Pros of Pre-finished Floors

  • Durability: When the factory applies the finish treatment to the wood, they are able to use very powerful chemical sealers, which are applied by commercial processes that are not available to on-site installers.

  • Ease of maintenance: Because the surface seal is stronger and more durable when it is applied at the factory, the maintenance of these floors is easier. They tend to be slightly more impervious to stains, moisture, and other discolorations than floors that are finished on site

  • Re-finishing is possible:you also always have the option later on of sanding down past the factory-applied coat to reveal the natural wood. It can then be treated with any of the basic on-site finishing techniques.

Cons of Pre-finished Floors

  • Seams aren't sealed: Because the material is finished at the factory, a sealing agent is not applied to the lines between the planks when they are installed. This can lead to dirt and grime getting caught in these seams. The seams also may be susceptible to water penetration, which can cause rot or mold to grow beneath the surface of the floor.

  • ​​Beveled plank style: This isn’t necessarily a drawback, but more of a style choice. Often, factory pre-finished wood planks will have beveled, slightly rounded edges.

  • Refinishing requires heavy sanding:Because of the thick and pervasive nature of the prefinished topcoat, refinishing requires extensive sanding to reach the natural hardwood again. This cuts down on the thickness of the floor planks and limits how many times you can then refinish the floor in the future.

Overall, the advantages of prefinished solid hardwood flooring will outweigh the drawbacks for most homeowners. Many dozens of wood species and colors are now available, and for DIYers, the installation will be far easier than it is with unfinished hardwood.

Prefinished hardwood flooring is also called "factory finished flooring." The stain and finish are applied during manufacturing, so when the flooring arrives at your home, it just needs to be installed.