Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
What is Unfinished hardwood?
Unfinished hardwood is solid hardwood that is just that “unfinished”. Unlike prefinished hardwood that has had the finish applied at the factory, the sanding and finishing will take place in your home after the hardwood is installed. This gives you a blank canvas to create a wood floor that’s unique to your own individual style. You get to choose the species and grade of wood. You get to decide the colour and the sheen level of your floor, from matt to glossy.
Unfinished hardwood is available in top nailed and tongue and groove configurations. Top nailed flooring is installed as it’s sounds with nails on the top of the boards. Top nailed floors have a more traditional look and have been a popular choice in flooring since the end of the 19-century. Their thickness is 5/16 when new and is most commonly comes in widths of ¾ to 2″ inches. Lengths vary from 1 foot to 12 feet, allowing the wood pattern to flow randomly throughout the floor. Often top nailed floors will have Walnut or Mahogany borders made into intricate designs in the corners of the room.
Tongue and Groove floors are fitted and then nailed together, the main difference being that you do not see the nails in a Tongue and Groove floor. Tongue and Groove floors are usually 2 ¼ to 3 ¼ in width but you can get them in 1 ½ to 8 inch widths. Both options when properly installed and finished will give you a long lasting stunning wood floor.
Benefits Of Unfinished Hardwood
Besides the ability to customize every aspect of your wood floor, unfinished hardwood has many other benefits that are worth considering. The first being its aesthetic look. Pre-finished hardwood has tiny beveled edges on either side of the board. This means that when the boards are butted up tight against one another there will be tiny visible gap or seem between each board. Unfinished hardwood is sanded flat removing the gap, which gives a more solid consistent look to your floor.
Another benefit of unfinished hardwood is that it is easy to repair. As durable as hardwood is, it is not bullet proof. Floor boards can be gouged, scratched or stained requiring repairs. If this has taken place to a pre-finished hardwood floor it is almost impossible to repair the floorboard by simply refinishing the damaged area this is because the factory applied finish is very difficult to colour match. The only real solution is to cut the damaged planks out of the floor and replace them with new ones.
Unfinished hardwood will need replacement only if a floorboard has been cracked or if your floor has experienced extreme damaged caused by fire or flooding. In every other instance unfinished hardwood can be fixed by sanding the damaged area, staining it to match if needed and adding a couple coats of finish to ensure that the floor is properly protected.