What are the differences between prefinished hardwoods and old fashioned hardwoods?

Often times people think of prefinished (or factory finished) hardwood flooring as a lesser quality product to the old fashioned unfinished hardwoods. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, they also both provide that warm and rustic feeling in your home. 


Installing prefinished hardwood is definitely a faster and easier method than the preparation and sanding needed for unfinished. When dealing with real wood, factory finished or site finished, it is important to understand that all the pieces are different in size, coloration, and grain. In order to create a more uniform look, unfinished woods need to be sanded, stained, and finished after it is installed in your home. This process takes up to several days to complete, meaning your home will be a mess for quite a while. In contrast, prefinished hardwoods go through that process in the factory, and at the end are coated with durable polyurethane to seal and protect the wood. Once laid in your home, the prefinished flooring is ready for you to walk on it!


Some people think that because the prefinished wood is more expensive per plank, that going through the old fashioned method is more cost effective in the end. However, you would be surprised to learn that often the cost of labor needed to lay and complete unfinished wood is more than the cost of the prefinished wood planks. Of course, it will all depend on the type of wood used and the amount needed. 


Although the ability to customize unfinished hardwoods is appealing to some, the overall durability of a prefinished wood may outweigh that factor. Prefinished hardwood is layered with a chemical compound known as aluminum oxide that toughens that outer layer to prevent dents and scratches. This substance can only be baked and hardened in the factory, not in your home. Therefore, the longevity of the prefinished hardwoods could be superior to site finished depending on how you take care of it. As Mannington says on their website, “this type of construction is far stronger than a single piece of solid wood; and it’s also more structurally sound – it won’t buckle, cap, cup, or twist.”

Here at Flack’s we only install prefinished woods. This helps keep your costs and time down, while still getting a great product. But, either method will provide you with that beautiful real wood texture and appearance in your home. If you want to learn more about the advantages of prefinished flooring, visit our store to see our amazing selection of hardwoods today. 

Hardwood Floor Frequently Asked Questions

How to clean hardwood floors?

Flack’s Flooring recommends cleaning your hardwood floors with any Hardwood Bona products and a microfiber cloth or mop. Try not to use a steam mop or soaked wet mop to avoid excess moisture

How to refinish hardwood floors?

Refinishing hardwood requires sanding, staining, and finishing your pre-exisiting floors. While Flack’s Flooring does not offer this service, you can call for our personal recommendations.