As we've said before, hardwood is a classic, and many love to have it in their homes. Choosing hardwood may seem simple enough, but there are some choices you will have to make other than picking the species. One of those is whether you want pre-ﬁnished or unﬁnished wood. Let's take a look at both options.
Pre-ﬁnished wood means it was sanded, stained and sealed all in the factory, and it’s ready to be installed. What you see is what you get; however, all solid hardwood can be reﬁnished if desired. When it's ﬁnished in factory, it's most likely been ﬁnished with aluminum oxide, which is the hardest man-made crystal in the world! Pre-ﬁnished is also sanded, stained and sealed in a controlled environment, so you won’t have imperfections in the stain and sealer that you might have if ﬁnished on sight. Everything is baked in 450 plus degree ovens, so the seal is strong, making pre-finished wood better equipped to stand up to daily life in your home. And best of all, your warranty will be longer!
Unﬁnished hardwood is just the cut wood planks of the species you've chosen, with all the ﬁnishing done on site. Unﬁnished is better if you want to stain your ﬂoor to match other wood products in your home. With pre-ﬁnished wood, you may not get as close of results. If ﬁnished correctly, your ﬂoor will be totally sealed with polyurethane since it is generally mopped or brushed on in very thick coats. When you stain and seal on site, there will always be some imperfections because it is not done in a controlled environment, and each coat takes long periods to dry. And, let's face it. You may be able to keep your cat oﬀ the ﬂoor, but you can't stop the ﬂy from landing on it or other debris from settling in your sealer.
When sanding your unﬁnished ﬂoor, you can make a smooth ﬁnish you won’t get with pre-ﬁnished, but on the down side, sanding in your home is quite a mess--saw dust, saw dust everywhere. Pre-ﬁnished has less job debris and has a stronger ﬁnish that makes it better equipped to stand up to daily life. Unﬁnished is ready to be customized and can be sanded to a smooth ﬁnish; however, the ﬁnish is not as strong, and there is a lot of job debris to clean up in home.
Be sure to talk with our flooring experts about the look you want and your expectations for your floor and home. We'll guide you in the right direction and make sure your home is matched with a great floor and that you're prepared for the installation process, whichever wood you choose.