Installing wood floors used to be simple. Well, not simple exactly, but at least there was only one way to go. Now, pre-finished flooring opens up new options to the do-it-yourselfer.
Here are some of the characteristics of pre-finished flooring and unfinished.
Pre-finished floorboards make your job much faster (a one- to two-day installation for most rooms) and easier. First off, you don’t have to sand the wood, a tricky proposition, particularly with softer woods like pine. Leave a sander in one place a split second too long, and you’ve got a nice little dip to catch marbles and trip up guests. There’s also no dust to worry about, and no nasty smell of finish to contend with. And you can check out the color ahead of time, without testing various stains and finishes.
Pre-finished flooring is more expensive, though, so you have to compare the convenience and time saved to the cost. Manufacturers may add small bevels to the edges of the strips to allow for a smooth fit, while sanded floors mean a flush, flat joint.
To help you decide, check out installations of both types of flooring, done by professionals of similar abilities, and ask the owners whether they’re happy.
Now, if that hasn’t confused you, let’s talk solid wood versus laminates… or gluing versus nailing…