Does anyone have any experience with finishing hardwood floors? I am trying
to figure out whether I should buy prefinished at about $5.00 Canadian per
square foot or the much cheaper unfinished strips and try finishing it
myself. I was told the prefinished has something like seven baked on coats,
does anyone know if this is true?
I am about to put down 800 sq ft of hardwood flooring in my home remodel job
along with the new kitchen I am building. I have looked at many alternative
products. Here in Florida with a poured concrete floor, I would have to lay
a plywood underlayment making the floor too thick to use a solid wood
product finished or unfinished. So it is going to be an engineered solid
wood product and these all come prefinished. But price dictates the
durability of the finish for the most part.
I have decided on a Mohawk Floor product that is a very stable and well
engineered product. But back to your point, these prefinished commercial
products have a 25-50 year wear warranty. They use a ceramic aluminum oxide
type finish that wears like nails. The only drawback that I see, is it does
tend to look a bit "Plastic" . I remember my brother coming home from
vacation and walking into the foyer and thinking some plumbing had leaked
and the floor was all wet because it looked so shinny!
Good luck on your selection,
Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist Woodworker
Prefinished is good to the extent that you put it down and you're done.
I did 3 rooms with 3/8 Bruce prefinished oak. There are a few
downsides to prefinished. If the machining of the tongue and grooves is
not good, you will have a mismatch that would normally be removed when
a raw floor is sanded. Also, there is very little wiggle room for
errors. With a raw wood floor you can use filler to tweak any gaps that
may occur. I did an inlaid border with miter cuts which was very
difficult to get dead on with no gaps. But one of the downsides is
there is less sanding life on an engineered prefin floor. If you go
that route, find out how thick the top layer is, the cheaper the
flooring, the less it can be sanded. There's my .02 cents (US)
I used pre-finished because I had to. It was going over a concrete slab and
engineered wood is the only product that works easily. It does have a
multi-coat oxide finish that has an umpteen year warranty. Mine is
If I was doing it in the rest of my house, I'd go with unfinished. In the
long run, you get a better looking floor with no imperfections as they would
be sanded out.
Just one more reason to go pre-finished. You'l have to move out of your
house for a few days due to fumes if you finish yourself. Then there's the
sanding dust. I can't think of any other downsides to the unfinished. Wath
out for crappy looking boards.
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