Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Prefinished (also spelled pre-finished) hardwood flooring takes the muss and fuss out of installing hardwood floors. Depending on your situation, this can be your best option when choosing wood flooring. When choosing prefinished wood flooring, go with a solid or engineered hardwood floor and have a beautiful floor in as short a time as it takes to lay the boards.

Take the hassle and mundane work out of finishing your hardwood flooring with prefinshed hardwood flooring. What is prefinished hardwood flooring? As the name suggests prefinished hardwood flooring is hardwood flooring that has been finished in a factory before being sold to retail outlets.

The advantages of choosing prefinished hardwood flooring include:
* Installation is faster than unfinished flooring
* No toxic chemicals or off gassing
* Manufacturers warranty
The disadvantages of choosing prefinished hardwood flooring are very few but there are some:
* Limited finish options
* Harder to match your existing flooring
* Not an surface
When you buy unfinished hardwood flooring you are allowed to create any look you want, you can match the finish of already existing hardwood flooring, and you have a greater uniformity in finish because it’s sanded and sealed as one piece after installation.
Prefinished hardwood flooring is available as engineered and solid hardwood flooring. These flooring products are purchased already finished and ready to install and use immediately.
Engineered prefinished hardwood flooring is constructed in a fashion similar to that of common plywood with an actual hardwood veneer on the surface which is known as the wear layer. These wear layers can vary and the key to choosing quality prefinished hardwood flooring is to check the thickness of the wear layer. Many prefinished engineered hardwood flooring can also be refinished a number of times but this depends on the thickness of the wear layer.
For those looking for a flawless finish, floors may need to be refinished every five years but it is worth noting that minor scratches and dents add character to hardwood flooring. Engineered prefinished flooring can be refinished at least two or three times. It is more stable and cheaper than solid prefinished hardwood flooring as there is minimal expansion and contraction in this product.
Solid prefinished hardwood flooring is as the name suggests; solid hardwood that has been factory finished. Solid prefinished hardwood floors can be refinished as needed.
When it comes to any hardwood flooring, the wood and finish you choose will determine the amount of refinishing that will be required in the future. Wood is rated for hardness using the Janka hardness test. Brazilian ebony has a Janka rating of 3692 and is the hardest wood on the market, while Brazilian fir has a Janka rating of 0060 and is the softest. Oak, which is the most common flooring types, has a Janka rating of 1260 for red and 1360 for white. The higher the Janka rating the harder the wood will be to damage. So if you combine a hard-wearing finish with a hard wood, you will have less refinishing of your floors.
When it comes to installing hardwood flooring in your home, prefinished flooring will demand less time and energy. Unfinished flooring requires finishing on site and this can take on average up to a week of sanding and applying a polyurethane finish. Prefinished hardwood flooring has already been sanded and coated with polyurethane, so there is no health hazard involved as there is no dust or toxic fumes, and much of the off gassing has already happened. Finishing the wood in the factory also cuts down on labor costs during installation, making prefinished hardwood flooring more affordable. Another great advantage of prefinished hardwood flooring is of course, the manufacturers warranty on the finish; you don’t get this with unfinished hardwood flooring, though the installer may offer a warranty.
Unfinished flooring does however have its advantages too. With unfinished flooring, although it takes longer to install, you have the advantage of creating a unique look, and it is easier to match the finish of your existing wood flooring. There is also better uniformity when finishing hardwood flooring yourself especially if a large room is being floored. When prefinished flooring is purchased for large rooms, it can be very hard to match all the flooring pieces as color and texture can vary.
Aluminum oxide finishes are used quite frequently with prefinished floors and provide a tough finish. Note that no finish can withstand all wear and tear, so you have to care for any floor you install. High gloss finishes will show scratches and dust more than other finishes, especially on open grained hardwoods such as maple and oak, and on dark flooring materials such as ebony.
Why vacate your home for a week while your hardwood flooring is being installed. With prefinished hardwood flooring you don’t need to. You can reduce your hassles and use your new floor quickly when you select prefinished hardwood flooring.

54 thoughts on “Prefinished Hardwood Flooring”

  1. With pre-finished Brazilian Cherry, if the floor does not darken as much as I would like after a year or so, can I stain it?

  2. Hi Celeste,
    Do you know what kind of flooring you used? (Manufacturer, product line, etc.)
    Without knowing what you’ve used I can only provide a somewhat ‘generic’ answer.
    Yes, you can strip the sealer, stain and reseal. Without knowing the specifics of your flooring, a phone call to the manufacturer might be in order and be sure to ask if stripping, staining, resealing will void your warranty. The manufacturer may have some tips to make your floor “age” faster (darken faster).

  3. We are planning on installing hardwood flooring in our kitchen – trying to match (Lauzon) prefinished yellow birch flooring in our dining room and living room. Do you recommend the same flooring for the kitchen? I’m concerned about wear and tear and the kitchen floor.

  4. You could use the birch in the kitchen, but I’d also suggest considering linoleum, really think it’ll hold up better. Heh – there’s even linoleum that is made to look like wood.
    What other colors do you have in your home? I’m referring to colors that you’d like to highlight and won’t go out of style if you change the colors you now have. A friend of mine loves her blue-green counter top, alder cabinets and bamboo floors. (We won’t talk about my kitchen, which needs some changes made!) Of course the wall and ceiling color come into play here as well. Do you have any special accent colors that you’re wanting to incorporate?
    Bet you didn’t know this was going to open such a can of worms! ;~)

  5. I installed pre finished oak floors
    and I am concerned that they are not sealed between the boards .can you use a cleer coat on it?

  6. My hardwood teak flooring always looks like it has a film. I have tried using just water, vinegar, and the swiffer hardwood floor cleaning solution. Do you have any suggestions?
    Meredith Barnes

  7. I’m really not familiar with the adverse effects of Swiffer’s Hardwood Cleaner, but, after looking around on the internet it would appear you’re not alone. I don’t know if regular cleaning (with vinegar & water) will remove it, or if the Swiffer solution leaves a heavy residue like Orange Glo. You can do a search in the upper right hand corner to read up on what a nightmare that stuff can be if you’re interested.
    Try cleaning it – and be sure to use microfiber cloths and a clean, dry one afterwards too – sort of *buff* your floor with it. There are also microfiber mops.
    The site is also going to start offering microfiber products shortly as well, it just hasn’t been added to the site. (Yes, a new direction here!). I’ll check to see if my product sales assistant can help out here. I’ll check back in no later than tomorrow night.

  8. I’ve just installed 3 1/4 prefinished Thomasville Jatoba flooring.
    When I can use the power nailer I drill and countersink a hole and then use a wood peg which is glued in and then milled flush. Then stained and hopefully polyurathaned.
    My question is this… how can I clean up the area around the wood peg.
    I feel I should be sanding it smooth but it doesn’t seem to blend in.

  9. I have a cherry prefinished hardwood floor, it is in the entrance
    hall kitchen and eating area. The wood is really soft and there
    are alot of scratches. A few dents from dropping things in the
    kitchen. I am thinking of selling a was wondering if I can resand
    and either stain and clear or what. i was told that I would loose the
    grooves. I am ok with that but don’t know if I can do it myself.
    I’m a painter by trade but i was told I could rent a machine to sand.
    Is this a thing I could do or is it much bigger than me?
    Yours gratefully

  10. Hi June,
    If it’s something that you have zero knowledge about, you may be better off hiring somebody to do it. You need to read up more about different types of sanders to decide which you want to use and learn how to operate them correctly. While the learning curve isn’t very steep, you do have to be very careful – the last thing you want to do is use a sander and suddenly go too deep which can easily happen.
    It can most definitely be a DIY project, but you must do your homework first. Do you have a friend or business associate that has done this? Friends can be valuable sources of information too.

  11. Hi flooring lady just finished fitting a pre finished oak floor looks great. Deep down i now i want it darker do i have to get the sander out. Please help, many thanks (edited by The Flooring Lady to remove email address)

  12. Hi Kris,
    It depends on what kind of a finish is on it. Call the manufacturer (or try to find the info on the internet) and ask them what your flooring is finished with and what you can use to remove it so that it can be stained and re-sealed. Good luck!

  13. Hi
    we have prefinished yellow birch hardwood floor, my friend suggesting me to wax it, but not sure if I can do that on pre-finished floor. What are the options to get the shining(did not lost much, but still to make good appearenace) for the floor.

  14. Hi PD,
    Don’t put anything on it yet. Do you recall who manufactured the floor? If so, give them a call to see what types of products they recommend – they know what works with their floors. Don’t use products such as mop ‘n’ glo, orange glo, swiffer, etc. on your floor either because they wind up giving your floor a dull finish in a short time and they’re difficult to remove.

  15. Hi
    We just had prefinished hardwood installed in our basement and I absolutely hate the color. It is far more red than the sample. I would like to change the color to more of a brown tone. Is this possible? If so can I do it right away?

  16. Yes, you can change the color, but it would involve stripping it, staining it and refinishing it. I’d call the manufacturer to see what products they recommend for chemically stripping the floor, what stripper you use will depend on what kind of finish is on the prefinished hardwood. You might have to sand it to get beneath the layer of stain.

  17. Hi , My girlfriend and I are installing a floating engineered wood floor by Meritage. The planks are five inches in width, they are tongue and groove,(glued) and run parallel to the longest wall. However, my hallway runs perpindicular to the room. Is it ok to lay the wood in the hallway widthwise instead of lengthwise ? The builder that came to help get us started said that it was ok to do that for two reasons. No transition strip is needed and since my friend and I are doing it , it is easier for us to cut the wood widthwise instead of having to rip the pieces lengthwise. I like the idea of no transition strip and of course, cutting the pieces widthwise is much easier. My girlfriend thinks there is a rule that all hallways should be done lenghtwise. Is there a rule and what do you think?
    Thanks, Carol


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