Differences Between Prefinished & Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Are you looking to renovate your home with the best hardwood flooring in Toronto? Because of its durability and natural beauty, hardwood flooring is the favourite flooring option for both builders and homeowners. It comes in a variety of species and styles for customers to match it to any type of decor.

You can also choose to have your flooring prefinished or unfinished.

On that note many customers email us to ask whether prefinished or unfinished hardwood flooring is better. Prefinished floors are finished (i.e. sanded, stained, and coated with polyurethane) before installation. Unfinished refers to raw hardwoods that are cut into planks that are installed and refinished on site. Each option has unique benefits.

If you are deciding between them, keep reading to understand which is best for your home.

Let’s get started.

What Is Prefinished Hardwood Flooring?


If you are looking for a quick-to-install hardwood floor at a lower price, prefinished flooring is the better choice. Manufacturers first started creating prefinished hardwood floors to give homeowners a more convenient flooring option that takes less time to install.

They are factory finished, with each board individually sprayed with a coat of polyurethane. It is then stained with aluminum oxide to create a hard and lasting acrylic finish. This means the factory has already completed the finishing treatment, so you don’t have to.

Let’s look at the advantages of prefinished hardwood flooring.

1. It Is Ready for Immediate Use

Unlike regular flooring, once prefinished hardwood floors are installed, they are immediately ready to be walked on. No more waiting to complete the different stages of an onsite finish.

Amazon Hardwood’s flooring experts can install a 300-square-foot solid wood floor with underlayment within one business day. Once the installation is complete, you can put furniture on it immediately.

So, if you are looking for a hardwood flooring store that can provide your Toronto home with a fast floor renovation, contact Amazon Hardwood for prefinished flooring installation.

2. It Has Fewer VOCs to Affect Your Family’s Health

Expect to breathe in vapours days after applying oil-based polyurethane to your flooring. But, if you choose prefinished flooring, you won’t have to worry about smelling these harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is because the flooring will have already been finished.

3. It Causes No Dust

Sanding creates a lot of dust and mess. Prefinished flooring is less messy than unfinished flooring because it is ready to use, so no sanding is required. This means installing a prefinished floor will keep your home cleaner.

4. It Is Less Expensive

Although prefinished floors initially cost more than unfinished ones, once you factor in finishing costs, the former end up being less expensive.

Now let’s discuss unfinished hardwood flooring.

What Is Unfinished Hardwood Flooring?


Many people prefer the easy installation of prefinished floors, but unfinished floors have unique benefits. Although their installation and completion can take some time, if done correctly the results are excellent. Unlike the ready-to-go nature of prefinished planks, unfinished floors are finished and stained with a protective coat after installation. This helps seal the flooring to protect it from water damage.

Let’s go through the advantages of unfinished hardwood flooring.

1. It Retains Their Natural Characteristics

Both prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors are made from real hardwood. However, due to the various factory-sprayed coats of polyurethane and stains, prefinished floors lose their raw appearance. By contrast, unfinished floors retain more of the wood’s natural characteristics, like real grain patterns.

2. It Is Most Suited for Large Renovations

With prefinished floors, there is the risk of scratching or damaging the plank while carrying or installing it. That’s why when large renovation work is being done, many contractors prefer unfinished floors so they don’t have to worry about damaging the floor.

3. It Offers More Finishing Options

When it comes to finishing, unfinished flooring offers greater choice concerning colours and shades. For example, if you have existing flooring that is blue or green, your new unfinished floor will match the exact shade perfectly thanks to its numerous colour options.

4. It Is Easier to Repair

Spot repairs are not possible on prefinished floors; instead, an entire piece may need to be replaced, or the floor, refinished. In the case of unfinished floors, repairs are much easier because a scratched or damaged board can be individually sanded and refinished.


Prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors both have unique pros and cons. So, when planning to install new hardwood floors in your home, consider all the factors to make the right decision. If you have more questions about prefinished or unfinished flooring, contact Amazon Hardwood.