At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be much difference…
…in the appearance of site finished and prefinished hardwood except for the two finishing types that you can choose from. We’re there to answer your questions and others so you can make a wise choice in the type of flooring for your next project.
What Is Wood Finishing?
As the name suggests, the finishing process is the process of adding oil, polyurethane, or a similar type of finish to the top of the plank. The finish is brushed onto a floor plank for protection. Because wood is porous, it can be destroyed by moisture, dirt, and oils which can all cause blemishes and stains. Finishes also improve the appearance of wood by adding sheen and warmth to the wood and bringing out the natural colors.
Site Finished Hardwood
When you make a purchase of site-finished hardwood, the finish will be applied at the job site instead of in the factory. The wood will be brought to the site unfinished and will then be sanded, stained, sealed with the finish layer before being installed in your home.
On-site finishing gives you greater opportunities for customization, and these options include items such as the sheen level, the color of the staining, the type of finish used, and more. On-site finishing will also allow you to have design options such as non-beveled edge profiles, and the square edge flooring allows the room to take on a more traditional, upscale look.
It takes time to finish a floor on-site. Every site-finished floor will need to be sanded prior to having a finish applied. Once the finish is applied, it will need to dry before being walked on or adding furniture. If you want to have full control over the color and gloss level this may be your best option. Especially since you can have your floor finisher mix a custom color for you on-site.
A myth of unfinished hardwood is that the whole floor will be completely coated with one smooth coating of finish. Wood is a natural living product that expands and contracts during the various seasons. With humid summers, the hardwood floor absorbs moisture from the humidity, and boards can swell. In cold and dry winter months, boards lose the excess moisture and will contract. It is possible to minimize expansion and contraction by utilizing a humidifier in the colder months and a dehumidifier in hotter months. Ideally, your home should remain between 30% to 50% relative humidity and between 60 and 80 degrees.
Prefinished hardwood flooring is finished at the factory instead of on-site. The finish is typically UV cured and the finish is applied on a long finish line with various stages. The finish is durable due to the finishing techniques used. Once the wood is installed, you can walk on it and add your furniture right away. You won’t have as many customization options for your flooring, but it is definitely durable and able to be used right away.
Which Type of Flooring Is Best?
The type of flooring you choose will depend on your goals and needs rather than which one is better. There are pros and cons with both, but know that your floor will have durability and a beautiful finish with either type. Site finished hardwood can take more time at the site but you have far more customization options. Pre-finished floors are done in a controlled environment and are usable as soon as they are laid.
Oak and Broad – Your Wide Plank Flooring Solution Center
Here at Oak and Broad, we provide wide-plank flooring for our customers in a variety of finishes and sizes. We offer expert services with superior products for your wood flooring needs. Give us a call today or fill out our contact form. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you decide on the best solutions for your next flooring project.