Homeowners assume many things about their hardwood flooring, and several of those assumptions center on the factory finish aka prefinish application. Prefinished floors provides durability and beauty to your flooring. But is this factor more important than the wood species? Discover what you need to know about the finish and make a more informed choice when buying hardwood flooring.

Does Prefinish Create Color?

Many consumers choose wood flooring based on color and overall appearance, including grain and texture. While staining the wood to imitate different species is common practice in the cabinetry industry such as walnut stained Oaks, hardwood flooring colors come from the original species. Prefinished floors add a layer of protection for high traffic areas.

So if you want a cherry color in your dining room, look at the various options for cherry wood.

Are Prefinished Coatings Stronger Than Site Finish?

Traditional hardwood flooring went in raw and contractors applied the finish on site. Because this process came with quite a bit of mess and disruption, manufacturers developed durable prefinishing methods using a controlled environment and state-of-the-art processes to achieve the same or better standards of strength.

Today’s prefinished wood flooring comes with extensive warranties and lasts for decades. Some applications eventually require refinishing, but most can withstand 15-20 years of constant traffic without any need for refinishing.

Look for prefinished wood flooring with additives for strength, like aluminum oxide, and reliable application processes involving UV curing.

Do Prefinished Floors Dent or Scratch?

Prefinished wood flooring often carries the label “wear-resistant.” Be careful not to assume that this claim covers impact and other significant forces. Wear resistance protects against regular foot traffic. However, even the thickest finishing process such as aluminum oxide coatings cannot protect the wood underneath from direct impact.

Dents, scratches, and gouges show up on every hardwood floor most often due to moving furniture. Harder wood species reduce the risk of denting. Choose prefinished flooring for resistance to everyday wear.

Certain wood flooring products are marketed toward pet owners or young families, offering limited scratch-resistant warranties or other easily misunderstood labels. Do your research and understand exactly what the product warranty covers, as well as what type of performance you can expect from this wood floor.

We now understand what prefinish does on hardwood flooring, offering durability and resistance against regular wear while highlighting the natural beauty and color of the wood. It’s very important to invest in wood flooring with a quality prefinish. You also want to find a wood species that suits your needs and budget. This combination creates hardwood flooring able to stand the test of time and deliver years of reliable performance and beauty. While prefinish is an important factor, consumers should also pay attention to overall quality and invest in the ideal product for their project.