Should I use prefinished hardwood?


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Old 09-25-06, 07:21 PM
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Question Should I use prefinished hardwood?

My husband and I are building a retirement home with hardwood floors. Should we use prefinished hardwood, or have it finished and sealed after installation so less can "fall" between the seams? We will be using it in our great room/kitchen/dining room. In addition, any other thoughts/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 09-25-06, 07:36 PM
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I always thought the unfinished is more appealing. You have a perfectly smooth surface and finish when it is laid, sanded and then finished. More a a judgement call and if doing yourself I think you definatly want to go with the prefinished. The sanders for the other are difficult to use and expensive to rent even.
 
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Old 09-25-06, 08:03 PM
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I will be using a general contractor to build my house, so just looking for other people's personal experience to determine what will be best - then get someone else to do the work (I am currently living 500 miles from where I am building). I will consider engineered also, but I know my husband would prefer solid hardwood.
 
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Old 09-25-06, 08:45 PM
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I installed prefinished 3/4 inch oak hardwood in my sun room several months ago. I love it. Be careful choosing the shade. I bought 5 boxes of a shade, got it home, then decided I liked another better. Fortunately the Lumber Liquidator guys let me exchange it with no cost,
 
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Old 09-26-06, 02:28 PM
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i vote prefinished. you'll know exactly what color & sheen you're getting & i believe the factory finish is better/stronger/harder than the onsite finishes. plus no worries about the polyurethane bubbling or being too yellow or swirl marks from sanding or the poly not adhering properly or any of the other horror stories i've read here about floor finishing.
 
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Old 09-26-06, 02:59 PM
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I think unfinished [finished on site] is better for new construction or unoccupied dwellings but prefinished is better when you need to keep the dust down and/or need immediate access.

just my 2 cents
 
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Old 09-26-06, 04:31 PM
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I've installed both and lived with both.

The prefinished is generally a bit cheaper in the long run - but.. if you notice the slightly beveled edges of the prefinished product, you can imagine the multitude of tiny grooves that are great at catching and accumulating dirt/dust/moisture/stuff once the floor is down. Additionally, it is impossible to get the wood to fit "perfectly" row after row. You will not only have those grooves to worry about, but will also have deeper "gaps" where the wood doesn't fit perfectly well. There are "fillers" to put in these gaps, but they are a pain to work with, in my humble experience.

Installing an unfinished floor allows for a much, much smoother finish once sanded/filled/sanded/sanded/finished. With today's products, the finish will stand up just as well, if not better than any prefinished product (unless you have a large labrador with sharp nails, which will scratch either like crazy).

Good luck with your choice, whichever it will be.
 
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Old 09-26-06, 04:52 PM
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Yeah if having it professionally installed in new construction I don't think there is any comparison. I don't think either is a great choice for a kitchen floor but I have seen them with both. The groves are especially a problem there. Nothing like a new properly finished on spot hardwood floor. I was just looking at some old job pics of mine and this one cherry floor in particular shone like a mirror when done. As far as swirl marks or whatever, The finishers would be liable for that so if not doing yourself it's not an issue.
 
 

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