Prefinished Vs. Site Finished – Which fits your floor?

5 Min.

Every beautiful hardwood floor requires finishing. To gain the look and tone you desire and to protect your new floors. The question is whether to have your floors finished on site after installation or to install prefinished planks. The answer is not so simple, read on as we delve into the pros and cons of prefinished Vs. site finished hardwood flooring.

Factors to consider:


Finishing a hardwood floor in place can be messy even for the most meticulous installer. The floor must be sanded smooth which creates dust and must be thoroughly cleaned prior to finish application.


A prefinished floor is quick to install and can be used immediately afterward. Site finishing is a laborious process, it requires waiting periods between coats and these can be lengthened by environmental factors like humidity.


Typically a factory finished floor has more powerful sealers, often UV cured by a machine which makes them more durable than a hand applied finish.


A prefinished floor may have a more uniform finish, particularly if the planks are stained or colored. However, if you are trying to match to existing floors in your home it could be easier to get the right color and tone on site.


A prefinished floor will have a micro-bevel on each plank. This gives the floor a slightly more finished look which may not match other floors in your home.


Unfinished hardwoods are sanded smooth on site so sub-floor slight irregularities can be smoothed over. A prefinished floor will not hide them.


If a plank is damaged on a site finished floor, it can typically be repaired and refinished pretty easily. Not so with a prefinished floor. Often the board will need to be removed and replaced.

The verdict.

As with most of the choices in a home project, there are many variables. In some instances a prefinished floor maybe the smooth and easy answer to your flooring needs. In others, site finishing may be the perfect solution. Consider the determining factors in your project and then reach out to our design and sales team, they know their wood and would love to talk you through the options and help you find the perfect finish for your floor.

Check out our line of prefinished engineered flooring.

Contact us for more information

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Tagged in: finishflooring

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