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Prefinished vs. Unfinished Wood Flooring
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Deciding on prefinished or unfinished wood flooring is an important decision. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and it's a good idea to know about them. In simple terms, prefinished wood is unfinished wood that has been sanded and finished at the factory. Unfinished wood flooring is sanded on the site of the job.

Prefinished wood floors are becoming a personal favorite for homeowners. It is installed very quickly and doesn't leave behind the mess that unfinished wood does. Typically, it is an engineered floor, which means that it is not a solid wood product. It can be refinished at any time.

Homeowners enjoy knowing that their prefinished floors will bring a lifetime of beauty and durability. Factory finishes are extremely wear resistant and often contain extra sealants for more protection. However, they are limited to manufacturer's colors and prefinished trims are not an exact match to the floor.
Unfinished wood flooring, on the other hand, is often the most common and least expensive of hardwood floors. It comes in a wider array of species and widths. This makes it easier to match exciting wood work. It can always be found in stock. However, unfinished wood is finished on the site of job which often leaves behind a mess and takes several days to complete. Also, with a job-site finish, the wood is sanded smoothly right there leaving less chances for over-wood.

If you are planning on installing wood floors in more than one room, consider using an unfinished wood flooring to ensure that the color and finish is the same throughout the whole house. For basement flooring, you are better off using engineered, prefinished wood flooring. Basements tend to be damp and prefinished flooring resists warping and buckling due to humidity.

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