Prefinished vs Site Finished Hardwood Floors

Hmmm tuff one. Let’s start off with the difference between the two finishes. You need to understand that the boards on a site finished floor are leveled through a series of sanding passes. Whereas, a micro-bevel hides the unevenness between the hardwood boards in a prefinished floor.

Even or Ridges?

All site finished floors are uneven when first installed. A number of sanding passes with a variety of different sanders are needed to even the boards. You need a large sander for the center of the room, an edger for the borders and some hand tools for the corners. Then, you need a buffer to bring it all together. That’s just the tools!

Then, there’s the protective layers that need to be applied. A site finished floor can take up to four days with stain. And, takes 7-30 days to fully cure.

A prefinished floor hides the unevenness of the boards with a micro-bevel (that you can see and feel) around the edges.  There is no need for sanding with prefinished hardwood flooring because obviously the floor comes prefinished with several protective layers of finish. It’s ready for traffic immediately.

What Feels Right To You

A prefinished floor has micro bevels with a superior finish. A site finished floor is a flat floor with a great finish. So if you don’t mind the micro bevel, then prefinished is a far better product for you. It has the same wood as unfinished. It just comes finished. If you hate the bevel, then site finished is your best choice. Hope this helps.

~Floorman