Prefinished Hardwood Flooring - Factory Finish Coatings
Prefinished Hardwood Flooring vs Unfinished
Prefinished hardwood flooring has what is known as a production or factory finish. What this means is that no extra work needs to be vigorously done after the installation has been completed, that is no sanding or sand blasting (all this is done before it even leaves the manufacturer).
Prefinished hardwood flooring usually is fitted quickly and the amount of previous DIY experience necessary to produce a pleasurable result is less than that required for the unfinished type.
Factory Finish Coatings
The majority of the hardwood flooring on the market today is prefinished. This type receives a coat which makes the final product more hard-wearing. There are five main coatings that are utilized:
- Oil-modified urethane which takes on a yellow / orange hue over time.
- Moisture-cure urethane - very resilient and is available in a satin of gloss. There is also the option of it yellowing over time.
- Acid cure urethane finish is transparent; it does not yellow with age and is very hard-wearing.
- Water-based urethane - given this name because it dries as water evaporates. Result is a clear finish which is does not yellow with age. More expensive choice.
- Aluminum Oxide finishes are new on the scene and are very long lasting, so much so that coatings can carry a warranty that extends up to twenty years.
Prefinished Hardwood Flooring vs. Unfinished
Prefinished hardwood flooring (PfHF) vs. unfinished - struggling to decide? This section will ask you a few questions which should hopefully clear up any doubt that may exist in you mind:
1. Is a whole surface being put down part of a new development or are you just revamping an existing one? PfHF would be easier if the house was not a new development.
2. Is there an existing surface you are trying to copy? - You would be more likely to get a better match if you went for the unfinished option.
3. Will the surface have to cope with high amounts of traffic? - If yes stick to PfHF.
4. Are you a parent or do you have pets? - If yes then you would have to consider the hazard of having chemicals in the house when going for the unfinished option.
5. How much can you afford? Unfinished is more expensive.
6. Are you re-doing a basement? - The unfinished option is not viable due to the possible excess moisture exposure.
When in doubt it is best to consult with a professional. They will not only advise you about the best course of action but give you some insight into the types of wood that would best go with the feel / look you would ideally like to create.