Features Of Prefinished Hardwood Floors
Traditionally, the hardwood flooring is installed as unfinished planks that can be then stained and finished with a protective surface layer. But recently, many manufacturers have begun to offer prefinished hardwood products that arrive ready to be installed and with a guarantee to protect them against stains, discolourations and water penetration. There are certain advantages, as well as several drawbacks.
Durability: When the factory is applying the finish treatment to the wood, they use very powerful chemical sealers, that are applied by commercial processes not available to on-site installers.
Installation: It is extremely easier and quicker to install prefinished hardwood. The sanding that the other type usually requires is a messy procedure which fills the room with wood dust. After that, the application of the finish can leave a residual odour in the air.
Maintenance: Due to the surface seal being stronger and more durable when applied at the factory, the maintenance of these floors is much easier.
Best of both worlds: Customers get all of the advantages of the factory-applied extra durable surface seal and the look, the beauty, and the feel of natural hardwood. On the other hand, there is always the option of sanding down or any of the basic on-site finishing techniques later on.
Seams: With no sealing agent being applied to the lines between the planks can potentially lead to dirt and grime getting caught in the seams during installation. The same is the case with water penetration, which can cause rot or mold to grow.
Bevelling: This is not a huge drawback, but more of a style choice. It can be great for the style of some interiors, but a no fit for others.
Height: In the case of all prefinished materials, there is no sanding process, so the surface will reflect any subfloor irregularities that may be present.
Refinishing: Eventually, the surface seal will need to be redone and the sand down must go further into the material in order to reach the natural hardwood again. This will cut down on the thickness of the floor and limits the times for refinishing again.