Pre-Finished vs. Site Finished Hardwood Flooring

Installing hardwood flooring in your home is a tough decision to take especially with so many tempting options available around. Customers usually tend to get confused between pre-finished and site finished hardwood flooring. Usually the apprehension is that one is more superior to the other. However let us get a deeper perspective regarding each hardwood so that it would be more convenient for you to make the perfect choice.

Pre-Finished Hardwood Flooring

In this flooring material the finish is applied to its surface at the factory itself. Pre-finished hardwood is very popular as it very easy to install as most of the work is done at the factory. The advantages that this flooring material offers are as follows:


  • With pre-finished hardwood you can avoid the presence of smells and dust particles that will result due to finishing and sanding.
  • This material can be instantly walked upon as the boards are ready to be installed and finished at the factory.
  • Pre-finished hardwood is manufactured by applying urethane and aluminum oxide to its surface to make it a hard, tough and durable floor.
  • Pre-finished hardwood helps to reduce the cost of labor as it does not need finishing and sanding to be done.


  • The most important disadvantage of pre-finished hardwood flooring is the bevels on its edges that give it obvious seams.
  • Usually it is tough to clean and remove dust particles from these bevels.
  • It is not possible to have a fancy floor as sanding is needed for pre-finished flooring.

Site Finished Hardwood Flooring

Site finished hardwood flooring is stained, finished and sanded after it is installed on-site. This is a traditional hardwood floor that is in vogue even now after many years.


  • This flooring material does not have any grooves and has a smooth surface without any low or high points.
  • This wood costs much less compared to pre-finished wood.
  • It is possible in have a fancy inlay in your floor if you wish to have a custom based floor.


  • This flooring material is not very hard and contains few imperfections.
  • The sanding process involved in this flooring material gives out a lot of dust.
  • The installation process takes a long time as it needs to be finished and sanded. The finishing process gives out a pungent smell.
  • The drying time is more for this flooring material because of its finish.

What is your choice now, Pre-finished or site finished hardwood? I would love to hear from you please comment below. If you are planning to install hardwood in bedrooms then please go through my blog post “Hardwood Flooring for Bedrooms“.

Pre-Finished vs. Site Finished Hardwood Flooring was last modified: October 15th, 2014 by Jason Valasek

189 thoughts on “Pre-Finished vs. Site Finished Hardwood Flooring

  1. Reece C

    Your article gives a really clear description between the two flooring types. Having read your comparisons, I feel I would opt for the pre-finished floor. Thanks for the information!

  2. Pingback: How to clean dark hardwood flooring? | Express Flooring

  3. Pingback: Things to know before you buy Hardwood Flooring | Express Flooring


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