When selecting new hardwood floors there are many decisions to be made. One of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether to select prefinished wood or site finished wood. There are definite benefits to both and the decision you make will likely change based on your circumstances.
First of all, what is the difference? In order to get that great finished glossy look on your hardwood floors, you have to have a finishing applied on them. There are all different types of finishing, which is another story for another day. Finishing is important though, not only for looks, but also because the finish on the wood helps to protect the wood from dirt, dust, excessive UV lighting from the sun, spills and other factors.
Prefinished floors simply mean that the wood being installed already has the protective, glossy finish on it. Site finished floors, on the other hand, mean that the wood is not finished when it is installed and instead the finishing gets put on it after it is installed.
Prefinished floors are typically the easier, cheaper option. In addition, it allows you to know exactly what your getting. What you purchase is what you get so you already know what the wood is going to look like when it’s installed. Prefinished floors are quicker to install and depending on the scope of the project, can be done and ready for use in one day. If a couple floor boards get damaged it is easier to replace the wood as you can simply go back to the manufacturer and order extra boards.
On the other hand, site finished floors are the way to go if you are looking for customization. With site finished floors you can customize the flooring to best fit with the look and feel of the room. But with customization comes a lot of inconveniences that you’re going to have to endure for the sake of your beautiful hardwood floors.
First, site finished floors take longer to install. Once the floors are put in, they need to be sanded, stained and have the finishing applied. As you can imagine this process takes a lot longer than just putting the floors in. When staining the floor, you have to wait until it dries so depending on how many coats of stain are needed it could take a while.
Second, you have to deal with the dust that comes from sanding the floors. There is a lot of dust that is created in this process and while there are procedures to minimize the dust you’ll still have to deal with all the dust from the sanding.
Lastly, you’ll have to deal with the odors that come from the staining and finishing.
So as you can see site finished floors are a lot of inconvenience, but who said beauty wasn’t painful? There is nothing like the beauty of site finished floors that are customized to your house. Typically, it is easier to do site finished floors when it’s a new home or prior to moving in to a newly purchased property so that you don’t have to deal with all the negative side effects of site finished floors.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to both prefinished and site finished flooring. Depending on your situation you can make the best decision on which option would be best for your home.