Prefinished vs Unfinished Hardwood Floors

How to Decide Between Prefinished vs. Unfinished Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring in home.

When it comes to deciding between prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors, the decision can be challenging, and at first perhaps even overwhelming. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.

Prefinished hardwood floors are finished in a factory before being installed in your home. This means that the finish is applied with precision in a controlled environment, so the planks will look uniform in appearance. Prefinished floors are easier to install and can typically be walked on immediately after installation. Additionally, prefinished floors tend to have a harder finish than unfinished floors, which can make them more resistant to wear and tear.

On the other hand, unfinished hardwood floors are sanded and finished on-site after they are installed. This allows for more customization options, as you can choose the stain color and finish type that best fits your style and needs. Unfinished floors can also be sanded finely to remove any factory imperfections in the wood. Furthermore, unfinished floors tend to be cheaper than prefinished floors, although this depends on the specific type of wood and finish you choose.

Here are the three main areas to consider when making your decision:


In general, prefinished hardwood floors are typically more expensive than unfinished hardwood floors. This is because the finish is applied in a factory, which adds to the cost. However, when you factor in the cost of labor to finish unfinished hardwood floors, prefinished floors may actually be less expensive in the long run. Also, the costs depend on the specific type of wood and finish you choose, so make sure to factor everything in before making a decision.


If you want a quick and easy installation process, prefinished floors are the way to go. This is because the finish is already applied, so there is no need to sand, stain, and seal the floors after installation.  If you don’t mind a longer installation process and want more customization options, unfinished floors may be a better choice.

Customization & Aesthetics

If you want to choose your own stain color and finish type, unfinished floors are the way to go. If you’re happy with a uniform appearance and don’t need much customization, prefinished floors may be a better choice.  Some people prefer the look of prefinished hardwood floors because the finish is uniform and consistent across the entire floor. Others prefer the look of unfinished hardwood floors because they can choose the finish that best suits their style.

No matter which type of hardwood floor you choose, do your research, and be sure to visit our beautiful showroom at Carriage House Wood Products.  Here you will be able to see and touch samples of both unfinished and prefinished flooring in various species and colors, as well as get expert advice from our wood flooring professionals in the process.

Click Here to drop us a message, call us at 330-523-7223, or stop our showroom in Richfield, OH today!