Unfinished vs. Prefinished...

fivefootzeroFebruary 9, 2011

Trying to decide on our new kitchen flooring. Would like some opinions. Right now, our first floor has 3/4" white oak floors that we refinished 4 years ago when we moved in. We want to do the same wood floors in our kitchen. We found Bellawood white oak prefinished and it matched perfectly.

My husband is concerned about the ability to refinish prefinished flooring. Can anyone offer any advice?

The Bellawood is 3/4" hardwood, except that it has a factory finish vs. the finish we had applied after our other flooring was sanded and refinished.

Thanks for any advice.

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factory finished is up to 2 1/2 times more abrasion resistant than site finished. The aluminum oxide can only be applied in a factory setting. If you get to where you see a loss of gloss or lots of scratches, small dents etc. you can do a screen and recoat with new finish. You should never really have to ever sand them. In the case of damage you can do a board replacement without resanding the whole area as you would with site finished. Far more pros than cons.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:43AM
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Gee Boxers, why do we resand so many ALOX floors? Truth is they do not wear through rapidly but they do begin to look bad from the very issues you list. I personally have 2000'+ of Trustor WearMax life time warranty site finished flooring. We are certified to use it by the manufacturer. It is a great product but I no longer use it because of the difficulty's involved with touching it up. Maintenance of the finish is much easier with site finished floors.
Screen and recoats will not always do the trick with ALOX. It is too iffy to get a proper bond because the profiles of the prefinished floors are seldom flat enough to be physically abraded. A Ty-coat type chemical system is the better bet.
Dents can be epoxied and recoated. Scratches can be sanded out and the finish matched.
Many prefinished floors are no longer available to replace damaged boards.I tried to find a Hartco product just yesterday. It's been dropped, but we can match the wood, color and gloss level, everything but the micro bevel.
There are strong points for both types of floors but in the long term prefinished floors will end up being sanded and finished.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:55PM
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when I was with Bruce many products had urethane on the top coat and aluminum oxide on coats underneath specifically to make recoating easier. Benefits of factory finished vs site finished has been discussed to death. I live in the most site finished place on earth and my father owned a hardwood company. Out west even some of the most hesitant builders have switched to factory finish. While I won't argue the merits however the OP simply asked if they would be ok with prefinished and the concern was resanding and the quick and truthful answer is they can be rescreened if they start looking beat up.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:30PM
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Most builders have switched to factory finished for basically economic considerations. They can get the house ready for closing sooner and the end result is consistent.

However, no prefinished can equal the finished look of a site finished floor that is done by an expert. Yes, I know, we are a select few...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:39PM
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