Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring: Is It Worth the Cost?

prefinished hardwood flooring is it worth the costWhen it comes to hardwood flooring, the variety of options is vast. From species to types of finishes, there are many factors to consider before making your purchase. One factor that has become a common question for consumers is the primary differences between prefinished and unfinished flooring.

Receive great information about prefinished hardwood flooring NOW, right here!

Basically, prefinished hardwood has a coating of urethane, which is the protective coating that is applied to most hardwoods at the manufacturer’s site. Because of this, prefinished hardwoods have more protection and are considerably more durable than unfinished floors that are finished in your home. That reason alone has increased sales of prefinished hardwoods over the past few years.

The Cost of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Because prefinished hardwood spends more time at the plant or manufacturer, it usually costs more than purchasing unfinished hardwood. You are paying more for the actual wood versus paying more for the labor of installing unfinished hardwood.

prefinished hardwood floors are they worth the priceUsually, unfinished hardwood takes five to seven days to install, sand, finish, and dry. That means you will be paying more for labor, regardless of the less expensive planks. Prefinished hardwood may be more expensive, but in many cases the installation only takes one to two days, and there is no drying time required because it is already finished.

That means you will be paying significantly less for labor. In some cases, buying prefinished hardwood is actually cheaper after installation. It depends on what type of prefinished wood you purchase.

At times, though, unfinished hardwood can also be significantly cheaper. You can also find many more exotic and rare species with unfinished planks, so you could install a truly unique hardwood floor for the same price that typical prefinished species would cost. If you want your floors to be unique, the cheaper unfinished wood might be the way to go.

When comparing prefinished to unfinished hardwood, cost is definitely a factor. However, you may also want to consider other factors between the two types. There are benefits to both types of flooring.

Hardwood Floors Magazine has a great variety of resources describing the differences between prefinished and unfinished flooring.

Understanding the vast array of differences–both positive and negative–between prefinished and unfinished floors is a must before buying your flooring. Each type offers its own benefits, and each type has a time when it is preferable to the other, depending on particular circumstances.

The Pluses of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

prefinished hardwood floors are they worth the costBesides cost, there are quite a few differences between the two types of flooring. Most of the time, deciding between the two comes down to your personal flooring situation. Both options have great benefits, but you have to consider your own situation too.

For example, one of the greatest benefits of purchasing prefinished flooring is the installation process. Because it is finished at the factory, your installer will not have to worry about sanding, staining, or finishing your floors. That means less of a mess and a faster install. For some people, these two factors alone are enough of a reason to buy prefinished hardwoods.

In addition to the mess-free installation, it also is incredibly durable. If you happen to be installing flooring in a high-traffic area, like the entryway to your house or your kitchen, prefinished hardwood might be a better option.

Most prefinished hardwoods have more coats of urethane, but they sometimes are also finished with aluminum oxide, which is an incredibly hard substance that will give the floors even more lifespan.

Another positive about prefinished hardwood flooring is the availability to purchase engineered hardwood. Most engineered hardwood only comes prefinished, so if that option is a must for your new project, you may have to buy prefinished planks. Engineered wood flooring has a completely different list of positive characteristics, so doing some research on that type of hardwood flooring is a wise choice.

Finally, prefinished hardwoods, because of the multiple coatings, also have a higher resistance to moisture content. If you are installing in a high humidity room, prefinished flooring will be less likely to warp because of moisture.

The Downside of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

One aspect of prefinished flooring that has caused concern with a few people is beveling on the prefinished planks. A bevel is a slight crevice at the end of each plank. It looks like a valley when two planks are placed end-to-end.

prefinished hardwood floors and are they worth the costThe reason all prefinished planks have beveling is because the width sizes between planks will vary. Although the variation is minimal, it can create “overwood,” when edges are higher than the planks next to each other.

Beveling also exists because your installer will not be sanding the planks upon installation. Sanding occurs for unfinished hardwood installs to create a uniform, flat surface for your hardwood flooring. This cannot happen with a prefinished plank.

Because of this, sometimes the prefinished hardwood flooring can be slightly uneven. Again, the variations are minimal, but they are there.

Another negative about prefinished hardwood is the variety of species and stains available. If you already have existing hardwood flooring in your home, you may want to match your new flooring.

If you buy prefinished wood, you will have to match the prefinished staining with your old hardwood. This can be very difficult. For most customers who are attempting to match older flooring, prefinished is not recommended.

One final negative aspect about prefinished flooring is maintenance. The beveling on prefinished planks can be difficult to clean. Even though prefinished floors are more durable, the beveling may be enough reason to consider buying unfinished hardwood. It is just a matter of preference.

If you think you can deal with detailed cleaning between each plank, then prefinished hardwood is a great choice.

The Pluses of Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

prefinished hardwood flooring is it worth the priceIn addition to the cheaper price of unfinished hardwood, there are a number of other great benefits to purchasing this type of flooring. One of the most common benefits of unfinished hardwood is the variety of choices for the consumer. You can find almost any species if you are purchasing unfinished hardwood. Furthermore, because the staining, sanding, and finishing happens on site, you can manipulate the hardwood planks to fit your home’s lighting and design far more than with prefinished planks.

Additionally, you can also purchase a variety of width sizes. Unlike prefinished wood, where the width size is predetermined by the factory, unfinished woods have far more choices available to the consumer. This could be a great option if you are installing new flooring in a room with a lot of angles and an odd floor plan.

Staining options are also a benefit to unfinished floors. If you are a bit more creative, you can mix and match stains to create an artistic masterpiece with your new floors. For the more original at heart, buying unfinished hardwood will guarantee you a completely unique hardwood floor.

Another positive is the flexibility of sanding unfinished hardwood. If your sub-floor is not completely level, your installer can sand unfinished planks to create a level surface.

Prefinished planks cannot be sanded down, so they are at the mercy of the sub-floor.

This can also be helpful if you are installing hardwood flooring in your entire home. With uniform sanding, your new floors with be level and smooth across the entire floor. You cannot get that with prefinished hardwood.

Negatives of Unfinished Hardwood Floors

The primary negative aspect to purchasing unfinished hardwood is its decreased durability. Because most unfinished planks only come with two to three coats of urethane, the wood will be less resistant to scratches. In addition, it will also be more susceptible to warping if installed in high moisture rooms.

prefinished hardwood flooring and is it worth the priceAnother negative is that unfinished hardwood flooring can be a hassle to install. In addition to pricier labor for the install, you will have to deal with cleaning up after sanding. Installers cannot help sawdust build-up during work, so the mess can be a nightmare.

Additionally, the fumes from staining and finishing the hardwood can be quite powerful. Sometimes installers suggest that the room not be used for up to three days after the install. Make sure you are willing to handle having no use of that room for this length of time.

There is a wide variety of resources and materials available to help educate you further on the benefits of both prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors. The Flooring Girl, a blog dedicated to educating consumers about flooring of all types, has a collection of very helpful articles specifically related to prefinished flooring.

You can also find a wealth of information from the World Floor Covering Association. Finally, another great resource is Hardwood Flooring Nut, which is also a blog from a very helpful installer.

Other Flooring Options

prefinished hardwood flooring and is it worth the costAfter considering all the factors for prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring, you may not feel quite as comfortable with hardwood flooring anymore. There are other flooring options as well, like vinyl flooring. It is just as durable, if not more durable, than most prefinished hardwoods.

It also will cost less and can be installed quickly. Companies like Forbo Vinyl Flooring are industry leaders and provide a quality product that can be a fantastic alternative to hardwood. It is just a matter of preference.

Some consumers consider vinyl and linoleum floors to be lesser quality than hardwoods. With modern technology though, many companies offer amazing options for vinyl and linoleum flooring. These floors tend to be less expensive than hardwood flooring, so if cost is a primary concern for your flooring project, vinyl or linoleum can be great alternatives.

Cost is always a concern during a flooring project. Prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors definitely have cost differences, but understanding the entire range of differences between the types is incredibly important before making your purchase.

Click on this link NOW for further information about prefinished hardwood flooring!

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00