How To Choose Between Finished and Unfinished Floorboards

Are you considering upgrading your flooring to wood floors? There are a few aspects you need to consider. One of these aspects is whether you want to go with engineered prefinished floorboards or unfinished floorboards. Pre-finished basically refers to the stain that has already been applied to the floorboards before delivery takes place. On the other hand unfinished wood floorboards are usually delivered raw, without any pre-staining. Keep reading to find out more about the differences between these two options.


Pre-finished floorboards have their advantages. For instance, they are already stained and ready to install. This means you will not have to worry about fumes and dust that comes with sanding and staining your floors onsite. Keep in mind though that with this convenience comes a higher price tag.


Unfinished floorboards give you more control over the final color and finish of your new wood floors. These floorboards are sanded and stained on site. This option is generally less expensive to purchase, however the extensive labor hours spent on the finishing can add up.

The Key Differences Between Solid and Engineered Wood

A very important decision any homeowner needs to make, when deciding to upgrade to wood floors, is whether to go with solid wood floors or the engineered option. The final decision should be based not only on the differences in aesthetics, but also on what is most practical. We will discuss some of the key differences between these two options, to help you make an informed decision.

clear expressive unique wooden pattern. Flooring made of natural solid wood parquet desk

Solid Wood

Solid wood floorboards are just that, solid planks of hardwood. This type of flooring is commonly found in older homes. Solid wood flooring has a long lifespan as it can be sanded down and resealed many times, over decades. Different stains can also be applied after each refinishing, which allows the homeowner to create different design styles through the years. The main disadvantage of this type of flooring is that it can start to warp when exposed frequently to humid conditions.

Parquetry, engineered click system oak wood flooring in a freshl

Engineered Wood

Engineered floorboards are manufactured through a process of compressing several layers of wood veneer together to form floorboards. Wood veneer consists of thin sheets of real wood. These floorboards are usually delivered pre-finished, with the stain and sealant already applied. This type of flooring can withstand moisture and humid conditions much better compared to solid wood. They do not warp, swell or gape very easily. The downside of this type of wood is that due to the various thin layers, this flooring cannot be refinished over time. If you like to change things up by altering the floor color/stain every few years, this may not be the best solution for you.

Different Types of Wood

There are a vast variety of wood types available, whether you want to go with new or reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is wood that has been salvaged from a building or demolition site.

Oak is one of the most popular wood types available. It is a durable wood that has a wide grain and shows lots of character. This wood works well with a variety of stain colors, making it a versatile option. Two of the most common oak types frequently used are White Oak and Red Oak.
This wood type tends to be darker and has a reddish undertone. Walnut adds color richness and warmth to any living space. It is a durable wood, making it an ideal flooring option.
Maple is a lighter wood with a very fine wood grain pattern. It is popular to use as flooring due to its naturally lighter coloring. Note though that maple is more susceptible to wood rot and insect damage compared to many other wood types.
Cherry is a strong and durable wood and is a good option to use as flooring. Cherry has a naturally shinier texture and is known for its reddish color.
Ash wood is light in color and furniture makers often prefer working with this wood. It’s definitely suitable for flooring and the wood grain gives it a unique character. The white ash has subtle graining whilst the black ash wood has a dark grain which stands in stark contrast to the light background.
Bamboo has become very popular over the past few years, especially as it is a renewable source, therefore environmentally friendly. It has a pleasing light aesthetic which is another reason why it is so loved. The downside is that this is not actually wood, but rather a woody grass. Bamboo is not the best to use for flooring in high traffic areas as this is a more fragile material compared to hardwood.
This is one of the most durable and strongest woods available. It is rot resistant and is often used for outdoor furniture. This is an expensive flooring option but has the ability to last for generations.
Pine has a wide variety of flooring options as there are so many different pine tree species. It’s best to consult a professional to make sure that you pick the right type of pine that is suitable for flooring.
Hickory is an excellent choice for flooring. It is hard, durable and with its dramatic grain pattern you can be sure that no two floors are the same. It has lovely character and can be described as a medium tan to light red-brown color. It is a very hard wood, making it harder to cut compared to other types of wood. Hickory does not come cheap due to its durability.
Douglas Fir
Douglas fir presents a neat flooring option due to its uniform grain pattern. The color leans towards an orange-tinted brown and has a consistency like no other wood. This is a softer type of wood that damages easily, therefore it will require regular care and maintenance. This is not an ideal wood flooring option for homes with children and pets.


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