Pre-finished vs. Onsite Finishing: What’s Best for Your Space?

May 01, 2023
Pre-finished vs. Onsite Finishing What's Best for Your Space

If you’re about to invest time and money in hardwood floors, there are a lot of important decisions to make. One of the biggest is whether to go with pre-finished vs. on-site finished flooring, and to do that there are a number of factors you need to take into account.

So let’s keep a scorecard, so to speak. What follows is a rundown of the pre-finished vs. on-site finishing when it comes to what’s right for your space, focusing mostly on the advantages of each type of flooring.  

Pre-Finished vs. On-site Finishing: The Basics

Let’s start with some of the basics of the pre-finished vs. on-site finished flooring debate.  Both types of flooring are shipped to your home, but a prefinished floor comes factory finished and is installed as is. A site-finished floor starts with raw wood which is then sanded and refinished, and possibly stained, on-site in your home.

Pre-finished means exactly that. The flooring is shipped ready to install, complete with staining and polyurethane that’s already been applied. That means it can usually be installed in a single session, so it’s usually considered a more convenient choice when you’re making the call between pre-finished vs. on-site finishing.

Pre-Finished vs. On-site Finishing: The Pre-Finished Advantages

In this debate between pre-finished vs. on-site finishing, most of the advantages go to pre-finished flooring. It has a great look, and some pre-finished flooring even comes with a lifetime warranty.

It’s generally cheaper than unfinished flooring, and pre-finished flooring can be installed usually in one day. You can also walk on it right away without having to worry about the floor being tacky or waiting on long dry times.

Finally, pre-finished flooring by many is considered safer. It contains fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), although today’s poly and finishing products contain much lower VOC’s than many years ago. Moreover, the refinishing process means these compounds are released in a factory rather than your home, which is a huge win when it comes to pre-finished vs. on-site finishing.

When is Site Finishing a Good Choice?

Despite the abundance of advantages that pre-finished flooring enjoys, there are still circumstances in which on-site finishing wins the pre-finished vs. on-site finishing debate.

Specifically, this happens when you have a space that’s under construction, or when you’re doing a significant renovation. Waiting until the end of the job to do the finishing means the integrity of the finish can be guaranteed, which is important in renovation or new construction.

Also, if your situation is such that you’re looking for a lot of choices when the finishing is applied, onsite finishing is the preferred choice in the pre-finished vs. site finishing contest. There are more colors and shades, so you have many more options to choose from with site finishing, including what sheen you’d like to use on your floors. If matching your new floors to existing hardwood floors in your home is important, then site finishing is beneficial to make sure the look is seamless.

Use Signature Hardwood Floors to help you Make the Best Choice in the Pre-Finished vs. On-site Finishing debate.

If you need help choosing between pre-finished vs. on-site finishing, Signature Hardwood Floors is a great resource. We’ve analyzed the pre-finished vs. site finished choice from every possible angle, and we can help you find the best solution for your home and lifestyle. To make your choice between pre-finished vs. on-site finishing, call us at (410) 415-0755, or you can use this link to schedule a free in-home can use this link to schedule a free in-home consultation.