What’s the Difference Between Unfinished and Prefinished Hardwood?

Choosing a hardwood floor is a journey from start to finish – and one decision you might have to ruminate over is whether you should opt for unfinished or prefinished. Both have different benefits, so it depends on what your needs as a homeowner are.  Read on to find out more….


Prefinished hardwood is already treated and finished with the products of your choice in the factory. It is undoubtedly a faster experience as a whole – after all it’s ready to walk on as soon as its been installed. Additionally it comes in a lower cost, making it the more convenient and cheaper of the two. The reason the price point is lower is because the finishes are applied before the wood even enters your home, thus bringing down labor costs. It’s convenience makes it an attractive choice for those with pets, children, or who simply don’t have the time to have the wait for their floor to be finished. If you’re having the flooring installed in an area with high foot traffic (such as the hallway) prefinished will be the way to go.


So why would anyone opt for unfinished wood when prefinished is much faster and often less expensive? Well one major reason is if someone already has hardwood installed in their home. It’s often the case they’ll opt for unfinished in order to match the entirety of the flooring correctly as a whole. Unfinished wood also has more unique sizes and shapes, creating a floor full of character. This is why it’s often the favored choice for those with historic homes who wish to preserve the architectural integrity of their home.