Without a doubt, hardwood floors are one of the top ways to add value to your home. They can make a home more enjoyable too, with an upscale yet warm and inviting feel.
Deciding on hardwood flooring is just the beginning, though. You have countless options regarding the type of hardwood floors, the finish you want, how to install them, and more.
One of the first choices you should consider is whether you want to install unfinished hardwood and finish it on-site or install pre-finished hardwood. Here’s how you can compare your options.
The Benefits of Finishing Your Hardwood On-Site
The “old-fashioned” way to do hardwood flooring is to install unfinished flooring and then sand and stain it on-site. Check out the benefits this option can provide.
More Finishing Options
If you’re someone with a specific vision you’re trying to build, this could be your best bet. With pre-finished hardwood, you’re limited to the woods and stains a manufacturer decides to use. With on-site finishing, it’s more customizable.
Some homeowners start by looking for pre-finished options. They don’t find what they want, so they customize their wood planks and finishes instead. This is a great choice for one-of-a-kind floors.
Hardwood flooring planks have slight bevels on the edges to compensate in case your floor isn’t level. Before you finish hardwood on-site, you sand it after you install it. This keeps the floor from having lippage between planks if the subfloor is not completely flat.
With pre-finished hardwood, you don’t sand it, so the bevels keep planks from having sharp edges if the subfloor is not completely flat. While the bevels are subtle, some homeowners dislike the look and opt for on-site finishing to avoid it.
The Benefits of Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors
As compelling as on-site finishing is, pre-finished hardwood floors have their advantages as well.
A Simpler Process
This is the most appealing benefit of pre-finished floors for some homeowners. With unfinished flooring planks, you have to live through installation, sanding, and finishing. With pre-finished planks, it’s a quick installation and you’re ready to go.
If you’re taking a DIY approach, the simpler process of pre-finished hardwood means it’s harder to make a mistake as well.
The Potential for a Better Finish
Pre-finished hardwood floors are finished at a factory. In most cases, this means you’ll get a more consistent and even finish.
Of course, we’re not saying you can’t get a consistent finish by finishing your floors on-site. It will depend on your contractor’s skill level. If you’re planning on installing your own floors or if you’re not splurging on a high-quality contractor for installation, pre-finished floors will be a safer choice.
Warming Your Home with Hardwood Floors
As you’re choosing hardwood floors for your home, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices. There’s engineered vs. solid wood, on-site finishing vs. pre-finished, countless stains and colors, and more. The key is to take it one step at a time.
If you’ve made your choice and you’re ready to start shopping, check out our selection of wide plank hardwood flooring online.