June 17, 2023

Prefinished Wood VS Unfinished Wood


When it comes to choosing the perfect wood flooring for your home, you may have come across the terms prefinished and unfinished wood. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. In this article, we will discuss the differences between prefinished and unfinished wood and help you determine which option is the best fit for your home.

Prefinished Wood

Prefinished wood, also known as factory-finished wood, is flooring that has been finished in a factory before it is installed in your home. The process involves applying the finish, usually with an aluminum oxide coating, to the wood planks before they are shipped out. The planks are then installed in your home, and there is no need for any additional sanding or finishing. This makes installation quick and easy, and you can enjoy your new floors right away.

Advantages of Prefinished Wood

One of the main advantages of prefinished wood is its convenience. Since the finish is applied in the factory, there is no need for sanding or finishing in your home, which can be messy and time-consuming. Prefinished wood is also known for its durability, thanks to the advanced coating technology used in the factory. The finish is cured with UV lights, which creates a durable and long-lasting layer on the wood.

Another advantage of prefinished wood is the wide range of colors and finishes available. You can choose from a variety of shades and finishes, including matte, satin, and high-gloss. This makes it easy to find the perfect match for your home's interior design.

Disadvantages of Prefinished Wood

One disadvantage of prefinished wood is that the edges of the planks may be slightly beveled, which can create a gap between the planks. This can lead to dirt and debris getting trapped between the planks and can be challenging to clean.

Prefinished wood can also be more expensive than unfinished wood, as the factory finishes add to the cost of production. Additionally, if your prefinished wood floors become damaged, they may need to be replaced entirely, as it can be challenging to match the exact finish and color of the damaged planks.

Unfinished Wood

Unfinished wood, also known as site-finished wood, is flooring that is installed in your home and finished on-site. This means that the planks are sanded, stained, and finished in your home, creating a custom finish that matches your specific preferences.

Advantages of Unfinished Wood

One of the main advantages of unfinished wood is the customization options. You can choose the stain color and finish to match your home's decor and personal style. Unfinished wood is also perfect for homeowners who want a seamless finish without any gaps between the planks.

Another advantage of unfinished wood is that it can be less expensive than prefinished wood, as there are no factory finishes to pay for. Additionally, if your unfinished wood floors become damaged, it is relatively easy to repair and refinish the affected area, saving you time and money.

Disadvantages of Unfinished Wood

One disadvantage of unfinished wood is the time and effort required for installation. Sanding, staining, and finishing the planks can take several days, and the process can be messy and disruptive. Additionally, the finish may not be as durable as prefinished wood, as it is not cured with UV lights.

Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between prefinished and unfinished wood ultimately comes down to personal preference and your specific needs. If you want a quick and easy installation process, prefinished wood may be the best option. However, if you want a custom finish and are willing to invest the time and effort into installation, unfinished wood may be the better choice.

In conclusion, both prefinished and unfinished wood have their advantages and disadvantages. Consider your budget, timeline, and personal preference.