Finished On Site vs. Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors

We like to use this blog as a place where we can answer some questions that our customers have for us. We have customers asking us what the difference is between pre-finished hardwood floors and hardwood floors that are finished on site. Both have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day, and flooring man is going to side with floors that are finished on site. We'd like to put a list together so that you can better make a choice when you're going to be undertaking your next flooring project.

Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors - Pros

  • No odor during installation.
  • Generally easier to install than traditional wood flooring.
  • What you see is what you get  - traditional floors and stains can be misleading. Natural lighting can completely change the way a stain look. Read about that here.
  • There is a significant convenience factor.

Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors - Cons

  • Gaps between boards can lead to liquids getting down to the subfloor.
  • In the event of a board needing to be replaced, it isn't unheard of to have a manufacturer discontinue a particular version of pre-finished hardwood floors.
  • Most warranties only cover manufacturer defects and leave you high and dry in the event of an accident.
  • Lots of people can tell the difference between real hardwood floors and pre-finished ones due to their "artificial" look.
Notice the gaps.

Notice the gaps.

Finished On Site - Pros

  • A proper hardwood floor will be a solid surface that will stop liquids from getting into the subfloor.
  • You can be much more creative with what you want your floors to look like.
  • A true professional will you your hardwood floors visibly nicer than a pre-finished floor.
  • Repairs are feasible as long as that would is still available.
  • Traditional hardwood flooring is more of an art than people realize. You get a much deeper connection. 

Finished On Site - Cons

  • It is usually more expensive than a pre-finished floor.
  • It requires more skill if you want it done right.
  • Tiny repairs can sometimes be more trouble than they are worth.

We hope that this gives you a better idea as to difference between a pre-finished hardwood floor and one that is finished on site. Nearly anyone familiar with floors are going to go with the hardwood floors finished on site for their own homes. We realize that there are certain scenarios in which cost is a real factor, and we completely understand. They wouldn't produce it if people weren't buying it.

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help and hopefully be apart of your next hardwood flooring project.