April 30, 2010, Newsletter Issue #28: Site-Finished vs. Pre-finished Hardwood Flooring

Tip of the Week

So, you've decided on your hardwood flooring. Now you need to ask one last question: Do you want your flooring site-finished or pre-finished? Here are a few facts that may help you decide:

Site-finished hardwood flooring means that professionals add the final protective coat to your flooring after its been installed. The floor can be sanded afterwards to smooth out imperfections. You also get to choose from a wider variety of stain colors. On the down side, on-site finishing and sanding can result in fumes and dust. Also, you’ll have to wait for the floor to dry thoroughly before you set foot in the room. This can be inconvenient for busy households.

The alternative is to have the final finish applied to your flooring before it even gets to your home. Factory finishes, as they are also called, are a great way to avoid complicated installations. There’s no fume, no mess and the planks are dry, which means you can use the room immediately after the flooring has been installed. In addition, a pre-finished floor often carries a warranty of 15 to 25 years (as opposed to a site-finished floor warranty of 3-5 years) since factory finished urethane coating is stronger and longer-lasting.

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