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Site Finished Hardwood Flooring

There are 2 main classifications of hardwood flooring that get installed – site finished or pre-finished.

Site finished flooring like that in the picture above are installed earlier in the process than pre-finished floors.

With site finished floors, materials like cabinetry, trim, tile in adjoining rooms, painting, electrical finishing, counter top installation etc. all happen after the flooring is installed.

Then, just prior to completing the project, the floors are finished. The picture here shows the 1st stage of the 7 day process.

Our flooring contractor is sanding the hardwood floor, removing the top layer to expose the beautifully grained 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ white oak floors. Once the floors are perfectly smooth and every joint and seam filled, they get stained and treated with 3 coats of a protective finish. In the end, our client will have a custom coloured floor that is tightly finished and looking as perfect as a dining room table top.

Pre-finished flooring is generally installed at the end of the project. There is no site finishing required. Pre-finished floors do have some advantages over site finished, (i.e. there are additional layers of finish installed for durability) but in most cases, where timing permits, we tend to prefer the site finished option for the ability to custom colour and better control the fit between the floor and all surrounding finishes.

Which do you prefer and why?