A troubling decision for many homeowners is the choice between factory or site finished wood floor. If you are planning on purchasing a new hardwood floor you too may be wondering if flooring that is finished on site following installation is best or are you better off with a floor that comes with a factory prefinished. There are advantages to each and listed here are several pros and cons that should help you choose the hardwood floor that is best for you.
Factory or Site Finished Wood Floor – The Pros and Cons
|Inlays and borders||unlimited||minimal|
|Dust from sanding||yes||no|
|Quick move in||no||yes|
|Can be refinished||yes||With difficulty|
Smooth Joints: A major consideration for factory or site finished wood flooring is the joints. Site finished wood floor is sanded on site after installation assuring that the joints between boards are smooth. With a prefinished wood floor you can expect a slight variation in height between the planks at the joints. While the difference may be difficult to see it can be felt by rubbing your hand across the joint or walking on the floor in bare feet or stockings.
Inlays and Borders: With a wood floor that is site finished unlimited inlays and borders can be used. With a prefinished floor only minimal inlays and borders can be used. If you are considering inlays you will need to decide if the choice will be factory or site finished wood.
Hard Finish: A factory finished floor will usually have 4 to 5 coats of finish and contain aluminum oxide which makes the finish much harder and more difficult to scratch. A site finished floor will usually have about 2-3 coats of sealer and finish and will not be as hard. A big advantage when you are deciding between factory or site finished wood.
Dust from Sanding: A site finished floor is sanded on site and therefore you can expect dust. While a company with the proper vacuum control equipment can contain much of the dust they will not be able to eliminate it. A prefinished floor comes from the factory ready to install so there will be no sanding on site. If dust is a big concern with you than in your decision between factory or site finished wood floors you will probably want to go with the factory finish.
Quick Move in: With a prefinished floor you can move in the same day the floor is installed. With a site finished floor you need to wait for the installation, finishing and drying of the floor before you can move in.
Finish Odor: With a site finished floor there will be little to considerable odor depending upon the sealer and finish used. With a prefinished floor you will have no odor.
Quick Completion: Prefinished floor install and move in. Site finished needs installation, sanding, finishing and drying first.
Can be refinished: Site finished floors can be easily sanded and refinished. Since prefinished floors almost always contain aluminum oxide the same product sandpaper is made of they are very difficult to sand for refinishing. While they can usually be refinished expect to pay a lot more money for the sanding will probably cost you 2 to 3 times what you pay for sanding the site finished floor. Both site finished and prefinished floors must either be solid or if engineered mush have a thick enough veneer to sand and finish.
As you can see there are advantages and disadvantages to both factory or site finished wood flooring. You will need to weigh these advantages and decide if factory finished or site finished is best for you.