Why install unfinished hardwood flooring instead of prefinished floors?
Prefinished flooring is the perfect option for homeowners who need a very quick installation, or those who would like to convert a non-climate controlled environment into a living space (PFE).
Prefinished flooring is also much easier to install than floors that have to be site-sanded. Whether it’s a click-lock prefinished engineered flooring, or a solid prefinished red oak, you barely have to do anything to it––you essentially click it into place or nail it up, and the floors are ready for immediate use.
But there are certain benefits to installing unfinished hardwood floors, too:
You can customize unfinished floors to the max.
One of the biggest advantages of unfinished, solid hardwood flooring is its flexibility. Since unfinished flooring is basically raw wood, it’s like working with a clean slate.
In contrast, prefinished flooring comes straight from the manufacturer with stain and several coats of finish already applied, so there’s no changing it. If your clients have an idea of how they want their floors to look, but it would be difficult or impossible to achieve with the available color pallet in prefinished flooring, unfinished is probably your only option.
Unfinished flooring also gives you the opportunity to match existing floors in other areas of your client’s home.
Less room for complication = Less risk.
With unfinished flooring, there’s no risk of a conflict between old and new layers of finish, since you’re just working with raw wood. You can apply virtually any finish without worrying about the new coat beading up and not adhering to the wood, including the European oiled systems.
Even when you’re working with unfinished flooring, you should still test out any stains and finishes you plan to use to make sure that the results are to your client’s liking.
Unfinished floors showcase the natural look of the wood.
You can purchase wide-plank reclaimed flooring for a rustic look with natural patinas that you can’t really achieve with wide-plank prefinished floors.
Site-sanded unfinished solid flooring can also have multiple edge profiles for a truly custom look, as opposed to the standard micro-beveled edges of prefinished floors. Some people find beveled edges unattractive. Beveled edges are also more difficult to keep clean because they trap more dirt than the uniform and smooth, site-sanded floors.
The ability to have a minimalistic finish system (European Hardening Oil) showing the natural beauty and grain of wood is easily achieved on an unfinished wood install. Most pre-finished systems apply multiple coats of UV cured finish that can leave the wood with a “plastic” appearance.
Of course, unfinished floors aren’t for everyone.
Unfinished floors take more time to install a completed job than prefinished floors. Prefinished floors can also be put to use almost immediately, since the finish is applied and cured at the factory.
Both unfinished and prefinished hardwood require conditions that are climate-controlled, or “livable conditions,” in the home or facility. In those areas where that may not be available (such as in an attic or a converted garage), your options are usually limited to prefinished or unfinished engineered flooring.
We stock a variety of prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring to meet every need. Browse our inventory online 24/7 or call us at 1-800-737-1786 for more information.