The wood flooring market has changed a lot over the past 20 years since we’ve been in business.  20 years ago, there was no such thing as a pre-finished floor.  All we did was the traditional sand and finish.  And even though the traditional flooring is still our most popular type of flooring by far, pre-finished has made some strides in the past few years because of more efficient manufacturing and improvements in finish curing.    These are some of the things that you need to know when comparing pre-finished and traditional sand and finish if you’re undecided about which way to go.


  • Unfinished floor is available in an almost unlimited number of sizes, grades and species.
  • Unfinished floors can be stained to an almost unlimited number of colors
  • Unfinished is normally solid 3/4 inch thick, but it is available in glue down 5/8 inch engineered
  • Pre-finished is available in a smaller selection of colors and finishes.
  • About 50% of pre-finished wood is solid hardwood, the other 50% is engineered.
  • Pre-finished normally gets you done quicker as sanding and finishing is not required on site.
  • Some think that Pre-finished floor finishes are more durable than sand and finish, we have not found that to be true.


  • Pre-finished is quicker from start to finish on the job.
  • Pre-finished is installed with no odor and can be done room by room
  • Unfinished can be custom stained to match existing flooring or woodwork
  • Unfinished is normally “square edged” and doesn’t have the v-groove or micro-bevel that most Prefinished has.
  • Unfinished has a more “traditional” real floor look than most Pre-finished which some people feel has a “plastic” look


  • Pre-finished can be more difficult to re-finish down the road because of certain factory applied sealers.
  • Some people have noticed “chipping” in certain pre-finished finishes
  • Most stained pre-finished is “dye stained” which can fade on sunlight exposure
  • Pre-finished may be hard to match 5-6 years down the road of rooms of new floor are added.
  • Unfinished takes a bit longer from start to finish of the project because on site sanding and finishing is needed.
  • Fumes from the finishing process of the unfinished floor may force owners to stay elsewhere while the job is being completed (does not apply with new construction)
  • Dust from sanding can be a problem (but not with OUR sanding)

If you have any questions about what type of floor is right for you, be sure and contact us.

If you are interested in looking at some of the flooring and pre-finished flooring that we use, check out the websites of the manufacturers below.  We have access to products from all these companies.