of the house in most cases.

The installer is going to have to install the wood which is going to take the same amount of time as the entire job for prefinished hardwood. Then, the installer is going to have to finish the wood after that. They will have to apply a stain and let that dry. Then they will have to apply a polyurethane finish coat on top of that and let it dry. This means that you could be out of your house for weeks.