There are many advantages to choosing prefinished hardwood flooring over site finished flooring. Site finished means sanding, staining and applying protective coatings after the boards are installed. With prefinished hardwood flooring, there are no heavy chemical fumes, extreme dust and long drying times before the floor can be walked on.
Prefinished hardwood flooring is not only faster but the finishes are better and will last longer. They are applied in a controlled environment and are usually cured with lights to make the finish harder. The use of aluminum oxide in the finish is also common and can make the finish much more scratch resistant. On site finishes are usually rolled on and are air cured.
The warranties on prefinished flooring are typically 5 to 35 years. The warranties offered on site finished hardwood is usually 3 to 5 years.
The higher quality urethane finishes last longer than the older finishes but can be re-sanded and stained when they wear out.
Prefinished hardwood flooring does not require as much maintenance as the older hardwood floors did. Light sweeping is usually all that is required. Hardwood floor cleaner can also be used periodically.
The choice between a prefinished hardwood floor and a site finished floor can make a big difference in the amount of maintenance required and the years of service that can be expected.