A troubling decision for many homeowners is the choice between factory or site finished wood floor.
You may be wondering which is best. There are advantages to each. Listed here are several pros and cons. These 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|
A major consideration for factory or site finished wood flooring is the joints. Site finished wood floor is sanded on site, following installation. This assures smooth joints between boards. 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 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.
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:
Sanding on site, expect some 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 in your decision, you will probably want to go with the factory finish.
Quick Move in:
With a prefinished floor you can often move in the day of installation. With a site finished floor you need to wait for the installation, finishing and drying of the floor before you can move in.
Site finished floor will have little to considerable odor depending upon the sealer and finish used. With a prefinished floor you will have no odor.
Prefinished floor install and move in. Site finished needs installation, sanding, finishing and drying first.
Site finished floors can be sanded and refinished.
Most prefinished floors contain aluminum oxide the same product sandpaper is made of. These floors are very difficult to sand for refinishing. While they can usually be refinished expect to pay a lot more money. The sanding will probably cost you 2 to 3 times what you pay for sanding the site finished floor.
Site finished and prefinished floors must be solid, or engineered with a thick enough veneer.
As you can see there are advantages and disadvantages to both factory or site finished wood flooring. Weigh these advantages and decide if factory finished or site finished is best for you.