Real Estate


Hey Guys!

Over the past two weeks we have been working on NEW FLOORS for Project H. The plan is hardwoods throughout the entire house except the bathrooms, laundry room and man cave. Right now, they are working on the upstairs. We knew we wanted hardwoods but we did not know if we wanted pre-finished hardwoods or unfinished. We did some digging on both options and here is what we found.

So, as we do, let’s talk Real Estate, let’s talk HARDWOOD FLOORS – PRE-FINISHED vs UNFINISHED…

Here are some key things to take into account.

Pre-finished hardwood

You can walk on your new floors immediately. It is also a much shorter install time. The guys come in, fix any subfloor issues, install the new floor and they are done! 

Unfinished hardwood
You have to wait WEEKS before you can walk on your newly stained floors. With unfinished hardwood, the guys come in, address any subfloor issues, lay the floor, sand the floor, seal the floor, stain the floor, apply polyurethane to the floor, and address any issues with this process along the way.
Point for pre-finished here!

Pre-finished hardwood
The staining takes place in a workshop so you do not have to worry about breathing any of it in.

Unfinished hardwood
The curing of each coat of stain takes place in your home. If you are living there during this time, you will breathe in the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are stinky but have also been proven to be carcinogens. 

Another point for pre-finished here!

Pre-finished hardwood
Finishes and stains are done in a factory so you do not have to worry about dust and dirt getting stuck in the coats while the floors are drying. 

Unfinished hardwood
You have to be extra careful to ensure no dust or dirt touches the wet floors before they dry. Otherwise, you could have the dust trapped in the floor for a lifetime. 

Another point for pre-finished here!

Pre-finished hardwood
Typically cheaper overall because of the less intensive labor involved.

Unfinished hardwood
While the supplies are typically cheaper, the labor here can rack up your bill. 

This is a big TBD depending on the type of floor you want and the finish you choose, for us I think it would have been pretty close to even on cost based on the floors we chose and the group we are working with to install them.

Pre-finished hardwood
More controlled and typically flawless BUT you do run the risk of it looking “fake”. I would recommend making sure the pre-finished hardwood you select has some character to keep it more “authentic” looking. Here is a link to the wood we chose! Our goal was to create a homey atmosphere and luckily dark floors are coming back in style in 2021. 

Unfinished hardwood
I think unfinished can look more “authentic” and provide more character BUT it has to be done correctly. It also gives you the flexibility to decide which stain color you like best. A lot of times, contractors will install the unfinished floor, work not he rest of the houses and stain the floors at the end of the project. I think that is awesome because you can adjust the color of the stain based on how the rest of the house looks.

I definitely want to try this eventually but for now we went with pre-finished!

Overall here are my thoughts on what to choose – if you are doing a live in renovation – pre-finished is the way to go. It is much less time consuming, and you don’t have to worry about messing up the floors in the process.  If you are building a home while living elsewhere, or are super specific about the look you are going for, then unfinished may be the route for you! Curious on your thoughts – do you prefer pre-finished or unfinished for hardwoods?! And why?! Let us know!


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