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The Difference Between Unfinished and Prefinished Flooring

When deciding upon the type of wood floor and its color, the most (arguably) important decision is whether to install pre-finished flooring or unfinished flooring. Here at Century Custom Hardwood Floors, we’ve seen many clients take the longest to decide on this particular aspect of their installation. That’s why we’ve compiled an overview of what they both entail: in this article we’ll examine both options and their benefits as compared to one another.

With pre-finished flooring, what you see is all that you get. When the flooring is pre-finished, it means that the flooring you chose at the start of the process is what you will get at the end of the process. Everything, from color to shine level, is already pre-determined by the manufacturer when you install it. For example, if you ordered Max Windsor (the brand) solid (the type) white oak (the species) with a semi-gloss finish (the finish), that is a prime example of a pre-finished floor. (And not a bad choice for hardwood flooring, if I do say so myself) Of course, this option is mostly for those clients who prefer convenience over flexibility. That is to say, this recourse offers less in the way of choice when compared to un-finished. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having your choices made for you, but it’s not completely without options. There are actually many, many options to choose from depending on the manufacturer and its respective brand. Garrison, for another example, has a wide range of species that are pre-finished, with each specie and sub-specie having dozens of possible stain and shine levels. All in all, any one particular species may have several dozen different designs and looks because the manufacturer likes to make a variety of options available to its clients. As for the non aesthetic aspects, pre-finished hardwood floors are relatively quicker to install than unfinished hardwood floors. This is due to the decreased amount of sanding, finishing and overall labor. This in turn translates to quicker installation and minimized waste such as sawdust or wood shavings. This is not to say that pre-finished floors require very little work; in the end, pre-finished floors require the same amount of skill, just slightly less time.

When we talk about unfinished flooring, the floors are a skeleton option ripe with customization possibilities. This entails not only the stain, but the shine level as well. Choosing a custom design and look for these floors are their biggest advantage over pre-finished flooring. The client will choose the species, the type, make a custom stain and choose a shine level. It’s basically your build-a-bear but for hardwood flooring. Not to belittle a decision of this magnitude to a children’s toy, it’s simply comparable in choice-making. Of these choices themselves, a custom stain can be applied to the floors, meaning that the client may have a completely unique look to their floors, or they may choose to do a standard stain if they so choose. With unfinished flooring, any floor can be made with any combination of options. Somewhat unlike pre-finished, unfinished hardwood floors take slightly longer to install due to the detailing involved in installing these floors.

Overall, the choice boils down to, appropriately enough, choice. Would you like to be able to design every aspect of your floors? Or would you like to have one decision: which looks best? Either way, with hardwood flooring installed by Century Floors, your property will look better than it ever has. Give us a call today for any of your hardwood flooring needs, be it installation, refinishing, or buffing. Contact us today, you won’t regret it.

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