Any advantage of one or the other when considering pre-finished VS
unfinished wood flooring other than the obvious work involved in finishing
the raw stuff?
I'm thinking total cost and durability, etc.
I'm told pre-finished lasts longer but is tougher to install... But I'm
doing the install so...
Pergo and other "fake stuff" is NOT for me so don't bother telling about it.
Joe Agro, Jr.
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Installed a prefinished wood floor about 3 years ago and it still looks
like it came out of the package yesterday even with a bunch of crumb
cruncher grand kids tearing thru all the time. I , IMHO, didn't find it
any more difficult to install than unfinished other than taking a lot of
time out to change saw blades. The finish will definitely chew thru
blades and it does require sharp ones to come out looking nice. Just
out of curiousity I hit a scrap piece with 60 grit, hand rubbed, and
dust flew every where but after I rubbed the dust off I could barely see
any difference in the finish. Shouldn't have to worry about trying to
refinish it ever but if it gets that bad would probably be easier to
just remove and replace the floor.
I've never seen a piece of pre-finished flooring that didn't have a
slight bevel on all the edges of the face side of each board. The
pre-finished still looks good to me, but if you want a perfectly
flat/even floor (no crumb/dirt catchers) then I'd say unfinished would
be the way to go.
They can't make prefinished without that bevel. You would have two 90 deg
edges meeting and anywhere they weren't perfectly flush height-wise (and
that would be everywhere) you would have splinters coming off.
p.s. post-installation finished floors are only perfectly flat until the
first season changes.
Some of the ones have huge bevels on the sides (so you could install it
over grass in the yard?) and it takes a while to find one with a minimal
bevel. We finally found some maple with only a small bevel and that's
what's in the living room.
In other rooms, we put in engineered hardwood. It looks good, and
doesn't have those annoying bevels.
Just about the only unfinished I've seen around here (except maybe
through specialty stores) has been the red oak at Menards. The
prefinished is much more available. (Sometimes you can get enough of the
color you want on sale, too.)
My sister has cork in her house, and it doesn't feel any different than
regular materials and looks to be holding up ok. It still does groove
and dent if you, say, roll a chair over the same spot.
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.
I installed "engineered" Maple flooring in my bathroom about 6~7 years ago.
Holding up very well. "Engineered" wood flooring is all wood but made like
plywood. The finish has a 25 year warranty IIRC, the top layer is supposed
to be thick enough to sand down and refinish if that ever needed to be done.
My floor floats and was no harder to install than something like Pergo.
A flooring company that sells solid hard wood flooring, engineered hard wood
flooring, carpet, tile, and laminate/Pergo style flooring told me that only
real wood floors and ceramic style tile are considered permanent upgrades.
Everything else will have to be replaced, eventually.
Interesting. I guess that would certainly depends on the product *and*
Many of us have seen bad solid hardwood floor product/installation that
took less work to replace than repair/refinish.
Some of the engineered stuff I've seen, had close to 3/16 hardwood top
veneer, with the stain penetrating the entire ply. You could sand and
refinish that stuff without re-staining.
My wife is in love with Cork for the kitchen. I'm looking into it. I
like the 1'x3' and longer sizes I'm seeing, too. Seems like installation
with one man could be done in a day.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
A kitchen in a day alone? It'd be a heck of a day, what with toe kick
removal, installing under cabinet fronts, under fridge, under dishwasher,
along edges of cabinets, toe kick re-install, the multitude of doorways and
thresholds in most kitchens, pantry, etc etc...
Been there many times, done that, and now I charge quite a premium for it...
I was speaking of the install, alone, and probably the trim.
Since I would be doing it, myself, I'm thinking in segments that I would
likely break it into. And it's a small kitchen.
- Day of prep, tear out vinyl floor, old trim.... all of it, casement,
base, everything, because I'm replacing and/or making it all.
- Day of installing Cork floor, and probably trim, or partial trim.
- Day of finishing up and determining that rest of house looks ugly by
comparison... lamenting that we should've never even considered it
because now we're going to have to do the living-room in hardwood, with
new trim everywhere... and I hate those windows..... oh crap. :-)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Basically what I am saying here is that the permanent upgrades should not
have to be replaced. Laminated floors and carpet will eventually show wear
and need to be replaced. You cannot rejuvenate carpet or Pergo.
Engeneered wood floring is considered permanent. Don't confuse it with
Cork is cool, it was real popular in the late 50's and early 60's, but it
does wear out and tends to eventually show wear tracks.
I've been lurking on this thread, as it's pertinent to our situation.
Insurance claim for water damage, about 500 sq ft of hardwood to be
replaced in living room and dining room (continuous floor, so it all
Thanks to everyone who's contributed. It's been a great help.
What's coming out is thin strip oak. We've spent about 10 days with
samples spread all over the place.
We finally settled on Jatoba ("Brazilian Cherry"), real wood, with a
Now we just have to choose baseboards, paint, and tile to go in front
of the garden door.
Who knew that 5 gallons of water from an aquarium could change our
Be aware if you're putting the brazilian cherry in yourself. It is *very*
prone to splitting when you drive the fasteners (nails or staples). Many
times, I've had the entire tongue split off when I've driven the first
Not trying to talk you out of it, it's beautiful stuff, just want you to be
Thanks for the heads up, Joe.
As this is an insurance job, I'm working with the general contractor my
insurance company recommended, and with the flooring installer he uses.
All three of them are well known here with good reputations.
So I'll let the pros do it, and I will look for any sign of splits
before I sign off.
I'm not surprised, actually. The stuff is high on the hardness chart.
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