Here at San Jose Harwood Floors, we pride ourselves in helping you make the best choices for your home by giving you the information you need to make an informed decision. Is prefinished hardwood flooring a better fit than unfinished? As with everything, it depends on your unique flooring situation.
Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
The term "prefinished hardwood flooring" refers to wood that's purchased with the stain and finish already applied to the boards. The manufacturer (like Mirage) purchases the raw material and dries, cuts, fabricates, stains, finishes, packages and ships the flooring to its destination (like San Jose Hardwood Floors). It arrives ready for installation.
Prefinished hardwood flooring is available in solid, engineered and floating boards and come in a wide variety of sizes, species, colors and finishes. These types of boards have bevels applied to the sides and ends to help diffuse any height inconsistencies that could exist from one board to the next due to an uneven subfloor. The bevels also prevent the finish from building up along the sides of the boards during the manufacturing process.
The most significant advantage to prefinished hardwood flooring is the installation process. It's much faster to install and less disruptive to your home, creating very little dust and allowing you to simply move your furniture from room to room. You can also have immediate access to the room once we're done installing the floor.
Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Unfinished hardwood flooring goes through a similar process of manufacturing, except the boards do not go through a final sanding or the finishing process, including staining the flooring. Although the wood is sanded at the factory, it needs additional sanding once the floor is installed. The wood is typically bundled with metal bands and delivered unboxed to us.
Unfinished hardwood flooring is also available in solid, engineered and floating boards and comes in a wide variety of sizes, species, colors and finishes. There are typically more options with unfinished hardwood flooring when it comes to the width of the boards, too. Because we apply the stain at the job site, there are more color options available for you to choose from, including custom staining and matching existing wood flooring or woodwork.
The big difference between these two types of flooring is the installation process. Unfinished hardwood flooring does not have bevels. The floor is installed, sanded so it's flat and smooth, vacuumed and prepared for staining and/or finish. The staining and finishing process may take several days to complete (depending on the size of the project) with periods of time in between where the floor cannot be walked on for several hours or an entire day. This can be a significant issue of contention for the busy homeowner who just can’t afford a week of downtime in their home. This single point alone drives many consumers to purchase prefinished hardwood flooring. Even with “dustless” sanding systems, you can still expect a major clean-up after your unfinished hardwood flooring is complete.
We're happy to help you make an informed decision by telling you more about the finishing process and showing you the various finished and unfinished hardwood flooring options for your home. Contact us or visit our showroom today!