Unfinished wood floors have been around since the turn of the
century and although with today’s
“comfortization” trend they lost ground to
prefinished flooring, they still prove to be a valid choice.
Unfinished wood floors actually miss out on the last steps of the
finishing process, namely those of sanding, staining, buffing and
So this automatically means that when installing unfinished hardwood
flooring in your home or commercial space, you will have twice more
to do afterwards. And anyone that tried sanding, staining, buffing and
coating knows just how time consuming and sometimes downright annoying
these processes are.
This counts as the biggest disadvantage that
unfinished hardwood flooring
have in the competition with their prefinished brethren.
Still, there are several advantages as well. Some installers prefer
unfinished hardwood flooring, because it’s satisfying for
them to do all the work themselves.
They feel relieved, but also proud
at the end, because it’s THEM that put all the work into
making the floor look as good as it is now, not some guys at a factory.
So if do-it-yourself is your thing and you think you could take it as a
hobby and not as a choir, maybe unfinished hardwood flooring would be
more suitable for you.
Another advantage is the control that unfinished wood floor give you
pigment, shine and grain. Basically, you can do a lot of tweaking on an
floors, regardless if this tweaking has a design or
a practical purpose.
Other times, unfinished wood floor is not merely an option,
it’s the only choice available. Say you have 2 connected
rooms with hardwood floor installed and one of the rooms needs a total
facelift of the floor.
Replacing it in that particular room with the same kind of prefinished
floor it had before is pretty hard and sometimes it’s
downright impossible to find the same colors, grains and coatings. If
you install an unfinished wood floors however, you will be able to
mimic the colors and grain in the other room.
Last but not least (and this is something that is often brought up into
play), unfinished floors will be more stable and even than prefinished
ones, particularly because of the on-site
This might not be extremely important with small households, but in a
larger commercial space that handles a lot of traffic, over time it
proves invaluable that the wood is more stable and solid.
Speaking of wood, most unfinished hardwood are made from
domestic species, especially oak. Red and white oak have a coarse grain
pattern and a bright color which makes them ideal for rooms that could
do with a little shine.
But your choices won’t be limited to these species,
obviously. Actually, unfinished hardwood flooring offers a larger
variety than prefinished ones, which could prove to be yet another
factor in your choice.
So if you’re looking for good customization, stability and
uniformity at the cost of a longer
installation time, unfinished wood floors are definitely
worth a shot.
However, note that the entire process of installing unfinished floors
will be a lot more costly, seeing how you’ll also have to buy
or rent some specific tools for sanding, buffing and so forth.
Did you go with an unfinished hardwood floor?
If you did, what's your top reason for choosing it over a pre finished floor?