Pre-Finished Hardwood Flooring
When it comes to adding warmth, beauty, and value to your home, hardwood can't be beat. With a wide array of prefinished solid-wood flooring on the market, it's never been easier to replace or find a match for your old floors. These wood strips and planks are typically coated with multiple layers of an aluminum-oxide-infused polyurethane and cured under UV lights; this process creates an exceptionally hard finish that will outlast once applied in your home on unfinished wood.
Since their appearance in the late 1940s, prefinished solid-wood floors have continued to improve in design and durability. There's a variety of wood to suit every style, from traditional pine planks and heavily grained oak strips to, exotic varieties featuring rich colors and dark shades. It even comes in a range of sheens and surface effects, such as a hand-scraped finish that delivers a distressed, vintage look.
Advantages of Prefinished Flooring
When the factory applies the finish to the wood, they are able to use very powerful chemical sealers, which are applied by commercial processes which are not available to on-site installers. Typically this consists of aluminum oxide crystals embedded in a UV cured urethane coat. While site applied finishes warranty for 3-5 years, factory applied treatments will often have warranties of 5-25 years or more.
It is much easier, and quicker, to install prefinished hardwood than it is going through the process of sanding and staining the material on-site. Sanding is a messy procedure that fills the room with wood dust, which then has to be thoroughly cleaned. After that the application of the finish can leave a residual odor in the air, and take hours, or even days to dry in between coats. By contrast pre-finished floors are ready to go as soon as they are installed.
Ease of Maintenance
Because the surface seal is stronger and more durable when it is applied at the factory, the maintenance of these floors is easier. They tend to be slightly more impervious to stains, moisture, and other discolorations than floors that are finished on site. In addition the fact that the treatment will last longer, means that you will not have to go through the time, mess, and expense of getting the floors refinished a few years later.
Best of Both Worlds
With pre-finished flooring you get all of the advantages of the factory applied extra durable surface seal, with the look, beauty, and feel of natural hardwood. At the same time you also always have the option of sanding down past the factory applied sealing coat, in order to once more reveal the natural wood to the surface. It can then be treated with any of the basic on-site finishing techniques.
Once it's in, the flooring is a breeze to maintain, requiring only basic cleaning and occasional touch-ups to the clear coat. And if the surface starts to look worn, it can easily be brought back to like-new condition through refinishing the hardwood floors.