After deciding to install hardwood floors in your home, one of the most important and crucial decisions is that of deciding whether to go with finished or unfinished hardwood floor. This decision can depend greatly on the type of project you will be doing, where it will be completed, as well as your skill ability and personal preference.
Most of these decisions still remain even if you decide to hire a professional, and you must remember to take the time to carefully consider the options before making any final decisions.
Advantages and Disadvantages
While pre-finished wood flooring continues to grow in popularity, unfinished hardwood floor still remains as the most common and trusted choice by far, a factor that is not likely to change anytime soon. One of the biggest advantages of unfinished hardwood floor is that it does not depend on a precisely level sub floor the way a pre-finished floor does, because the wood can be sanded down.
The biggest disadvantage to unfinished hardwood floor is that on a pre-finished floor, the sheer strength of the finish far surpasses that of an unfinished hardwood floor, even after its final finish, and especially from the contractor’s point of view this can be a great advantage because more jobs can be done in a given amount of time.
While pre-finished hardwoods are primarily sold in big boxes at flooring specialty stores, most unfinished floors are sold to dealers and contractors in the building market. Also, because pre-finished hardwoods are preferred in the replacement market, it is expected that they should see big growth in the future with buying groups such as Flooring America, Abbey, CarpetsPlus and Carpet One.
Another disadvantage to unfinished hardwood flooring is that of the variety that pre-finished hardwood has over it. In addition to offering a wider range of colors and styles, pre-finished producers are also offering new custom coloring. Further, more manufacturers now are offering pre-finished borders, accents and medallions for a more custom look.
Basically, when deciding on whether to go with unfinished or pre-finished hardwood flooring, the final decision depends on you. However, there are several specific issues which should be carefully considered before reaching for your check book. This is the only way to ensure not only that the wood will complement your décor, stay strong and reliable, and add to the value of your home, but that you will be pleased with the end result as well.