Which is Better: Prefinished Flooring or Solid Hardwood?

Types of Prefinished Flooring

Prefinished flooring has a number of different kinds of floors which vary quite a bit from one another. So let’s begin by delineating them with the pros and cons.

  1. Engineered wood flooring

Prefinished engineered oak flooring is composed of real wood. However, unlike solid hardwood, it has many thin layers of wood combined with a glue under intense heat and pressure. The top layer of the flooring is normally a hardware veneer prefinished to a particular color, stain and finished and coated with a sealed layer.

Pros: Stronger than hardwood and tolerates variation in temperature and humidity

Cons: Due to hardwood top layer, it cannot be sanded or refurbished. It can only be replaced.

  1. Laminate wood flooring

This type of flooring has composite pressed wood with a laminate finish made in such a way to resemble it to solid wood.

Pros: laminate flooring is quite affordable than the solid wood and even engineered wood. It is easily installable, easily cleanable, resistant to moisture, and usually durable in nature.

Cons: this flooring rarely fools the eye. It doesn’t look like hardwood flooring and usually looks cheaper. It is more difficult to repair laminate flooring if damaged.

  1. Prefinished hardwood flooring

Unlike the other variations, this flooring encompasses actual solid hardwood that is just pre-stained and coating just before installing it on the floor. It usually comes with beveled edges and grooves that lets the planks to interlock and making it easy for installation.

Pros: this flooring is easily installable and has a genuine look and feel because it is an actual solid wood.

Cons: this is costlier than the unfinished wood planks and the bevels occasionally leave unsightly gaps between the planks. Additionally, as the flooring is prefinished to a specific dye lot, it is hard or impossible to color match if the planks need a replacement.

So, what should you choose?

When choosing the overall quality, nothing holds a candle to the solid hardwood flooring. Albeit it can consume a lot of time for installation and it also generates dust during the sanding and finishing process. Solid wood adds gold to the sophistication and class to any kind of space. You can repair and refinish it a number of times and when it is properly maintained, it can last a lifetime. Prefinished wood tends to provide more convenience and could be a tad bit affordable, but the trade-off is that if damage is caused to the floor, you will have to replace the entire floor as the planks cannot be refinished or color matched.