Over the last couple of decades, the variety of prefinished flooring has really exploded. In the early days, manufacturers delivered very limited options. However, time and innovation has been good to the prefinished flooring industry, and today manufacturers, like we here at Real Wood Floors, can customize and create a prefinished floor any way the market asks for it in a wealth of specifications and styles.
One of the biggest advantages to prefinished flooring is its convenience.
Once the flooring is installed, it’s done. Essentially, it’s chiefly the opposite of an unfinished installation. An unfinished floor requires multiple sandings, stainings, and finish work. That requires time, additional costs, and the likelihood of dust and chemical issues in the home. As well, the applied finish requires a cure time before any furniture can be moved onto it and before any children (and pets) can scamper across its floors.
Once the prefinished floor is glued down, nailed down, or floated, it’s ready to be used, walked on, lived on.
When it comes to repairing damaged floors, this is when prefinished flooring is exceptionally advantageous.
The ability to replace individual boards is relatively easy. If one or more boards become damaged beyond minor repair, a contractor, or willing homeowner, can remove an individual damaged board and replace it. How does this differ from an unfinished floor? With a job-site finish, the finish coating goes over the entire floor, so if a minor board replacement is needed, the entire floor must be sanded and refinished. This creates the same challenges as mentioned for the initial installation, with the added inconvenience of removing all the furniture and items from the room or rooms. With a prefinished floor, repairs are much easier and less expensive, and more convenient.
A factory-applied finish will almost always be the most durable finish for flooring. Today’s prefinishing equipment is extremely thorough and consistent. Manufacturers can apply many more layers of finish on the floor and at a faster rate than achieved with a job-site finish. (In addition, a 25-50 -year warranty is not uncommon for a prefinished floor, putting many minds at-ease.)
Advances in technique and technology have allowed manufacturers to show much more detail and texture on flooring than previously possible, or even desired. Despite the logical conclusion otherwise, the amount of finish on a floor no longer equates to the durability of the finish. In other words, we can now achieve the same amount of durability with thinner layers, less build, and much finer textures on the wood floor. As a result, our customers receive a scratch and chemical-resistant, maintenance-free beautiful floors, with less worry.
In the 2000s with the success of laminate flooring, which gives off a wood-like appearance, floor manufacturers were challenged to show that their product was genuine wood—not a paper or laminate covering.
As a reaction to the rise in popularity of prefinished laminate floors, manufacturers began sometime in the 2000s to go to greater efforts to showcase the genuineness of the real wood in their floors. Where laminate products only have the appearance of wood, those makers of prefinished engineered hardwood floors wanted there to be a stark and obvious difference between the real and “faux” wood floors. That effort led to new technologies and breakthroughs.
Manufacturers brushed the grain in order to showcase the fine and unique quality of a particular wood. They introduced more and more character, like knots and checks, in their flooring choices. They provided wider plank options when the style shifted to wider design trends.
At Real Wood Floors, we are able to follow current trends. With Europe being the frontrunner in design and style, we pay close attention to their efforts. Recently, we’ve seen a return to cleaner wood grade, less character, and smoother board styles.
And as styles like that become more sought after, we are able to design our products to fulfill that need. While some floor manufacturers make the same type of floor year after year, we make sure to provide options for nearly every style need, wherever the design winds blow. One of our company values is innovation—to remain timely, not to make or follow fads, but to create products for the market today. Modern manufacturing technology allows us the freedom to be that responsive and provide our clients with floor options curated into one of our design collections.
Find out for yourself.
We can’t see the future of flooring trends, but we feel certain prefinished floors hold a bright place in it for a very long time. With its commanding resilience, superior convenience, and our commitment to staying at the forefront of meeting the market’s needs, we’re confident a prefinished floor is the right choice for your home. If you’d like to discover our excellent prefinished options, please take a look at our flooring collections.