If you want to avoid a cookie-cutter look and are pining instead for uniquely customized floors, unfinished wood is your answer. Unfinished boards come as they left the lumber yard – well sanded, but unstained and unsealed. The steps left to be completed on site make the installation harder, costlier and more time-consuming.
Unfinished wood flooring is a better option for new houses. This is because sanding and finishing the wood on site causes major disruptions in your life. Sawdust particles invade your house, as do your busy hardwood flooring contractors and you need some truly knowledgeable ones for this job. The stain and sealer take many hours to dry, and days (sometimes weeks) to cure. Good prevention measures stop you from moving back your furniture for what seems like an eternity. The smell of the polyurethane assaults your senses and gives you headaches and regrets.
Entirely Customized Look
So installing unfinished wood flooring does not rank high on the comfort level. But the beauty! Nothing can compare with wood floors that are finished on site, rather than extracted from a cardboard box. If you are a lover of art in all its shapes and forms, art is what you get. The end result pays for all the polyurethane fumes and mysterious dust coating your freshly wiped furniture.
Your results are unique because staining results depend on many factors: type and age of the wood, humidity, wood porosity etc. If you want a customized look where you can mix wood textures, colors and planks widths after your heart desire, unfinished boards are your only possible canvas. Unfinished wood flooring preserves the natural look of the wood better than the heavily sealed, prefinished boards. If you like floors with personality, you can choose reclaimed wood that gives you an instant infusion of character or preserves the historic character of your house.
The majestic look of long planks or classic strip flooring can only be achieved with unfinished wood. Finally, a floor spruced up with inlays and medallions requires an unfinished flooring background. Unfinished wood floors also give you more options than prefinished wood. Some exotic woods are not available in the prefinished version. Sometimes you cannot find the plank width you want, so unfinished wood is your only option.
Easier to Match to Existing Floors
Matching your existing floors is always hard to do because of all the factors that play a role in the appearance of both your old and new floors.It is even harder when you need to match new prefinished planks to the width, color and stain depth of old wood. Unfinished wood is less restrictive. It can be cut to match your old planks and finished with the right, customized combination of stains. Later on, what started as unfinished wood is easier to refinish.
While prefinished planks have beveled edges that cut the flow of the wood, unfinished floors give you a smooth, uninterrupted surface. This is a welcome attribute when you clean your floors, since dust and debris do not get trapped in between planks. Messy spills are easier to clean and water does not easily penetrate the subfloor.
Finally, if you choose unfinished flooring, you do not have to fear discontinued products. After all, they don’t discontinue trees.
So, is unfinished flooring a good idea? It depends on your expectations, priorities and space. Yes, you need to sand your boards on site because, even though the planks are uniformly cut, they will show slight height variations when laid down in place. Yes, you may have to move out of the house so that you don’t inhale the fumes and don’t raise dust while the stain is drying. And yes, you absolutely have to find a trustworthy wood flooring professional because the end results depends on your contractor’s level of expertise. But in the grand scheme of things, these are just minor annoyances that only pay the price for a truly unique, fantastic look.