Hardwood Flooring: A Look At Engineered Vs. Traditional And Finished Vs. Unfinished

27 March 2021
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To create a home environment that boasts a traditional aesthetic, hardwood flooring can definitely be the go-to option. With a captivating collection of styles and wood species to choose from, you can easily make wood flooring work in a home of just about any style. However, when you initially start working with a flooring supplier, you may have a few questions about the attributes of different products and what they mean. Specifically, you may question how finished and unfinished hardwood flooring differs and what the difference is between engineered and regular hardwood. Here is a closer look. 

What is the difference between prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring?

Prefinished hardwood is finished by the manufacturer with stain and sealer. When the flooring arrives at your home, it is completely ready for use after installation; no further finishing will be required. On the other hand, unfinished hardwood flooring is installed in your home without the final stain or finishing sealer.

In some cases, property owners prefer unfinished hardwood if they want to stain the flooring to match existing wood finishes in the house. For example, if a property owner is installing hardwood flooring in a home that already has some existing hardwood, they may wait to finish the flooring after installation to ensure the perfect match. However, most property owners do prefer to have their flooring already finished and ready to use once it is installed.  

What is the difference between hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring?

You will find both traditional hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring available through most flooring suppliers, and both can have their advantages. But, getting to know the difference will help ensure you get the best product for your home. Traditional hardwood flooring is simply solid strips cut from wood and finished to be the appropriate shape for flooring planks. Engineered hardwood is created with real wood veneers that are glued together in a stack of layers a lot like plywood.

While engineered hardwood can seem like the less-quality choice, this flooring can actually hold up exceptionally well to moisture and changes in humidity in the home. Therefore, the flooring works well in moisture-prone areas. However, the downfall with engineered hardwood is that it can be refinished only a limited number of times as the upper layers are sanded away. Regular hardwood can be refinished numerous times throughout the years, but may not fare well with direct, repeated moisture exposure.