Pre-finished floors come with an extended factory
finish warranty unlike unfinished floors. The heavy duty finishes
are urethane-based. Within a few minutes, a number of urethane
coatings can be applied on planks using ultra violet lights.
However, you also have the option of unfinished hardwood flooring.
The pre-finished hardwood floors have a definite advantage, as clean
up and labor is not required and one can choose from a number of
wood species. Unfinished floors need sanding and coating after they
are secured while pre-finished floors do not.
Pre-finished hardwood floors are cheaper and can be maintained
easily. Addition of aluminum oxide chips to the finish, a recent
advancement, makes urethane finish more durable. Pre-finished hard
wood flooring made from red oak is cheaper than floors made of white
oak. Red oak flooring is soft and its grain pattern is open.
Pre-finished products are usually available in three or four colors.
The surface of pre-finished engineered floor has a hardwood veneer
that is known as the “wear layer”. The layer may be thin or thick.
The thickness of this layer will determine how many times
refinishing can be done. In some products, refinishing is not
Pre-finished products can be installed quickly and easily.
Pre-finished products are not prone to seasonal contractions and
expansion, and generally pre-finished products come with 15 and 25
years warranties. A variety of finishes and kinds of wood are
available for pre-finished floor. The finished wear layers are
better than those applied on job-sites. Factory applied finishes are
more abrasion resistant and are free of dust, hair, swirl marks,
etc. These evenly applied heavy duty finishes do not have an odor.
A pre-finished hardwood floor is processed and finished in a
factory. It does not need sanding or finishing.
Our 20mm floors are unfinished and we have
decided that the advantages of unfinished floors far outweigh any
disadvantages when compared to pre-finished floors.
Admittedly there are advantages and disadvantages to both types and
these are set out below to help you decide which is appropriate for
Pre-finished hardwood floors have the advantage of faster
installation and possibly less initial disruption during fitting in
an occupied dwelling. There is less skill required to fit a
pre-finished floor because finishing is not required. However the
same caution should be exercised with regards to site conditions &
installation, so make sure that you use an experienced fitter.
There are also considerable disadvantages to pre-finished floors
which should be considered by the customer:-
is virtually impossible to machine a solid timber floor without a
slight step between boards. The manufacturers of pre-finished
flooring machine a small bevel along the top edges of each piece of
floor to disguise these height differences.
This produces a vee groove between the adjacent strips on both the
sides and ends which changes the overall appearance of the floor.
The grooves collect dirt, are difficult to clean and can be
unhygienic. They allow spilled liquids to run into the tongue and
may cause the lacquer to lift or discolour. So a quick fix can turn
into a long term problem especially in well used areas exposed to
spillage. E.g. Kitchens, halls, dining rooms and bathrooms.
The factory finish is usually a standardized, machine applied
surface (usually semi gloss) and there is no opportunity for the
customer to choose the type of floor finish. The finishes of some of
the less reputable manufacturers may not be particularly durable and
the floors may need to be sanded & refinished within a year or two.
We have tested some of these finishes & found them to scratch
easily. If you choose to use a prefinished floor, be aware of the
potential problems and make sure that you buy from a reputable
Unfinished hardwood floors do, initially, require more work but
modern sanders are reasonably clean and modern lacquers and finishes
dry very quickly and there are distinct advantages:-
There are no vee grooves and the floor is sanded perfectly flat and
smooth. This produces a clean area which is more aesthetically
pleasing than one which is visually interrupted by the vee grooves.
Also once applied, the seal provides a continuous surface which is
easy to clean, does not collect dirt and is not marked by liquid
The client has a choice of finishes which allows some individual
design input. Our finishes are extremely durable and will last for