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Prefinished vs. Unfinished 

Hardwood Floors


Prefinished Hardwood Floors: What to Know

Hardwood floors are a gorgeous addition to any home. Once you have made the decision to install hardwood, you need to determine if you want it prefinished or unfinished. Discover the advantages of installing hardwood floors that don’t require on-site sanding, staining, and finishing.


So, you’ve created an epic home décor Pinterest board and pinned dozens, even hundreds, of drool-worthy hardwood flooring ideas. From plank width to color trends to care tips, you’ve got it all in picture-perfect organized style. 

Problem is, you’re adding pins or scrolling Instagram but have yet to answer the big question: Should I choose prefinished or unfinished hardwood floors?   

Honestly, when it comes to solid hardwood flooring, both prefinished and unfinished are amazing options for just about any room in your home.

Your Preference

Prefinished and unfinished flooring both have their advantages. Both will transform the look of your home in ways that will make you smile for years to come. The truth is, choosing prefinished hardwood or unfinished wood floors often comes down to personal preference. 

Hot Tips

Here are some tips to help you figure out what you like, as well as answer some of these commonly asked questions about wood flooring:   

• What’s the difference between finished and unfinished wood floors? 

• Are prefinished solid hardwood floors better? 

• What are the pros and cons?

Ready, Set, Go

Perhaps you have a secret or maybe a not-so-secret desire for an instant, TV-style flooring makeover. With prefinished hardwood floors, you can have the next best thing: quick installation.

That’s because prefinished floors are, well, prefinished. Before they get to you, prefinished hardwood planks have already been sanded, beveled, stained, and coated. 

There’s no dust, fuss, muss. More importantly, there’s no waiting. Walk on them. Put the furniture back. Let the kids loose. Live your life. 

Darn Near Perfect

There’s no such thing as a perfectly finished plank.    

However, prefinished hardwood planks have both their color and protective coating applied at the manufacturer’s factory by skilled professionals in a controlled environment, making them impeccably and meticulously done.

There, they have a chance to thoroughly dry before being handled. There, they are well ventilated so that any vapors or volatile organic compounds or VOCs from stains and polyurethane are contained. There, they have an opportunity to cure before being walked on.   

That means you get a smooth, rich-toned, scratch-resistant, no-smell finish that’s nearly flawless, and free from particles, dust, and hair.   

Even better? Most prefinished hardwood floors come with an extended or lifetime warranty on the factory finish.

Easy-Breezy Upkeep

For simple daily care and easy long-term maintenance, a prefinished wood floor is the obvious choice. Flooring manufacturers use a much different process to finish their hardwood planks than you or a professional refinisher could do in your own home on unfinished wood planks.

The combination of industrial equipment and commercial-grade sealers gives prefinished hardwood a stronger, harder, longer-lasting finish; hence, the extended or lifetime warranty.   

As durable as they are beautiful, prefinished hardwood floors are typically more impervious to stains, moisture, discolorations, and all the other things that family life (literally) throws at them.


Prefinished hardwood floors come in a wide range of types, widths, colors, species, and textures, giving you plenty of options to fit your style, space, and design aesthetic. 

Now that you know the advantages of prefinished wood planks, you’re ready to shop for your new hardwood flooring online.   

Better yet, stop by any of our locations and talk with one of our Showroom Experts or shop in your own home with one of our In-Home Consultants.