The Difference Between Prefinished & Unfinished Flooring

When it comes time to choose between having prefinished hardwood flooring and unfinished hardwood flooring, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of both. Pre-finished hardwood floors have had all the work done to them before they arrive in your home. They have been sanded, stained and coated. Unfinished hardwood floors come to your home in their raw wood state and are finished on site. The big question becomes deciding what’s right for you. Let’s dive in and discuss the pros and cons!


LESS TIME: You can walk on the hardwood floors right after the project is finished. You can also place furniture immediately back on the floor which gets your home back in order quickly.

NO SMELL: You can forget about having to handle the chemicals in your home. For some this is the best choice based on health reasons.

LESS MESS: If you are not wanting to live in “project mode” then prefinished flooring might be the choice for you. You also avoid the dust that accumulates with the sanding portion of the unfinished flooring.


PERFECT MATCH: If you have existing hardwoods in your home, the hardwood floor stain colors can be matched. This is great news for anyone who buys a historic home with existing hardwood floors.

EASIER TO CLEAN: Because the floors have been finished on site and are totally flat, it makes it easy to remove all dirt and dust.

VARIETY OF FINISH OPTIONS: For those who love their choices, this is the avenue for you. You can have fun with more options in terms of shade and finish options.


COMPLICATED REPAIRS: The section that has been damaged often has to be removed and replaced. This can be both a headache and a lot of hassle.

UNSEALED SEAMS: Due to the fact that the sealing agent is not applied when floors are pre-done at the factory, dirt and grime get caught in the seams more often.


MORE PROJECT TIME IN HOME: Once the unfinished flooring arrives at your home, the project of finishing can lead to a lot of disruption and could end up taking longer than expected.

CHEMICALS IN HOME: The chemical in finishing hardwood flooring is quite strong and isn’t always a healthy choice for those living in the environment.

As you can see, there are a variety of factors to weigh when making your flooring choice. There are several options to choose from on our site for both prefinished hardwood flooring and unfinished hardwood flooring. Each family is different and needs to look at their household and how it affects their daily lives before deciding which route to take. For some, having the majority of the project done off-site makes life easier. Other families are willing to endure the in-home project to get the result they want. There is no wrong choice but there is a best choice for you and your home.

Article contributed by Kimberly Fairfax McPheron, Local Columbus Blogger

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