There are numerous reasons for installing hardwood flooring in your home such as durability and increasing its re-sale value, but when it comes right down to it -- the primary reason is that there just aren't any other floor covering options that can rival its natural beauty. Hardwood conveys a sense of warm that no other flooring can come close to duplicating. However, if you're planning to have solid hardwood installed, there's still an important decision to be made -- should you go with prefinished flooring or the more traditional finish in-place variety?

There are some purists who may tell you the only "real" solid hardwood floor is the type that's sanded and finished on the jobsite by an ever dwindling supply of specialized craftsmen. Many of those same purists also think that computers are just a passing fad. Prefinished solid hardwood is exactly the same as the unfinished type, but the stain and sealant are applied at the factory instead of in your home. A few factors to consider when making your choice:

 

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring Installation Time

In many cases prefinished hardwood flooring can be installed in a day or two -- your floor can be carpeting in the morning and the new hardwood floor can be enjoyed that same or next evening. Finish-in-place hardwood flooring requires time to be installed, sanded, and at least a day to have the finish applied -- then it has to dry. If you're having it installed during a remodeling project, forget about using the room for several days and depending on the humidity, possibly even longer.

No Mess with Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

 

If you've ever been in a room where unfinished hardwood is being sanded, it's an experience that won't soon be forgotten. There may even still be sanding dust in your hair. Sanding hardwood in a finished home can create a substantial mess and even in a house under construction, the walls and trim must be thoroughly purged of dust before paint can be applied. The only dust you'll have when installing prefinished flooring is a little from the saw and that can be placed outside if it's a nice day.
 

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring is DIY Friendly

If you're handy with tools and like saving money, installing prefinished hardwood flooring can be a great DIY project. In many cases all you'll need are a table or miter saw, a pneumatic or manual nailer, and a few common hand tools to complete the job. The best thing that can be said about installing and finishing finish-in-place hardwood as a DIY project is to call the professionals unless you happen to be a very experienced woodworker.

Unfinished and prefinished hardwood are both beautiful products, but unless you just have to have your floor installed and finished as it was done back in the day, prefinished hardwood flooring is usually your best choice.