Unfinished flooring are also referred to as site-finished hardwood floors. They have been around for many centuries since the invention of hardwood floors. It is only recently that flooring manufacturers came up with pre-finished hardwood floors.
What is an Unfinished Hardwood Floor?
As the name suggests, the floor is not factory finished. As such, you finish and sand it on-site after installation. You should choose finishing treatments and make a choice between different finishing options including natural finishes, staining or painting.
Unfinished floors are also the preferred when repairing or adding more wood to an adjoining room in a house or property and you want to match the existing floor.
When buying an unfinished hardwood floor, first, you should make a choice between unfinished engineered and unfinished solid flooring. Secondly, you should choose the length, width, and thickness of the plank.
Moreover, when buying unfinished wood, it is possible to get a plank size that is not common and not available in pre-finished woods.
Pre-finished vs Site Finished Hardwood Floors
When installing a hardwood floor, you can choose pre-finished or an unfinished flooring.
Pre-finished and unfinished floors have their unique advantages and disadvantages. A pre-finished floor is factory-finished, sanded, sprayed with coats, and at times stained. A pre-finished floor is convenient because it comes ready. Therefore, you can move in immediately after installation. It is a good floor option for DIY installers who want convenience.
Although on-site finishing is a tedious process, you can customize your floor. On-site installations are messy and produce a lot of dust. The installation process also takes a longer time.
an Unfinished Hardwood Flooring for Control Over the room appearance
An unfinished flooring option gives you the power to control the finishing process and customize the floor to your unique style, color and the interior decor of your home.
A pre-finished floor comes with beveled edges which break the flow on the surface of the room from one plank of wood to the next. Beveled edges mean the floor has high and low points. The beveled edges usually end up trapping and keeping dust and dirt. For unfinished flooring, the floor is sanded on-site after installation. The installers can sand the surfaces smooth without any grooves and bevels. This makes cleaning site-finished hardwood flooring easier because there are no beveled edges.
The primary advantage of an unfinished over pre-finished hardwood floors is the freedom to customize. Pre-finished floors have a natural look or are factory-stained.
On the other hand, when installing a site-finished floor, you can go for whatever look that most appeals to your interior decor theme and your style. You have a choice between a natural finish, staining or painting. You can choose between different finish treatments. The best way to get a unique floor is to hire a floor craftsman to work on your unfinished hardwood floor for a custom finish. You can settle on other unique features including borders, inlays, and different edge profiles.
Most homeowners love hardwood flooring because of the warm and natural look of wood. Exotic woods are a timeless piece and classic. The wood treatment enhances the wood grain without changing its color. You have a choice between different sheen and finishes.
Staining an Unfinished Hardwood Floor
If you don’t like the natural color of a hardwood floor, then you can choose to stain it. When you stain hardwood floor, the natural color is changed to achieve a more exotic or trending style. There is a wide range of options when it comes to staining colors, they range from cherry red and golden hues to dark brown and grey.
Painting an Unfinished Hardwood Floor
You can also paint your hardwood flooring especially if you want to use extreme colors that stains cannot provide. Painting hides the wood and replaces it with the color of your choice.
Creative Designs on an Unfinished Hardwood Floor
You can ask a craftsman to mix various floor stain colors and create a unique flooring design for you. You can also choose colors that are in sync with other interior design elements in your home. Additionally, a wood artist can add inlays, stone, or metal to your hardwood flooring or add ornate medallions, and special borders.
Buying Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
When shopping for unfinished hardwood, you can select between unfinished engineered or solid hardwood flooring. You should also select either domestic or exotic hardwood flooring tree species. Typically, exotic hardwood species have a contemporary look and are usually left in their natural color. On the other had, domestic hardwood species have a traditional look and its grains color variations are less dramatic. As such, they are usually stained by homeowners who desire dramatic looks.
Popular site-finished hardwood species include red oak, white oak, walnut, maple, and pine. Other unfinished flooring options are hickory, beech, birch, cherry, ash, pecan, and teak flooring.
Cost of Site Finished Hardwood Floors
The factory costs of unfinished hardwood floors are cheaper in comparison to pre-finished hardwood floors. However, unfinished hardwood floors usually end up being more expensive because you have to factor in the cost of installation and buying treatments and stains. Therefore, the cost to install hardwood floors finished on-site is high because of the after-purchase costs.
Anytime you are pre-finishing your hardwood, you have an opportunity to customize the floor. Whether you install a pre-finished or unfinished hardwood, the floor should be pre-finished in the future after a period of 10, 15 or 20 years from the initial installation.