Solid hardwood flooring is the industry gold standard. Made from full-length wood pieces specially cut for your home, these floors are gorgeous, functional, durable, and will increase the value of your home. Constructed from domestic woods like Hard Maple or Birch, or exotic species like Brazilian Cherry or Santos Mahogany, solid hardwood floors lend an aura of timeless elegance to any home.
Should Solid Hardwood Floors be Finished?
If you’ve decided to install solid hardwoods in your home, good for you! But you also need to consider whether to buy a factory-finished or unfinished floor. A pre-finished floor comes ready from the factory, while an unfinished floor is sanded and finished at the job site.
Consider the following:
- Floor Made Ready-to-Walk – One advantage that prefinished hardwood floors have is that you can walk on them immediately after the installation crew puts it in. There is no in-home sanding and finishing process, so you need not wait.
- Health Effects – Many builders prefer unfinished flooring because since the floor is sanded prior to finishing, the flooring will be seamless once stained and finished. There are downsides, however. The finishing process creates dust and unpleasant odors, and takes a considerable amount of time to dry, making it impossible to live in the dwelling while the floors are being finished.
- The oil-based polyurethane used to finish the floor can have adverse health effects as well. Vapors from these polyurethanes have been shown to be carcinogenic. Also polyurethane is usually not UV cured onsite, but it is UV cured in the factory, which makes the prefinished finish much stronger than the air-dried site-applied polyurethane.
- Choice of Finishes – While most pre-finished manufacturers do not offer you the option of customizing your flooring, this is not the case for all pre-finished hardwood manufacturers. And although you have the freedom to choose your stain and shine level on a site finished flooring, the finish is often not as durable as a pre-finished flooring. Therefore when making a choice between site-finished or pre-finished flooring, one should take all of these considerations into account.
- Appearance – As to which is more aesthetically pleasing, most would agree that unfinished solid hardwood flooring looks slightly better than finished. The reason is that site finished flooring will not have a micro-bevelled edge that prefinished flooring will have, and therefore the site-finished flooring will look seamless. However most reputable manufacturers of hardwood will make them with a micro-bevelled edge in order to increase the longevity of the finished flooring. With a seamless floor, there are no grooves to catch and abrasive pieces of dust or debris that may be scratching your finish. A micro-bevelled flooring however will have a groove to catch these abrasive materials and will therefore protect your floors from premature aging.
The good news is that any flooring company worth its salt offers plenty of floors in both styles. If you live in the Toronto area and are looking to install solid hardwood flooring in your home, look no farther than M2 Flooring and Design Centre. We’ve set the bar for finished and unfinished solid hardwood floors for the past decade.
About M2 Flooring & Design Center
At M2 Flooring & Design Center, we are providers of a wide variety of hardwood flooring products from Solid hardwood flooring, to all types of laminate floors, unfinished flooring, exotic hardwood flooing, solid hardwood stairs, maple flooring, and engineered floors and all kinds of carpets in Toronto. We are one of the premiere hardwood flooring stores in Toronto. Visit us on Google+